Blanding’s Turtle in the House

My husband, Mitch, has taught me so much over the years.  He has taught our children more than they will learn in their elementary, middle and high school science classes.  A lot of what we have learned is information from the field.  We have gone out with him to track Blanding’s turtles laying eggs.  Jason has gone with to catch dragon and damselflies.  Jason even caught a county record dragonfly in southern Minnesota last summer.

Several years ago when Mitch first started at Three Rivers Park District as an intern, he brought home a Blanding’s Turtle that had a cracked shell.  At the time, she was roughly 20 years old-prime egg laying turtle.  Last summer as we were out tracking turtles, we found this turtle once again!  And she was laying eggs!

Friday, Mitch brought a turtle home that had hatched in September and named it Chet.  Why?  Who knows.

 

Chet has received a lot of love and affection, especially from our three-year old, Lanie.  He’s probably been fed more than he is supposed to be fed.  Held more than he is suppose be held.  But who wouldn’t want a little extra love from a cutie like Lanie?

I don’t think turtles are pets.  I think they need to be wild and free.  Fortunately for Chet, he will be released in the Spring where he will join his fellow Blanding’s turtles, many who have over wintered in their eggs and will hatch out in the Spring.  I feel very fortunate to be able to share the outdoors with our children.  I am so happy to see them hold turtles, snakes, insects, frogs, fish, etc without being afraid of getting slimy or dirty.  I am so happy that they are able to have a real hands on experience with animals where they learn because they have a teacher in their dad, and their teacher is brimming with excitement.  In addition, they have a parent who is learning right along with them (that would be me).

This Saturday, we will be traveling to Fort Myers, FL; a place literally crawling with new critters for my children and my brilliant husband to find.  There will be brackish water to explore.  Saltwater animals to find.  Florida state parks to wander through.  I can’t wait!  I have so many pictures of my children digging in mud, or pulling up rocks in shallow streams.  Here will be another opportunity for them to look for interesting creatures.

Chet will be going back to his home away from home tomorrow.  Lanie will definitely miss him/her.  She has taken such good care of him/her.  Of course she is quite the little mommy!  I am grateful that we were able to have Chet visit us for a few days.  Hopefully he/she will end up being one of the many turtles radio tracked by Three Rivers Park District and several years from now, we will stumble upon him/her while looking for egg laying turtles.  Wouldn’t that be ironic?

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