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my turtle season has started

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:47 pm
by newoldglory
Seems a little early this year but they are here. Instead of rabbits bringing the eggs, I get turtles. The day before Easter, the first turtle came in and laid. These are the soft shells. Another came in today but I scared it off when I came in to the basin after work. It will be back tomorrow to lay. I've seen two snappers returning to the water lately but have been unable to locate their lairs. They are the best at hiding their lairs. The Old Glory Island Is going to get laid. :toothy7:

:proud: :old_glory: :usa: :florida: :rebel: :rebel: :rebel:

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:07 pm
by Whitebear
Its the "Circle of Life", makes me think of the tune from the Disney Movie The Lion King, and YOU get to see and be a part of it first hand my friend !

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:13 am
by Olf Art
Gerald, we live in a retirement community that's connected together by a lot of canals/sloughs and we see a lot of water birds right out our back door. It's fascinating to watch the ebb and flow of the ones that Winter here ...... everything from scarlet ibis, to duckbills, to sand hill cranes. And ducks ..... plenty of them too. One bird that I always look forward to every Autumn is a magnificent mating pair of Great Blue Herons. I've never tried to walk up on him, but there's not a doubt in my mind that he stands nearly 5' tall, and his woman is always nearby. They're gone now for another season .... probably back to coastal SC, but like Whitebear said if you care enough to watch, the circle of life can be right outside your back door.

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:16 am
by Waterbugger
The turtles are early this year. we stopped taking them last week. we take one a week when season is open for personal consumption, last week was the third turtle in a row that was full of eggs when we cleaned it. They are about a month early.

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 8:44 am
by glades cat
Gerald. After so many years of performing this turtle hatching ritual, you are surely one of the few folks that can walk up to them and ask, "Who's your daddy?" :lol:

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 4:56 pm
by Olf Art
glades cat wrote:Gerald. After so many years of performing this turtle hatching ritual, you are surely one of the few folks that can walk up to them and ask, "Who's your daddy?" :lol:
Rick, by now they're probably on a first name basis! Is it legal to have a baby softshell as a pet ... like in a small aquarium?

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 5:09 pm
by radtech
Pretty cool, Gerald. Look forward to seeing you and old glory again in may. Hope to contribute a little as I did last year, to the turtles' proliferation

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:30 pm
by glades cat
Yea Olf, first name basis, and once you name them, you can't eat them. The Un-named are free game.
I have a couple of generations of turtles in my back yard. Haven't seen any nests yet.

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:51 am
by newoldglory
Olf Art wrote:
glades cat wrote:Gerald. After so many years of performing this turtle hatching ritual, you are surely one of the few folks that can walk up to them and ask, "Who's your daddy?" :lol:
Rick, by now they're probably on a first name basis! Is it legal to have a baby softshell as a pet ... like in a small aquarium?
"Olf", those rules are in the "fine print" section. I cannot remove nor transport hatchlings from this area without a special permit. I'm sure that you cannot secure a hatchling during hatching season for personal containment but it should not be a problem after hatching season since it is legal to take a turtle for personal consumption at the appropriate time. I have applied for a farm permit in the past but was unsuccessful. It was said that I did not need a permit at the time because the soft shell was not an endangered species. The turtle laws have changed since then and one day I will re-apply.

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:38 pm
by newoldglory
As I sit here, I have 3 soft shells on and off the island. They're skittish and reluctant. I have to wear a turkey screen while I move about the cabin because if they see my eyes, they will abort. It will help if I can see where they lay but not necessary. They come in at about the same time each day and usually just before a storm or shower. I am laid up for a few days due to a hematoma that I took from a slip and fall 9 days ago. It took this long for it to go bad. I will be here tomorrow so in these two days, I should be able to mark some new lairs. 8) Hopefully, the beer will hold out. :thumbleft:

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:09 pm
by radtech
Hope you feel better, Gerald! Look forward to seeing you the end of May. I know how it is. I have multiple hematomas from my boat falling on me last Monday. Real nasty. My leg is still numb just above the knee.

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:04 am
by radtech
Sure am looking forward to having the opportunity to help you with the turtles. I really enjoyed it last year. Don't forget about the ride at Mack's on May 28th. Got a ton of stuff put up for the low country boil afterwards. Gonna be a great time

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:17 pm
by newoldglory
Dam that hurt me as much as it did you. :lol:
I had the three turtles come back in this evening but only one of them laid. I got some great videos of them scouting the island and a great one of the turtle laying the eggs. I will go in to work tomorrow and should get back early to see the others come in to lay. :cheers:

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:19 pm
by glades cat
I've been watching my turtles and haven't found any nests yet.

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:19 am
by radtech
Yeah, it wasn't pleasant. Lol That's awesome! Wish I was there to hide and watch em lay. That would be so cool.

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:35 pm
by Olf Art
Once they've laid a nest, how long before you see hatchlings?

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:45 pm
by newoldglory
I had 2 more lay last evening. The third turtle did not lay (or hid the nest well) and did not come back this evening. I saw the first lay and got a full video of it. The second either laid while I was videoing or came back very late. I found her lair while I was mowing this evening. If the third laid, I may find it later on while looking for other lairs. Sometimes the grass will be green enough to hide the lair but after a few days, the grass will die off and I can see the lair. The incubation period can vary depending on the temperature of the lair. One in the shade, will take as much as 10 days more than one next to concrete (that holds heat through out the night = constant temperature). Normally, I figure 70 days. Each year, I improve my operation through education.

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:51 am
by radtech
:thumbleft: :thumbleft:

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 8:57 am
by glades cat
Gerald, How can you determine the top of the egg after it has been removed from its original position in the nest? It is a soft-shell egg and half was opaque and the other half was translucent.

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:33 pm
by newoldglory
glades cat wrote:Gerald, How can you determine the top of the egg after it has been removed from its original position in the nest? It is a soft-shell egg and half was opaque and the other half was translucent.
Wow! I'm sorry for the delay. I dropped the ball. Apparently you found some eggs. The eggs you described are sliders. It's very interesting that the hard shell turtles have soft shells and the soft shell turtle have hard shells. The opaque is the top and the translucent is the bottom. If they are moved, they must stay in that order or they will drown in their own fluids. With soft shells, the eggs are hard shell and when first laid, they are translucent (pinkish). But as time goes on, the shell turns white on the top (within 2 days) and the white gradually engulfs the egg down the side until the entire egg is white. All these eggs must be marked to insure hatching (like gators). If you find a soft shell lair (within the first few days), you can remove them and mark them with an endelible pen. If the eggs you find (dig up) are full white, Then you must mark them "in place" before removing them. Otherwise, they may not hatch. ---------Hope this helps. ------------I now have over 30 lairs on the island. I may have missed at least one.

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Tue May 24, 2016 9:33 pm
by newoldglory
I'm on a roll now. Over 50. 6 today. I missed one lair, maybe I will find it later. As soon as I find them, I mark them with a dated stake so that I will know when they will hatch. Then I cover the lair with a colander so that the Ibis will not find them and empty the lair. That's approx. $300 worth of colanders. :roll: Before they hatch, I must install a metal ring (partially under ground) to keep them from escaping from under the colanders but high enough so that they cannot climb over. This way, I can collect them and release them into the safest place possible in hopes of them surviving and reaching maturity to repopulate. However, without a nesting area, they are doomed to perish (as they have in the past) since we constructed the levies to hold water in this area. In the past 4 years, I have released well over 5000 hatchlings into this area. I have a plan to build "floating turtle nesting islands " and have a date to meet with the WRAC committee soon to present my proposal. I have documented my progress and now have some doors opening for future progress. I have no problem with what I am doing but will need financial help with my future plans. For anyone that wishes to donate to my project, The link is; https://www.gofundme.com/save the turtles2a Or, Google-gofundme and search for " save the turtles area 2a everglades" . All help is appreciated.

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Tue May 24, 2016 9:44 pm
by radtech
That's awesome, Gerald! Can't wait to ride out your way. I'll be down at Mack's on Thursday. I'll give you a shout when I'm settled in. How are you doing?

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:12 pm
by newoldglory
I'm sure that some of this is being posted on facebook by someone but I do not do facebook. Bishop Wright got me in the front door to the WRAC quarterly meetings and I am to present my proposal for "man made, floating turtle nesting islands" in Area 2A of the Everglades. ( water management/water conservation). The meeting will be held at the Water Management building on Gun Club Rd. in WPB at 5;00 pm. Any one that can make it, please show up for support for this cause. The Commission seems to be open for this type project and I believe that I have a great presentation thanks to great people that put this together for me. It's well known that I can start trouble but I need pro's to bail me out when the going gets tough. :roll:

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:21 pm
by newoldglory
The laying stops on the weekend because of boat traffic but come Monday morning they come in to do their job. Turtles can elect when to lay. I currently have 76 lairs marked on the island. (that I know of). The first is to surface about the 15th. Still more to lay and a lot to hatch. :toothy7: I had 5 come in to lay on Friday. They like to lay just before a storm. Time to drop a load? :scratch:

Re: my turtle season has started

Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:07 pm
by newoldglory
No hatchlings yet. :scratch: The ground temperature must be cooler this year that last. I have now surpassed last years lairs. I'm 90 or over. I'll get another count tomorrow. I've used all my stakes from last year and will cut more tomorrow. I picked up 10 more colanders a couple days ago and will use half of them tomorrow. :roll: Had 2 turtles come in yesterday and 3 today. Giddie up!!!