Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Plains Box Turtles and a Gopher Snake

I was recently storm chasing in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, where I saved four box turtles crossing the highways I was on. This one is an ornate box turtle (Terrapene ornata). He had shut himself down in the middle of the road after a close call with a car tire going 65. He was in a puddle of his own urine, a common box turtle defense when alarmed.

I found this gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer) on the side of a farm road in Greensburg, Kansas, about 2 hours before an almost 2-mile-wide EF-5 tornado struck. He probably did not survive if he didn't get himself down a hole, as pretty much everything above ground was scoured from the face of the Earth by the monster wedge tornado.


At 9:30 AM, Blogger lisa said...

Gorgeous turtle! I try to stop and move turtles off the road when I can (traffic safety considered), but last time I almost lost a chunk of my hand to a snapping turtle-I forgot how darn long their necks are!

At 9:49 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

I remember snappers. I used to catch them in Michigan, pull the leeches off them and release them. Not that it did them any good. I'm sure they got new leeches quickly.

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found a box turtle that looks just like that on my front porch, in The Woodlands, Tx...petco cound not identify it...i thought it was an escaped exotic breed..I guess I'll let it go...Thanks for the help identifing it..
PS..I'm in insurance to..how did you get started in adjusting???

At 10:37 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

I'm not an adjuster. I just like watching big supercell thunderstorms.

At 2:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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