Four turtles in one day… sort of…

Fifth graders did it again! Ms. Tulizewski’s fifth grade class found two additional turtles emerging for the first time since November. These two also happen to have the most unusual names–Golden Sparkles and Bloopy Beans.

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Welcome back, Golden Sparkles!
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Bloopy Beans enjoying some time in the sun, but still encrusted with dirt.

I also found two turtles that were still hibernating, while digging up a clump of grass. My intention was to move the grass to an area where we have two pools installed, to provide a refuge for our spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer), which I did hear calling for the first time today.

Here’s what they sound like, in case you were wondering:

And here is what I discovered when I removed that clump of grass:

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This one was Googol, and Ford Prefect was close by. Interestingly, these two are also related; both are offspring of Yedlin and Boxy.

The soil remained very cool where I had uncovered these two turtles, which makes me wonder if that was the reason they were still hibernating. Perhaps the turtles that have emerged were in areas that received more sun, and the soil warmed faster. Of course, this will necessitate further research with my students, but I did want to make sure that Googol and Ford Prefect weren’t harmed by my digging tools (which I had used with care), so I did clean them up and check for any damage:

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They cleaned up rather nicely, too!

Once I was sure that they were fine, I returned them to their spots, although (as you can see) they appear to have awakened. Maybe they will go back to hibernating when the weather turns colder again, but I will be sure that we all keep a special eye on them, just to make sure they’re fine. Keeping our turtles happy and healthy has always been our highest priority!

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