Hi all and welcome back to the blog! Last week we continued the tradition of participating in Blanding’s Bowl – a week when we make work into a game. Each year, everyone who works in the Blanding’s Recovery Program sets their own traps and looks for hand captures to earn points. Each Blanding’s turtle caught earns 15 points (plus bonuses for being wild born, not caught in a certain number of years, earning naming rights, etc) but you can also lose points by catching common snappers or mammals in your trap. Carley and I also earn a vet tax (10% of whatever the turtle is worth) for working up the Blanding’s.

In total we placed more than 80 traps, sampled almost 50 turtles, and caught even more painted turtles, snapping turtles, and Blanding’s turtles we had recently sampled, in just 4 days!

The big winner of the week was Kaleb with a whopping 795 points! Shelby came in 2nd place with 365 points with Timmy closely following in 3rd place with 345 points. Traditionally we also celebrate the person who earns the fewest points. This year, that was me ūüėā

Blanding’s Bowl marks the beginning of the end. Carley and I only have 4 weeks of field work left in Lake County before we return to Champaign to continue lab work. We can’t believe how quickly this summer is going by! We will be back soon to tell you all about our last field adventures.