Juliana and Xiaotian mark a snapping turtle by notching it's shell

Juliana and Xiaotian mark a snapping turtle by notching its shell

It has been an eventful first few weeks out in the marsh searching for the first hard and shiny (or mossy or leech-covered) shells of the 2015 turtling season. Along with these little fellas, I am thrilled to be back waist deep in the muck of the marsh, as is Xiaotian Wang… who prefers long strolls combing through the dense stands of tall reeds in search of our little friends.
After quickly ironing out some kinks from last year’s field season (aka. patching our waders) we quickly got back into the swing of tripping over our own feet again! We quickly came across our first handful of turtles for this season. With the help of two volunteers, Kelly and Leanne, who joined us for our first week of turtling, we were able to start the season off on the right foot! Our volunteers helped to spot mating Map and Blanding’s turtles, our veteran Snapper wrangler Xiaotian got right back into her groove as she began plucking Snapping turtles out of the muck left, right, and centre, while I managed to get a hold of a few Spotted turtles… and this is just the beginning! We are looking forward to a season’s worth of all things turtle, and can’t wait to see what else this year has in store!

— Juliana Skuza