On Snails and Slugs: A Wood Turtle’s Perspective

Years ago when I first encountered a Wood Turtle with a viscous brown goo oozing out of its mouth I thought something was wrong. Generally speaking, whenever a turtle has a runny nose, eyes, or slime coming from its mouth it is bad news, and a disease pathologist I sent some pictures to suggested the […]

On Myths and Milksnakes

One of the most common, yet misidentified, snakes in Northern New England is the Eastern Milksnake. Unlike species such as Northern Watersnakes, which are often confused for similarly-patterned Copperheads or Cottonmouths, the Milksnake is mistaken not only for Timber Rattlesnakes, but also another venomous species that doesn’t actually exist: the “checkered” or “spotted adder”. Early […]

Smooth Turtle Leeches

Few aquatic organisms in freshwater environments elicit such strong negative reactions as a leech. They are gross, slimy, bloodsuckers and they creep people out. For those willing to dig a little deeper into their biology, however, leeches are very fascinating animals. For starters, leeches are hermaphroditic and some provide parental care to their young. Then […]

Varied Habitats Key to Wood Turtle Success

Looking down into many river valleys in Northern New England you’ll see forested mountains, rolling hills comprised of hay fields and pasture, and extensive floodplain wetlands with a clear, gravel bottom stream meandering through the middle. Wood Turtles don’t necessarily need access to absolutely everything within such a view (apart from the stream), but a […]

August Photo of the Month

Female Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) found on the forest floor in Northeastern Vermont. She was hit by a car in May and is now being tracked with radio telemetry so the progress of her recovery can be monitored.