Showing posts from March 31, 2013

Saratoga PLAN: (Land and Nature) Trail Network

Being active is an important part of family time. Sometimes all it takes is a walk around the block after dinner to unwind from a stressful work and school day. It doesn't take a huge event to turn off the television, go for a walk and really listen to what is happening with your family.  There are many places to go around Saratoga Springs. Saratoga PLAN (Preserving Land and Nature) has been working over time to provide a variety of wilderness locations to allow everyone to get out and enjoy nature.  In summer 2012 the 63-acres Coldbrook Preserve was added to the Saratoga PLAN list.  In addition to wildlife protection, the preserve will provide opportunities for walking, hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing for area residents and connects land owned by The Nature Conservancy, Saratoga County Forest, and Wilton Wildlife Preserve. Look for Blanding's turtle, a New York State threatened species. This preserve will provide critic space for its wetland habitat. 

Nature Detective: Blanding's Turtle

Did you know the Blanding turtle is named for a  19th century naturalist William Blanding of Pennsylvania?  Di you know the  Blanding Turtle can live up to 80 years!  Blanding's Turtle is medium in size!  It has an  average shell length of about  7 - 9"  usually not reaching any larger than 10"   Distinguishing feature?   A bright yellow chin and throat.  What is the upper shell called?   The carapace, which is domed but slightly flat along the midline but looks oblong when viewed from above. The upper shell (Carapace) is flecked with   numerous yellow  specks  What is the lower shell called ?  The  plastron  is yellow with dark blotches symmetrically arranged.  The head and legs are dark, and usually speckled or mottled with yellow.  I s it a box turtle?   No, Blanding's turtle is called a semi-box" turtle because the plastral lobes do not shut tightly like a box turtle, but the plastron are hinged.