Sunday, April 15, 2012

Back in the saddle...

Flattened musk turtle, Sternotherus depressus
It's been a year and 4 days since I last blogged. Facebook has taken the place of blogging to some degree, but I'm going to try to revive this old blog. Julia Zickefoose, whose blog is a favorite of mine, recently lamented in this interview "the decline of blogging in favor of the more immediate (and infinitely more shallow) frisson of social networking. I’m convinced that if I didn't share every blog post on Facebook, nobody would read my blog anymore."

It's the beginning of serious field season for me. I'm trapping flattened musk turtles at a concrete bridge removal site on Brushy Creek in Bankhead National Forest to get them out of harm's way before tomorrow's scheduled demolition. It's also red-cockaded woodpecker nesting time, and I need to be about three other places at once to monitor nests. On top of that, I'm preparing final maps and assimilating publication-quality images from numerous sources for two volumes that will update Bob Mount's The Reptiles and Amphibians of Alabama. Oh, and co-editing a natural communities book.  More on all that later.

Finally, check out Dave Steen's excellent blog over at Living Alongside Wildlife.  It's been a while since I actually went there (sorry Dave!), but I just did and I like what he's done with the place. 


Carol Biophilia said...

I'm so glad to find your blog! It's also pretty exciting to know that there will be an update to Mount's book. My old one is literally falling apart from use. Your picture is great! The first turtle we ever found on our property here in South Alabama was a Flattened Musk Turtle. I was on the ground looking at mosses and when I leaned to one side, I set my hand right down on it.
I look forward to more blogs and books from you.

Mark said...

Thanks Carol. The turtle you found on your place might have been a close relative, the loggerhead musk turtle, Sternotherus minor. Looks a lot like the flattened musk turtle, but has a more domed shell and different skin pigmentation. However, you said it was on the ground, out of water? Maybe a female on a nesting foray, but they seldom leave their stream habitat. Wouldn't have been a box turtle, would it?

David Steen said...

Thanks Mark and welcome back. We've missed you.