Saturday, May 28, 2011

A few weekends ago I helped out tabling at an environmental festival in Southeast PA. The guy organizing our table wanted a snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina).

I thought a little about that, thinking of little kids poking at the snapper, tugging its front claws until SNAP! I crossed my fingers and hoped for a small one, and as luck had it I found this little guy cruising a large puddle for tadpoles.

I also caught a cutie stinkpot (Sternotherus oderatus)...

and a painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) to round out the table.

The little snapper behaved quite well. It didn't musk, and didn't so much as hiss at the table-goers. It only snapped at me when I put it back in its home puddle, launching a strike back at me as I nudged it into the water.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Skink Update:

The saga of Skink Vicious has concluded with a happy rehoming. Tony Croasdale named the skink due to its tenacious biting (gotta respect a 5-inch lizard that, when faced with a six-foot-tall monster, is so ready to do battle). I initially thought it was a female (Tony switched the name to "Nancy"), but as Vicious' head got redder and redder, I was convinced he was a male.

Some friends from the otherwise-skinkless neighborhood where Tony found Skink Vicious crossing 47th St. put me in touch with a nature center in Chester County at which one of the friends' mother volunteers: the Great Vally Nature Center.

Jen and I took the drive out for the rehoming, and I happily handed our guest off to Jeremy, who showed me the impressive exhibit space in the Center, where I am content that our skink will help educate thousands of nature-curious suburbanites.