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Don Lewis, Massachusetts Audubon Society,
Fox Island Wildlife Management Area

“It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over” — 18 October 2001

No season, baseball or turtling, would be complete without the sage advice of Yogi Berra.  Yes, nighttime temperatures in the Land of Ooze are dipping into the 30s, and wind chills make the days only feel like freezing.  Yes, all clear thinking terrapins have burrowed under a warm blanket of mud, dreaming of next summer’s adventures.  And, yes, I was beginning to sense a certain sad longing at closure of the 2001 season.

Even Hatchling 422, who recently emerged from her nest (#130) relocated in my garage (see Home Brew — 15 October), seemed a bit lonely as she swam around her faux marsh home.

But things brightened considerably at noon today.  Checking Nest 130 for signs of movement, I found five more hatchlings who decided to join 422 in her heated swimming pool.  As expected for late second clutch babies, they weighed only 4 grams and were all 2.5 centimeters or less.  Remaining in Nest 130ís sand-filled bucket are one more pipped hatchling and three potentially viable eggs, all waiting to crash the party.

I’m forever astonished that such tiny critters, freshly hatched, have already formed unique personalities.  Let me introduce the newcomers:

Hatchling 423

Hatchling 424

Hatchling 425

Hatchling 426

Hatchling 427

Itís a tough life for late emerging hatchlings.  Winter comes early at the end of the terrapin universe and these poor babies are forced to watch whirlwinds of fallen leaves through their sun-drenched window as they float around in a steamy aquarium.  Yogi, Iím depending on the magic of your words.  I desperately need a warm spell to usher these characters out into the marsh before they become irreparably spoiled.