Spring has begun and we are back ‘turtling’. It’s good to be back!! Springtime is busy…checking on overwintering turtles, looking for new wild juveniles and doing population surveys. My first weekend, I typically feel like I’m floating on a cloud… My excitement is boundless and my senses are honed in on all the springtime happenings. I just love tracking turtles at this time of year! I get the general location of the turtle and then stand back and watch its behavior. I am able to spy on these shy creatures due to the lack of vegetation growth at this time of year. Sometimes I even catch them mating! Often times they are out basking or just sitting under the water. So far I have caught all but 2 turtles and I am so happy to report they all made it through hibernation! Some such as Anne…well they weren’t in the last place I left them.
Let me introduce you to Anne Headstart. Anne was born in August of 2011 through artificial incubation at the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre in Peterborough, Ontario. (Anne is a name given to her…but doesn’t mean she is a female. I am using this name but she may be a male, we won’t know her sex until much later in life!) Her mother died before she was born, and Anne never met or knew her father. Anne was raised for two years at the centre with 8 other siblings. Anne was released in a beautiful fen in July of 2013. Anne was a wanderer right from the start. She instantly wandered across the fen in her first year, stopping and overwintering right where she left off. The following year she dabbled around beaver lodges and within one week she made her way across a huge rock into a swamp thicket. Anne spent her days in the thicket sunbathing on sphagnum moss, sitting in mud and swimming in sticks. I left Anne in that swamp thicket last November, and when April came upon…she was not there. Oh Anne where did you go now? Well she made her way into a big fen similar to the one she was originally released in. Dear Anne, traveler at such a young age…maybe this will be your new home. Only time will tell.
So much gratitude for this opportunity… and the adventure continues!
KTTC Field Technician