We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
After the Eastern Box Turtle, the Wood Turtle, clemmys insculpta, is my favorite. Nowadays, it is a treat to see one, since they are threatened or endangered over most of their range, which is the Northeast, south to Virginia and west to Iowa and Michigan.
Illegal collection of these handsome turtles has been a big problem, and dogs can easily kill them by crunching their shell.
I have usually seen them in moderately-sloped small streams with deep pools, but occasionally the pup has located them in the Spring, rambling in wet fields or moist woods, not too far from a stream. He is trained to leave turtles alone: the shock collar did that. He thinks turtles are electric.
When I was a kid, I picked one up and he ate my nectarine out of my hand. Sniffed it first, then went for a big bite. Cute. Then I put him back down after he pretty much ate the whole thing.
Very cool turtle. I was just brushing up on New England herpetology the other day -- no kidding -- and I was reading about Wood Turtles. I think it's wonderful that you've seen them in the wild. And yes, that is just a blush of envy.
It's a bit of a non sequitur, but in the vein of New England fauna, I was surprised to stumble upon a burying beetle here in New Hampshire. I mistakenly concluded that it was a rare American Burying Beetle, only to be gently corrected by very helpful professor at the University. Still, it was an amazing creature to observe. She was burying a dead Chipmunk, in which to lay her eggs.
I don't think it's merely nostalgia but it was a very common spring and summer occurrence to see wood turtles while growing up in Illinois and Michigan 40 years ago. They made great two week pets before releasing them.
Nowadays I rarely see them while tramping about in the fields and woods of Connecticut and Massachusetts.