Smooth Greensnakes: My Most Abundant White Whale.

Ever since childhood I had a fondness for snakes and some of my earliest memories involve watching neighbor kids take a step back as I wrangled small serpents from ditches and rock piles (though I am not sure if my friends were distancing themselves out of fear or an aversion to most snakes’ typical defense: […]

Filling the Void: Public Outreach in the Year of Social Distancing.

I am very thankful that due to the nature of our Wood Turtle conservation program and the low Covid-19 positivity rate in Vermont, our field work in the Great Northern Forests was able to move forward without the need to make substantial operational changes (although the first few weeks were touch-and-go to say the least). […]

Diamonds in the Rough: Are Populations of Elusive Ribbonsnakes Hiding in Plain Sight?

As a kid back in the 1990s I was absolutely positive I had both Common Gartersnakes and Eastern Ribbonsnakes slithering around in the fields behind my house, but today I chalk that up to some shotty use of a field guide on my part. Gartersnakes are widespread in Vermont and the only species of snake […]

On the Longevity of Turtles

I would wager that the oldest wild animal in almost every state in the lower 48 is some sort of turtle, but knowing exactly how long they can live is a fairly tricky matter to resolve. Wood Turtles (Glyptemys insculpta), for example, have been confirmed up to at least 55 years of age in the […]

Elusive Wood Turtles

“I’ve lived here my whole life and if there were orange-legged turtles crawling around on my farm I’d know about it”. We’ve heard iterations of that line several times now, and perhaps my favorite followup quote, uttered moments after finding two Wood Turtles near the farm’s river ford, went something like “I’ll be dipped in […]