Labor Day Weekend. Beautiful weather – hot and sunny. But everything looked dry and lifeless because of the heat. So, when I asked a weekend guest if they wanted to go on a mid-morning hike with me, they declined. I am sure they were thinking that it would be a waste of time. So, I went by myself.
Just a 20-minute walk, but these are the pictures of some of the things that I saw in that short time, and when I showed the pictures to my guest, they couldn’t believe that I had seen all of this!
It just goes to show you that if you slow down to look around and take things in, you can always find something interesting and new. Life is an Adventure!
On a recent hike, Jim came upon a box turtle that had just died. It was still decomposing, so no body parts had been scattered yet by animals. It was the perfect opportunity for me to learn about the skeletal structure of box turtles.
I knew that crustaceans, like shrimp and lobsters, use there exterior shell (aka exoskeleton) as their skeletal support, but I am embarassed to admit that I never quite understood how turtles were built. I incorrectly assumed that they shed their shells, like some ocean sea creatures, when they got too small and simply grew another one. Not so! It would be impossible for them to do so because they would not be able to walk after doing so as they would no longer have a backbone.
Box turtles do not have a separate backbone. Their backbone is fused and integrally a part of their box shell (see photo above). Surprisingly, they do have some bones, like a pelvis and legs, as you can see in the photo to the right.
Life is an adventure!