Category Archives: Uncategorized

The eggs have started hatching!

I was met with quite a surprise yesterday afternoon when I checked on the eggs in their incubator, which is really nothing more than a food storage container half-submerged in a 10-gallon fish tank and a aquarium heater set to 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius). At that temperature, most of the babies produced should grow up into females, which I am hoping might

Learn more


Well, this is a surprise!

Time to do some editing of my turtle profiles! For the past three years, I had assumed that Bloopy Beans was a male, due to a slightly concave plastron and the fact that she (formerly he) was so shy that I never saw her eyes.   Yesterday evening, however, Bloopy Beans surprised me by digging a hole with her back legs, which could only

Learn more


Funding for an idea whose time has come

Over the fifteen years that I have been a teacher, two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and fourteen years as a parent, I have become increasingly aware of a profound disconnect in modern society. As we have become more and more heavily dependent on technology in nearly every aspect of our lives, we have lost our ancient contacts with the natural world. This

Learn more


What’s a sideneck turtle?

The one continent that doesn’t have any land-living turtles is Australia (aside from Antarctica, which doesn’t have turtles at all). They do have plenty of turtles, though, and we’re now going to include a pink-bellied sideneck turtle (Emydura subglobosa) in our studies. These turtles are native to Australia and New Guinea, and they are a special group of turtles that can’t draw heads back

Learn more


Tortoises!

Since I was unable to post for several weeks, there is plenty of news to report. Turtles keep emerging from hibernation, we are making contacts with a variety of turtle researchers and schools around the world, and I’ve decided to take in a few turtles from other parts of the world. The first two adoptions are leopard tortoises (pictured above) named Leo and Josephine.

Learn more


The turtles are finally returning! Again!

My apologies for the iPhone pictures of inferior quality, since I hadn’t charged my camera; the past few weeks have been very quiet on the subject of turtles, because March started off warm, but then turned rather cold. As a result, most of the turtles went back into hibernation…or that’s what we’re guessing, at least. Even in an enclosed courtyard, we still aren’t sure

Learn more


The frogs have returned

“There’s a frog!” several of Ms. Bertone’s first grade students started shouting excitedly while we checked the Riverside School courtyard for signs of life. When I approached where they had made the discovery, everyone was quick to point. The sight reminded me of my own daughter, many years ago, when she jumped up and down and cheered at the sight of a frog in

Learn more


We’ve found turtle #2!

With today’s high temperatures, the ground warmed enough for the emergence of our second turtle. At the end of the day, while leading a group of second graders through the Riverside courtyard to take temperatures of the air, water, and soil–which we will later try to correlate with turtle and frog behavior–we spotted Coquí coming out of the soil. As usual, the sighting of

Learn more


Dot Dot Dash appears again!

Last night, I took the weights on all of the baby turtles and collected DNA samples for a new round of sequencing, because I figured that the older turtles coming out of hibernation might keep me busy for the next few days. We are experiencing a warm spell, with temperatures projected near 26 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit) tomorrow, and temperatures reaching 20 degrees

Learn more


The story of Cutie, our toughest survivor

I have refrained from telling this story until now because I wanted to make sure that it had a happy ending, but now, one month in, Cutie’s looks like she’ll make it through. On Thursday, February 4, after thawing out from a big snowstorm the previous week, I decided to go into our courtyard and check on our fish and frog pond, which was

Learn more