More box turtle excitement

This evening, as I was wondering around the garden trying to decide where to plant a pot of Hippeastrum bulbs, I noticed Penelope the female box turtle in a flower bed at the edge of the woods.  She was digging a nest!

Turtle_digging_nest
Digging the hole.  Or, possibly, laying eggs.
Turtle_digging_nest2
Filling it in

Almost three hours later, she has filled in the hole but is still tamping down the soil and pushing things around on the surface.  I plan to stay up until she moves on, and then I’ll cover the nest with a metal cage to protect it from raccoons/opossums/skunks.

When we saw her walking across the lawn yesterday, we didn’t realize she was an expectant mother—though that might explain why she ate her strawberry with such gusto.

Female with strawberry

Female with strawberry2

As further evidence that box turtles are successfully breeding in the garden, here’s a juvenile that my wife discovered while she was weeding yesterday.

juvenile
It isn’t an empty shell.  The owner is tucked away inside.

I am so pleased that our efforts to build an interesting and healthy landscape have created good habitat for the boxies.

10 thoughts on “More box turtle excitement

      1. GADS! I had to look that up. She really does look like a box turtle! The tortoise who moved into our garden looked more like Alice from the Brady Bunch! Everyone loved her or him.

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  1. I’ve seen only two box turtles at their nests, years apart. I remember thinking that the holes looked too deep for the babies ever to dig out of. But obviously not. I’m looking forward to learning how your nest progresses and perhaps seeing pictures of newly emerged hatchlings.

    Liked by 1 person

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