Herpetofauna - One Life's List

Eastern Box Turtle
Terrapene carolina carolina

Montgomery Co., Illinois, May 2, 1992


Although I spent a decade growing up on the banks of the Mississippi, with Illinois in plain sight, it was a long time before I ever came across an Eastern Box Turtle.  The western side of this turtle's range ends abruptly at the Mississippi.  Indeed, I had to get married to find one.  My wife and I were married in Litchfield, her home town, and we stayed several days there.  One day we visited nearby Lake Yeager, and as it sometimes happens with Box Turtles, we heard one scratching around in the leaf litter near the shore, and soon found it.  It was beautifully marked, all yellow and black on its head and carapace, and me with no camera.

I've seen dozens of Eastern Box Turtles since moving to Illinois, and most were incredibly beautiful turtles with brilliant colors on head, limbs, and shell.

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