Florida Softshell Turtle Comes Ashore

May 24, 2013 at 5:43 am (Georgia, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Photography, Wildlife) (, )

Florida softshell turtle with snorkel-like snout

Florida softshell turtle with snorkel-like snout

Yesterday was World Turtle Day and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge certainly has reason to celebrate its turtles (and tortoises.)  The Florida softshell turtle is an unusual member of a family known for its hard, protective shell.  Instead of hard keratin scutes (modified scales), its shell is leathery skin. You can see by the video that the shell flaps as the turtle walks.

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Jekyll Island – My Second “Home”

May 23, 2013 at 4:18 am (Birds - Georgia, Georgia, Nature, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , , )

Male Wilson's Plover and newborn chick

Male Wilson’s Plover and newborn chick

I will be spending a lot of time on Jekyll Island the next six months.  I am now a volunteer for the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and will be helping people learn about the sea turtles that nest here.

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Baby Gators and More in Okefenokee

May 17, 2013 at 4:58 am (Birds - Georgia, Dragonflies and Bugs, Georgia, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Photography, Wildlife) (, , , , , , )

Baby gator

Baby gator

The nice thing about working in Okefenokee’s back yard is that I can take a trip along Swamp Island Drive after work.  I had heard about the baby gators in a pond from one of the refuge volunteers, but I had not been able to see them.  Until yesterday.  I counted six babies – all under a foot long.  Although they look like this year’s hatch, I’ve been assured by gator experts that these are about nine months old, and they don’t grow much the first winter. Read the rest of this entry »

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