76th Street Trailhead to 96th Street
5 miles: 111.5 miles total
An encounter with an eastern box turtle was the highlight of this day–something I’d been hoping to experience during this project. As I was passing by a small marsh I noticed what looked like a dirty yellow ball along the edge. I investigated and realized it was an upside down box turtle! Fearing it was probably dead, I picked it up and was surprised how heavy it was. Thinking it might still be alive, I lifted it to my nose and it smelled fine. So I tried to open the hinged part of its shell and it held tight–indicating to me that the turtle was hiding inside.
So I set it right-side up on the trail, retreated a bit with my camera, and waited to see if it would open up. After a few minutes it did open up a bit and peak out from within the shell, but it just stayed like that for about 20 minutes. Thinking it might be overheated from being upside down in the sun, I decided to pour some water over it. This really seemed to refresh the turtle since it soon came out of its shell and wandered back to the wetland.