Back for another year of turtle work at Lake County! I miss my friend Varun but he is now a fourth year vet student and on rotations. This year I am with Javelis, a first year student who is no stranger to field work. It’s only been a couple days, but we are having a blast being out of the classroom and back in the forest preserves!

On our first day, we set up the lab and started off the year with two hand captures. We stumbled on a painted turtle outside the lab and a snapping turtle basking on the side of the road at one of our sites. 

We also tracked two Blanding’s and got full bloodwork and swabs. It was a great first day for Javelis to learn safe snapping turtle handling, radio telemetry, and running CBC (complete cell count) bloodwork. Our second day was rainy and crummy. We were not lucky with finding turtles, but we did find two snakes! A young garter snake flattened her body and made her head triangular to intimidate us, and a Dekay’s brownsnake slithered away once we saw her. 

We are ready for another summer of turtles, ticks, beautiful prairie plants, and warm weather! Thank you for reading and following along with our work!

Marg and Javelis