On a recent hot sunny afternoon box turtles headed towards their favorite puddle to cool off. This small puddle on a remote Calhoun County gas road had three different turtles sitting in the same mud hole.

By Forester Russ Richardson

In much of the northeastern part of America our native box turtles have become quite scarce and there are many areas that they are completely absent from the woods or so rare that they are protected by law.

For anyone who has driven in Calhoun and local Counties encountering a box turtle in the middle of the road is a common sight. They have a shape that is easy to recognize when they are crossing a paved road and it often takes the effort of more than a few conscientious drivers swerving or slowing down to miss them so they don't end up like the snakes that seem to have great difficulty crossing roads, alive.

In the backcountry, away from the hustle and bustle of asphalt roads, local box turtles have a better life and even some time to head to the beach on a hot sunny afternoon.

Experienced back road drivers in the area have undoubtedly also heard the distinctive and heart wrenching popping sound a submerged turtle makes when it is crushed by a vehicle. To avoid hearing such a sound, especially as the summer weather heats up, try to dodge puddles of standing water on remote roads and trails whenever possible, especially on very hot days.

One of the turtles headed for the hills at the sound of an approaching truck but the others stayed in the puddle and didn't move for the rest of the day.

This turtle stayed in the puddle until it had completely evaporated and barely moved for three days.

This turtle was looking for a mud bath and left the puddle after a day but he wasn't hard to track.