Eastern Box Turtle Study
June 12, 2023
Yesterday’s thunderstorms rendered us unable to track, our equipment is unable to get wet. The ground was still very wet from yesterday’s storm. The rain meter collected 1.5 inches of rain overnight. We started today at Half Moon. Before tracking we went to check on the bird’s nest we found a few days ago in the pine stand northeast of Prairie 1. The eggs were still in their nest and the camera was still set up and pointed at the nest. We hope to be able to see the footage the camera has caught so far. After we checked on the bird’s nest we began tracking Sam. We found him a few meters from the bird’s nest closer to the trail. He was about 5 meters from the trail. We then made our way over to Prairie 3. We started with tracking Dipper. He was in the pine stand northeast, consumed deep in the vegetation of the yellow crown beard and blackberry bushes. When we tried to get closer to him, we noticed that he was running deeper into the blackberry briars, so we were unable to pick him up for handling. We recorded his geographic location and notes about his habitat before making our way back to the trail to begin tracking Graham.
Graham brought us back towards prairie one. He moved south into the pine stand that separates Prairies 1 and 3. As we made our way through the pine stand our feet were getting caught on the vining ground cover. We found Graham along the edge of Prairie 1 in the pine stand. It was partially covered by grass vegetation and pine needle litter. After locating him we made our way back to the trail we used to track Chloe earlier. As we walked to find Chloe, the heat of the afternoon sun began to intensify. It started to feel more humid like a typical South Carolina summer. The light breeze in the shade of the canopy protected us and kept us going. We found Chloe in the pine stand north of Prairie 1. As we approached her she began to run away from us and when Emily handled her, she peed in her hands. Turtles often do this to discourage predators from harming them. We made our way over to Muddy Branch Creek to track the last two turtles, Kodi and Stacey. We found Kodi southwest of Blue House. He had crossed the dry Muddy Branch Creek. He was making his way up the slope that leads down into the creek. We found him inside of a fire patch, completely covered by the deciduous leaf litter. We finished the day by Stacy on the trail directly behind your house, using the tractor to guide us to the forest. While walking past the ephemeral pond, we could hear frogs croaking. We found Stacey southwest of the trail. She was under the branches of a fallen tree. As we approached her she began running away from us. After recording Stacy’s information, made the lengthy walk back up the trail to the car. Another successful day of tracking. We are anxiously waiting to see where our other six turtles have ended up after the thunderstorm passes by.
June 10, 2023
Kaitlynn Cook joined Emily and I again today to track our turtles. Today was sunny and bright. No clouds in the sky. Kaitlynn drove us in the gator to BJs pond so we could start tracking Cierra and John. We rode along the trail before hopping off to track Cierra. We found her near her tree trunk apartment partially covered by deciduous leaf litter. After locating Cierra we got back on the trail and walked down until we were notified by the tracker’s beeps that John was near and we should enter the forest. We found John west of Frances Prairie on top of the left litter. After locating John, we rode in the gator towards Redbank prairie. We made our way along the trail that we typically find Logan near. We found him right next to the trail completely covered by pine litter. After tracking Logan we made our way over to Otter Pond. While riding along the trail we stopped to look at the butterfly milkweed that had recently bloomed along the trail. Each bundle of flowers was covered in a multitude of pollinators. We continued along the trail. The vegetation on this trail is more overgrown than others. We located Jayda in her usual pine stand just a couple of meters from the trail. She was found under another fallen tree. Next, we drove down to Dry Jax Pond to begin tracking Jasper and Jupiter. Jasper was still in his briar patch so we were unable to locate him visually once again. Jupiter was in his usual hardwood and pine forest. He was found partially covered by the leaf litter. Today was fairly standard as it comes to tracking turtles but we were able to return home a little less tired than usual.
June 9, 2023
We started this morning tracking behind the Blue House. We immediately went to go check on the bird’s nest we saw on the ground a few days prior. Sadly, when we made it back to the location the three baby birds were gone. We think a snake may have gotten to the birds because the nest was vulnerable on the ground. We continued tracking Kodi. He has moved southwest of the Blue House towards the creek. While we were walking we could hear and see cardinals flying above us. We found Kodi near a fallen tree surrounded by woody debris. After locating Kodi we made our way back to the trail to begin tracking Stacey. We walked along the trail towards Muddy Branch Creek until the tracker led us into a pine stand northwest of the creek. As we approached Stacey she began to make her grand escape to prevent being captured by us. She was unsuccessful. We jotted down her information and began the long walk back to the car. We made our way over to Half Moon to track our last four turtles. We reapplied our bug spray and headed to Prairie 1 to track Graham. The vegetation in Prairie 1 is now up to our chests. It looks like a completely different prairie from just a few days ago. Using the tracker, we made our way to the pond stands adjacent to Prairie 3 to track Dipper. He manages to get himself tangled up in blackberry bush briars. Once we were back on the trail, and we had removed the thorns from our pants, we began tracking Chloe. We found her in the pine stands west of Prairie 1. We moved along the Half Moon trial to track Sam, the last turtle. While walking the pine stand northeast of Prairie 1, we saw a bird’s nest on the ground again. This one had three small white eggs with reddish-brown spots on it. We believe it could belong to a wren or a robin. We notified Brianna Bergamini and Kaitlynn Cook of the nest so that they can set up a trail camera to monitor it. They promptly came to check out the nest and we got to watch them set up the camera. We returned back to the apartment with Brianna and Kaitlynn and entered our data electronically.
June 8, 2023
The haze from the wildfires in Canada is starting to dissipate with the thunderstorms that came through the Carolinas yesterday. We began tracking this cool morning near Jax Dry Pond to track Jasper and Jupiter. Jasper is still on the opposite side of Jackson Road West and appears to be moving deeper into the forest. We hopped the ditch and tracked him deep into a briar patch. Once we were away from all the thorns we recorded his information and began tracking Jupiter. We walked along the trail where we parked the car before entering the woods. We found Jupiter northwest of the trail under a fallen tree. We saw shotgun shells on the ground near Jupiter. We then drove to Otter Pond to track Jayda. While walking along the trail, we found a dead juvenile box turtle, the smallest turtle we’ve seen so far just barely over an inch long. It appears that the turtle’s cause of death may have been being run over by a gator vehicle. After mourning the turtle we continued tracking Jayda. We tracked Jayda in the pine stand and found her completely covered by understory vegetation. After a quick lunch break, we headed to Redbank Prairie to track Logan. After battling spiderwebs and vines we found Logan buried under the vegetation of vining plants just a meter from the trail. We could smell the sweet aroma coming from the prairie. We drove to BJs Pond to track our last two turtles of the day, John and Cierra. Before heading into the forest we spotted a pond turtle crossing Jackson Road West. We believe the turtle may have been a yellow-bellied slider. After checking out the pond turtle we began tracking Cierra. Cierra has made her way back to her tree trunk apartment that we found her in back on May 31st. After locating her we began tracking John. John was found in the hardwood forest west of Francis’s prairie west. After finding John, we returned home to hammock and relax.
June 6, 2023
It was scorching and humid this morning. We started at Half Moon tracking Chloe. She was found in the pine stand west of Prairie 1 surrounded by the yellow crownbeard. We tracked Dipper to the pine stand northeast of Prairie 3. He was deep in a briar patch so we were unable to locate him visually. Graham was found in the western region of Prairie 1. While walking around the Half Moon trail to find Sam we saw blue birds flying in the line stands. There was a chorus of birds in the canopy above. While walking on the trail we spotted another eastern black rat snake in the middle of the trail. We found Sam in the upland hardwood forest northwest of Prairie 4. Once we finished tracking these four turtles we looked back over the notes we had recorded before moving on to the next location and realized we forgot to record the GPS coordinates for two out of the four turtles. So we got back on the trail and began walking back to where we found each turtle and made sure to record all the missing information. Even scientists make mistakes. After a break for lunch, we made our way to Blue House and walked along the trail to Muddy Branch to being tracking Kodi and Stacey. While walking along the trail we saw red birds flying in front of us. The harsh heat of the afternoon sun had started to subside. We tracked Kodi into the hardwood pine forest west of the trail. While tracking Kodi I heard a loud squeaking sound in front of us, we stopped and looked to see where the sound was coming from. Not only did we see Kodi but we spotted a bird’s nest on the ground just a few inches from Kodi. There were three very young birds in the nest waiting with their mouths open to be fed. We quickly recorded Kodi’s information and tied pieces of marking ribbon to a nearby plant to mark the location of the nest and walked away to not cause more stress to the birds. We carried on tracking the last turtle of the day, the elusive Stacy. We just barely caught a glimpse of Stacey as she took off in a sprint when she noticed us coming towards her. Out of all the turtles in the study, she has the most personality. We located her northwest of the ephemeral pond. The weather forecast calls for thunderstorms this evening so I am interested to see how this influences the movement of the turtles.
June 5, 2023
We started tracking today near Otter Pond. When we arrived at the trail entrance we saw Winthrop professors Dr. Bill Rogers and Dr. Janice Chism. They were looking in an abandoned silo that is known to have barn owls inhabiting it based on the abundance of owl pellets littering the grown and small mammal bones. When we walked over Dr. Rogers informed us that there was a white barn owl at the top of the silo. Emily and I peeked our heads inside and saw the owl looking back down at us. After the owl flew away we went back to the car and gathered our gear to start tracking. While at the car Emily spotted an eastern ratsnake going under the car. We waited for the snake to remove itself from under my car before heading into the woods to track Jayda. We found Jayda in the pine stand under the vegetation of yellow crownbeard. We then drove to Dry Jax Pond to begin looking for Jupiter and Jasper. Jasper was still on the other side of the road but he seems to be heading closer toward the pine stands. Jupiter on the other hand is moving deeper into the hardwood pine forest. We then drove to Prairie to begin tracking Logan. While walking past the prairie we noted the abundance of monarch butterflies and bees flying around. We walked along the first trail until the beeping from the tracker signaled that we were getting closer to Logan. When we did find him he was under a few fallen pine trees completely covered by the fallen debris. After locating Logan we took a quick break before heading to BJs Pond. Once at BJs Pond, we began tracking Cierra. We found her along the edge of the pond in the hardwood pine forest. She was about 5 meters northeast of the pond. While near the pond we could see pond turtles and hear frogs croaking. We then moved on to our last turtle, John. We found John in the hardwood forest west of Francis West prairie. While looking for John I spotted a fawn napping in the middle of some fallen branches. When we got too close to it the baby deer ran off towards Francis Prairie. As we walked back to the car we could hear the deer hitting the surrounding trees to warn others of our presence. We quickly left the woods to leave the animals to their business and return back to our home.
June 4, 2023
Today Emily and I had the honor to join Winthrop professors Dr. Janice Chism and Dr. Bill Rogers for a yearly Nightjar Survey. This survey was conducted to aid in determining the conservation status, habitat usage, and population status of these nocturnal bird species. Emily and I were instructed to dress warmly as we would be out very late tonight. It was a cool night. The night sky was lit up by the magnificent glow of Venus and the many constellations that decorated the sky. When we were picked up by the group we were driven to the first survey out of 10 locations, and were given the rundown of how the night would go. Surveying would start promptly at 9:00 pm. Dr. Rogers went over the three main species we would keep an ear out for tonight: the nighthawk, the chuck-will’s-widow, and the whip-poor-will and demonstrated to us what each bird’s call sounded like. We would spend 10 minutes at each site listening to the bird calls. Once the introductions were concluded, we each went out in four different directions and stood silently, and turned on our listening ears. Almost as if on cue, when the timer started we heard the call of a chucks-will’s-widow, and shortly after we heard a whip-poor-will in the opposite direction. After hearing those bird calls I knew we were in for an exciting night. Once the 10 minutes were up we moved on to the second location. At the second location, we spread out again and began listening. During these 10 minutes, we observed the most breathtaking firefly display lighting up the forest around us. While at the location we could hear dogs barking in the distance and neighboring farmers’ cows mooing along with a few nightjar calls. As the night progressed and it gradually became darker outside, the night sky became lit with the large orange glow of June’s strawberry moon. This was the last full Moon of spring. Each site we visited consisted of a variety of habitat types from roadsides, pine stands, hardwood forests, and grasslands. It was a rare experience being in nature surrounded by complete darkness with minimal light pollution. Being in the country away from city pollution was truly a breathtaking experience that everyone should witness. At the end of the survey I had lost count of how many Nightjars we heard but I can still recall the sounds of the coyotes, bullfrogs, and cicadas creating music in the night.
June 3, 2023
Today Emily and I got the honor to ride along with one of the Wingate University interns, Kaitlynn Cook, while she made her rounds checking on all the game cameras around the property. She has 17 in total that she monitors every Saturday for battery life and to collect the SD cards. Since Emily and I have the luxury of being driven around the property today we grabbed our tracking gear and set out for the day. Riding along with Kaitlynn we got to see more of the property we do not typically get to see. A notable location was the Pecan Mound prairie.
While here we stopped and listened to the sounds of Thompson Creek and took in the sights. Another spot we got to explore was the Kayak Put-In. We walked around the creek and took in the beautiful sight as the sun cascaded down creating a beautiful haze over everything. Once we made it to Trail Camera 7 on the Half Moon north of Prairie 1 we began tracking our four turtles in the area starting with Sam. Sam was found west of Prairie 4 near a large pine of fallen pine trees that had been cut down. When tracking turtles we can almost with 100% certainty surmise if there’s a large pile of decaying trees, our turtle is most likely near it. Kaitlynn then drove us to the trail that runs between Prairies 1 and 3 to track the three other turtles in the area. We found Dipper was found in the same location as last time near the trail that runs between Prairie 1 and 3. We found Graham deeper in Prairie 1 under dense vegetation. Chloe was found in the pond stand surrounding Prairie 3 to the east. After that, we rode with Kaitlynn to check more trail cameras. Once we made it to the ephemeral pond in Muddy Branch we began tracking Stacey. While walking through the pine stands northeast of the pond we saw a black rat snake basking in the sun. After maneuvering around the snake we continued tracking Stacey. We found her walking on top of the leaf litter deeper into the pine stand. We then moved on to the last turtle of the day, Kodi. We found Kodi in the hardwood forest south of Blue House not far from the creek. Since we were done tracking for the day we continued to ride along with Kaitlynn for the rest of her route.
June 1, 2023
It was hot today, the high was 82 and we were definitely feeling the South Carolina heat. The wind was also high. Today we started behind the Blue House near Muddy Branch by tracking Kodi and Stacey. Kodi was found along the edge of the grassland and hardwood pine forest right behind the Blue House. Stacey took us on another adventure today. Emily and I made our way to a side trail and began walking to the location we had previously found Stacey hoping she would be in the general area. We were very wrong. Not only was Stacey not in the area we had predicted she would be. She was on the complete opposite side of the forest near the main trail directly behind Blue House. Emily and I trekked through the densest vegetation we have come across yet while tracking. We were surrounded by brier patches, fallen pine stress, and shrubs almost as tall as us. Eventually, after about an hour we finally located Stacey. She was in the stands east of the ephemeral pond. After locating Stacey, Emily and I took a much-needed break before heading again to track our last four turtles of the day. The heat from the midday sun had subsided as we made our way to the Half Moon trail to begin tracking Chloe. Along the way we notices more blackberries starting to blacken so we picked some more to eat and were met with a much sweeter taste compared to the last time, though some were still bitter enough to make our lips pucker. We located Chloe on the western edge of Prairie 3 surrounded by tall grass and shrubs. We moved on to the next turtle, Dipper, and found him on the trail that runs between Prairies 1 and 3 tucked under the understory vegetation. Next was Graham who we spotted on the southern edge of Prairie 1. Lastly, we finished the day with Sam. While listening to the beeps of the satellite receiver we could hear woodpeckers in the pine trees north of Prairie 1. We located Sam in the same pine stands northeast of Prairie 1. Emily and I finished the day relaxing in our hammocks, reflecting on today’s track, and planning for tomorrow’s track.
May 31, 2023
The morning humidity embraced us as we stepped out this morning. With the sun barely peeking over the horizon, we carved a path through the wet air to the car. A trail of dust clouded the air as we drove to our first location. We began tracking Logan near the Redbank prairie. He was found partially covered by the dampened leaf litter that covered the forest floor. The quiet woods were awoken by the eerie sound of branches snapping and shrubs rustling, the night’s spirits returning to their places. We moved to try and find the true source but were unable to find anything. We promptly finalized Logan’s notes and walked back to the car. We then drove to the next location by BJs pond to track Cierra and John. On exiting the car we noticed the shroud of trees lining the pond was removed, revealing the still, serene water. We paused to watch the water for a while to see what wildlife we could spot. We saw multiple pond turtles, heard frogs croaking back and forth to one another, and even spotted a red-bellied snake sticking its head above water. We continued tracking and found Cierra comfortable inside the log of a hollowed-out tree. When we attempted to get closer to her to pick her up she moved deeper into the log. Interestingly, John has also settled in a hollowed-out tree trunk south of Francis South prairie. He was so deep into the tree trunk we were able to locate him visually but were able to pinpoint his location using the tracker. We then drove to Jax Dry Pond to track Jupiter and Jasper. While driving down Jackson Road West we saw an Eastern Box Turtle traversing the road, bound for the pine stands. Emily leaped out to capture the turtle while I parked the car. I joined her on the side of the road and recorded the new turtle’s length, width, and weight. We determined that it was a male and placed him in the grass lining the pine stand for him to continue his journey. We then began tracking Jupiter and Jasper. Fieldwork usually goes swiftly without any major hiccups but today was a little different. While tracking Jasper near the forest edge I noticed an SUV slow down and stop in the road. The driver did not seem to see Emily and I in the forest, but they did see my car parked along the roadside. The driver then reversed his car and parked behind mine for a few minutes. To get them to move, I set off my car alarm while Emily and I hid in the woods until they drove off. Once they were gone, and we were less frightened, we continued tracking. Jasper was found near the forest edge completely covered by leaf litter. We then quickly began tracking Jupiter so we could move on to our last turtle of the day, Jayda. Jupiter was found partially covered by leaf litter. We finished out the day at Otter Pond looking for Jayda. She was in the same location as last week, under a fallen tree, but she was much more social today and we were able to pick her up. As the heat of the day approached, we returned home to input today’s findings electronically.
May 16, 2023
Today was a short day of tracking. We only tracked the four remaining turtles we did not track the day before, Cierra, John, Logan, and Jayda. The day started with tracking Cierra. We expected Cierra to still be in the mudbank of the pond but we located her in the hardwood pine forest on top of pine needles. Next, we began tracking John. John was located in the hardwood pine forests partially covered by some pine needles. We then moved to the next location to start tracking Logan and attempt to find Jimmy. We located Logan in the hardwood pine forest a few meters from the trail under a fallen tree. After locating Logan, we spent some time looking for Jimmy but were unable to pick up the signal of his transmitter. The last turtle we tracked was Jayda. Jayda was located in the pine hardwood forest surrounded by yellow crownbeard vegetation.
May 15, 2023
I returned the property with Emily again for tracking. We started the day tracking Dipper who was located near his previous location in the pine stand under a briar patch. Next, we tracked Graham who was still in the prairies. We then began looking for Chloe. Chloe was found to have left the grassland and entered a hardwood pine forest. Sam was next and he was found in the same pine stand he was located in a few days earlier. Interestingly, Sam appeared to be found mating but upon closer inspection we concluded that Sam was found mounting an untagged male turtle. We are not sure if Sam was attempting to mate with this male turtle or asserting dominance. After locating Sam, we spotted another untagged male in the same pine stand. The weight, carapace length and width were recorded for both of the untagged males spotted today.
We then moved to the next location and began tracking Kodi and Stacye. Kodi was found to have crossed the walking trail in his area and entered the hardwood pine forest. Stacey was located along the same creek she was found by previously. We concluded the day by tracking Jupiter and Jasper. Both Jupiter and Jasper were found along the forest edge of the hardwood pine forest about 10 meters from the road.
May 10, 2023
Today’s goal for tracking was to locate the remaining four turtles that we did not have time to track the day before. We started with tracking Dipper. We had expected him to still be in the prairie but we ended up locating him in the pine stands under a briar patch. Next, we started locating Chloe. Chloe was located in a grassland area near the forest edge of a pine stand. While tracking Chloe we came across an untagged male turtle as well as hog impressions in the grassland indicating that the hogs had been laying in the grass not long before our arrival. We then began tracking Graham. While tracking Graham we came across another untagged male turtle. We spent extra time recording this male’s carapace length and width as well as collected his weight. Much to our surprise, we located graham about 10 meters into the prairie, the same prairie we previously found Dipper in. We concluded the day tracking Sam. Sam was found in the same pine stand from the last time we tracked him and appeared to be eating some vegetation.
May 9, 2023
Emily and I returned to the property to begin tracking. Today, we started with tracking Kodi and Stacey. While locating Kodi we saw a deer run across the trail about 20 meters ahead of us. We located Kodi in the pine stand, again. Next, we started tracking Stacey. Stacey was located along a creek that runs through the property and while locating her we saw many frogs in the creek and even saw a few turkeys walking along the trails. Jayda was next and while tracking her Emily spotted a copperhead snake slithering in the vegetation on the overgrown trail. We were not able to take pictures of the snake. But, Jayda was located nearby in the pine stand in a briar patch.
While driving to the next location on the property to continue tracking I spotted an American Goldfinch in one of the prairies. We concluded tracking for the day looking for Cierra, John, Logan, and Jimmy. First was Cierra who we found in the mudbank of a pond. Cierra was located about 3 meters from the trail and just a few meters from the waters edge. John was located under a fallen tree in the hardwood pine forest. Logan was located in the hardwood pine forest. Lastly, we spent about 45 minutes attempting to locate our missing turtle, Jimmy. We were unable to locate him.
May 4, 2023
I returned to the study site with my thesis advisor Dr. Kiyoshi Sasak and undergraduate research assistant Emily Hansford. The goal for today’s track was to locate all 13 turtles and measure each individual’s length, width, and weight now that their hibernation period is over. We began with Dipper and located him in the prairies, again. Next, we began tracking Graham, Chloe, and Sam all of which were located in pine stands. We then moved to the next location to track Logan and Jimmy. Logan was located in the hardwood pine forest, not far from his hibernation location.
After locating Logan, Dr. Sasaki spotted a large black racer snake laying in the understory of the forest. Once we finished taking pictures of the snake we began tracking Jimmy. Much to our dismay, there were complications picking up a signal on Jimmys transmitter resulting in us not being able to locate him. We then moved onto the next location to track Cierra and John. Both of which were located in the hardwood pine forests. After a short break for lunch, we began to track the remaining 5 turtles. Kodi was located in the pine stands. Next, Cierra was located in the tall grass area surrounding an ephemeral pond. We then moved on to track Jayda. Jayda was found not far from her hibernation location in the pine hardwood forest. Lastly, we tracked Jupiter and Jasper. Both of them were located in the forest edge of the hardwood pine forest just a few meters from the main road.
January 14, 2023
Turtle tracking has started to slow down as temperatures become colder. As of today, all 13 turtles have successfully burrowed underground for hibernation. As to not disturb or cause stress to the turtles we do not attempt to dig up or disturb the ground around the turtles. While tracking this morning my field assistant and I were greeted with light snow flurries. Today, we started near Blue House tracking Jupiter, Jasper, Jayda, Kodi, and Stacey. While tracking Stacey we noticed that one of the ephemeral ponds on the property had refilled with water and we noticed a large Great Blue Heron along the edge of the pond. Next, we began tracking Jimmy, Logan, Cierra, and John near Fireworks and BJ’s pond. While tracking near BJ’s pond we noticed two ducks skimming along the pond and deer tracks next to the trail. Lastly, we finished the day tracking Graham, Chloe, Sam, and Dipper behind the Learning Center.
October 8, 2022
Locations: Blue House, Otter Pond, BJ’s Pond, Fireworks, and the Patriot Trail Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm
This weekend was our first time tracking since hurricane Ian hit the Carolinas. Luckily, all thirteen turtles were found alive and did not appear to have any damage done to their tracking devices.
The first turtle found was Kodi. He had crossed the trail behind Blue House into the nearby pine stand. This is the first time since tracking that he had crossed this trail. Next, Stacey was located under a fallen pine tree. At Otter Pond, Jayda was found in approximately the same area as she was two weeks ago.
Jupiter crossed North Jackson Road again and was located in a ditch off the side of the road. Jasper was found under a fallen tree about 5 meters from North Jackson Road. Next, Jimmy and Logan were tracked near Fireworks. Jimmy was found in a hollow tree trunk, and Logan was found just a few feet from the trail. While tracking John near BJ’s Pond, we saw deer tracks and could hear distant cattle. John was found to have crossed the trail near BJ’s Pond.
Cierra, who had crossed North Jackson Road and entered the prairie two weeks ago, has crossed North Jackson Road again and is back in the mixed deciduous forest. Cierra was found about 7 meters from North Jackson Road.
We finished the day tracking Sam, Dipper, Graham, and Chloe near Patriot Trail. Sam was found in a pine stand under some fallen trees. Dipper was located in the prairie, about 5 meters deep. Graham was found to have crossed Patriot Trail and walked to the other side of the forest near the horse equipment shed. Lastly, Chloe was found to have stayed near the open canopy mulch patch, about 1 meter into a briar patch.
October 9, 2022
Locations: Blue House, Otter Pond, BJ’s Pond, Fireworks, and the Patriot Trail Hours: 8:00am-2:00pm
Observations: Eastern Dwarf Tree Frogs and White-Tailed Deer
Today, we started tracking with Sam, Dipper, Graham, and Chloe. Most of the thirteen turtles were found in the same location from the day before. Sam was located in the pine stand under the fallen trees. This morning we observed many Eastern dwarf tree frogs resting on the shorter yellow crownbeard lining the trail. On the way to track Dipper, we noticed two turkeys walking near the horse equipment shed. Dipper was found a meter deeper into the prairie. Chloe was still in the briar patch 1 meter from the open canopy mulch patch. Graham was found in the dense forest near the horse equipment shed.
Next, we tracked Jimmy and Logan near Fireworks. Jimmy was still in the hollow tree trunk, and Logan had moved deeper into the forest, so he was about 3 meters from the trail. John and Cierra were next, near BJ’s Pond. John was found under some pine litter not far from his location the day prior. Cierra also stayed in her spot from the day before, a few meters from North Jackson Road.
Kodi and Stacey behind Blue House were next. While tracking Kodi, we saw a deer cross the trail, and we believed this was a white-tailed deer. Kodi was found deeper in the pine stand under some pine litter. Stacey had also moved deeper into the pine stand and was found near some fallen pine trees under the pine litter. Jayda was next by BJ’s Pond. We were able to track Jayda to the same location she was found yesterday, but Jayda has a habit of moving deeper under the forest litter while we track her. Hence, we were unable to confirm her location visibly. We could confirm her location with the tracking device, but to not further stress Jayda out, we left after about 20 minutes of trying to locate her visually.
Lastly, we finished the day by tracking Jupiter and Jasper. Jupiter was still in his ditch off of North Jackson Road, and Jasper was still under the tree we found him under the day prior.