Monday, November 16, 2009


I spent the past 3 days immersed in classes up at Lake George with the NYS Wildlife Rehabilitators Conference. Taking the steps to sign up for and then attend this conference was so outside my comfort zone I amazed myself. It truly was the most eye opening experience I've had in a very long time. The classes were excellent and the veterinarians and Rehabbers were remarkable. Their dedication to raise or heal injured wild animals and return them to their rightful place in nature is incredible. They make sacrifices that few people would ever consider. I learned far more then I expected. The classes were well put together and the lecturers very well spoken and prepared. I plan on attending every year from now on. Next year it will be in Buffalo. I hope they have a few turtle classes again, as that is what I plan on specializing in. I found support in two wonderful women who have devoted their lives to saving our native turtles. I hope to design a program to teach the public about turtles and how important it is to leave them in the wild and not capture and keep them as pets. I'm feeling really happy and good right now, having found more direction as to what I can do to really make a contribution in this world. Saving a adult Wood and Box turtles contributes so much more then I had even thought possible. It takes a female wood turtle about 20 years of her life to just replace herself. They don't breed until they are into their teens, and with predation few babies live to breed. I need to figure out how to educate the public, I am determined to get the information out there.

Hike up at Cascade Lake Park today. GORGEOUS OUT! About 55 degrees. Still 4 Eastern Painted turtles out on the pond, one being my little head start guy from last Winter. Saw a deer, lots of Beaver sign up at the top of the mountain. He has taken down quite a few small trees in the last week, and put up a ton of browse for himself. Winter Wren,Juncos, W.T. Sparrows, Canada Goose still on the pond. Lots of Turkey Vultures and one Red Tail.

Bears still out and about, got my feeders last night!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Red-Bellied Turtle

This is the turtle that I've mentioned in other posts. Last Thursday night, October 30th I was able to walk right up to her, and pick her up. No struggle at all. I had been keeping an eye on her for about two weeks now, knowing something must be wrong that she hadn't hibernated and was getting increasingly slow to react to people coming near her, even allowing photo shoots. Poor old girl has a URI. She will be spending the Winter with us, housed in a 110 gallon stock tank in my family room. She is 13 inches long and weighs 9 pounds. The vet gave her a broad spectrum antibiotic shot on Wednesday night, and she will get another tomorrow, and possibly a third on Monday night. I am very happy I was able to save her life. Her name will be Jilly.

Today is my last shift at the Hawk Watch. NW, 8 MPH winds expected, perfect Red-Tail flight conditions, but no clouds for hawk-watchers to see those migrating. Hope the forecast is wrong about the cloud cover. It would be great to go out of the 09 season with a bang!