Our plan--We didn’t put the porch light on so “she’d” be more comfy. We walked quietly by the front door so noone would be disturbed by noise. We peeked out the window at all odd hours to see if there were any changes. The girls looked before bed Friday night and saw nothing.
Imagine our surprise Saturday morning when we woke up to this sight:
Where did it go? Upon further inspection, we realized it was perfectly buried…like you wouldn’t even know it was there! I think this was the Mama’s plan!
Alexandra of Silver Bell Cottage and Thirkellgirl of Ivy Cottage Corner even had a few Naturalists take a look and I so appreciate it! At first we thought it was certainly the nest of a mallard duck as they live all along the river which is across the street from us.
But the perplexing burial of the egg lead us to box turtle, again fairly common here. Alexandra’s friend, Biologist Dave, sent this link about box turtles which confirmed it for us! Another site, from the Smithsonian, says:
"The mating season begins in the spring and continues throughout summer to October. Males may mate with more than one female or the same female several times over a period of several years. A female may lay fertile eggs for up to four years after one successful mating. Nesting occurs from May through July. Nests are usually dug in sandy or loamy soil, using the hind legs. Then eggs are laid in this cavity and the nest is carefully covered up again. Females lay three to eight eggs, usually four or five, and they are elliptical with thin, white, flexible shells. The female lays several clutches each year. Incubation normally lasts three months, but this varies according to soil temperature and moisture."
This is from my my youngest daughter's turtle book...
Wow! I suppose our family will be keeping an eye on this for the next couple of months!
Oh, one last detail from the Smithsonian article:
"Males sometimes fall backwards after copulation, and if they can't right themselves they die of starvation."
Oh no! I was worried about Mom, but do you think Dad is OK?