Welcome back readers!

This past week the water continued to drop and we had to hike out toward the middle of the marsh to find enough water for our traps. Thursday and Friday we got some of the rain we had been asking for and bundled up accordingly. We were reminded to keep our raincoat outside our waders so the rain doesn’t run into them. By splitting up to check traps, we also had time to use telemetry to find multiple adults throughout the week. We even found the massive male Blanding’s named “Das Helmet” for Maura to meet!

This week we wanted to take a moment to share with you the people that have made this field season possible.

Alexis and Maura: As you already know, we are the vet students brought in to assess the health status of Kane County’s turtles. Alexis is known for making a squeak noise when falling (often) and giving amazing directions (often including “see that tree?”). Maura is known for always having a spare glove in her pocket and and amazing often entertains us with her weekend stories.

Bill: As our loyal readers may remember, Bill is the leader of our clan. He is the county’s  wildlife biologist and leads the Kane County Blanding’s  turtle conservation efforts. Bill has been working hard the past couple weeks, alternating between normal day duties and night egg checks. He is known as the dad of the crew and a trap pulling machine.


Natalie: She is a Kane County wildlife seasonal who recently graduated from the University of Illinois Integrative Biology department. She is a boxing queen, ready to take down any cattails in the way. Natalie is known for her one liners and is the best turtle doula around (when some of our female Blanding’s don’t lay their eggs in the expected timeline we medically induce the egg laying process). She is also known for her dedication to catch turtles, walking for miles looking for the most stubborn Blanding’s.

Joey: Although joining our team late this summer (this week was his first week!), Joey is not new to Kane County turtle work. As our loyal readers may remember, he was a seasonal the summer of 2019 and last summer he made an appearance toward the end of field season as headstart telemeter guru. We have enjoyed hearing all about his recent crocodilian work and are appreciative that the feistiest species we work with are the snapping turtles.

Special Guests:

Dr. Allender, the Epi Lab boss, the turtle doctor, joined us for a day earlier this summer.

Dr. Laura and Kelcie joined us in the field for a day earlier this summer and for the headstart processing.

Rachel, Kayla, and Carley also joined for the adorable headstart fun!

Marsh-a: Her temperament is always changing, sometimes she is easy to cross while other times she holds onto our feet up to our knees. She can be forgiving, windy and turtle giving. Other days she is hotter than the sun and hides the turtles. Although she is usually the one to make us fall, Marsha is always there to catch us in her wet embrace.