A Box Turtle at Sweetbriar

Tuesday, August 6, 2019,

This is an Eastern Box Turtle. I encountered this little lady at Sweetbriar Nature Center. She’s not quite a full-grown adult yet. While no longer a baby, she still has at least an inch to grow.

I was able to discern her gender using two methods. The first, which is not foolproof, concerns the color of the eyes. Males tend to have bright red or orange irises, whereas females usually have brown eyes. A more certain method of determining the sex of a Box Turtle is to pick the turtle up and have a good look at the plastron, or bottom shell. The plastrons of the males are concave which comes in handy during mating.

There are a few more methods that can be used to differentiate between male and female Box Turtles but, judging by the look she’s giving me here, perhaps enough is enough. Maybe that conversation can wait for another day. JK


Sweetbriar Has a New Owl

Friday, June 28, 2019,

This is a baby Barn Owl and that is my leg and boot in these photographs. Pretty cool, huh? This not-so-little critter is one of the newest charges at Sweetbriar Nature Center. It is a captive bred owl and it was given to Sweetbriar for educational purposes. When fully mature, Barn owls are truly magnificent animals and this young beauty is a very welcome addition to the Sweetbriar family.