There are a bunch of small caves and cliffs around my creek and I usually check them out when I’m down there because I’ve found tons of bones in and around them in the past.
When I first saw this guy I thought he was alive and just hunkered down in the leaves but it soon became apparent that he had just found a nice quiet place to peacefully slip away some time ago. It was a sad sight but in a way it was actually sort of nice to see one that apparently died of natural causes unlike so many I’ve seen in the past that were killed by vehicles, tractors, lawnmowers, or cruel people with bb guns.
This is another one of those finds that stayed where I found it. Not only are Eastern Box Turtles considered vulnerable by the IUCN* but this fellow just had a really peaceful vibe about him so I didn’t want to move him from his secluded little spot.
Eastern Box Turtles can live between 30-60 years with legends of some individuals living to be well over a hundred years old. I hope this fellow had a good, long life.
*I believe that here in TN at least it’s illegal to possess eastern box turtle parts but I’m waiting to hear back from a TWRA official on that.
Played around for an hour or so at my creek yesterday. I loaded up on fossils for the shop and found a few neat little bone scraps too. Deer rib, coyote/dog scapula, and super weathered coyote/dog pelvis half.
Some cool goodies I picked up at an antique store in Franklin, KY recently. An old school pencil box for a Mr. George M. Badger, Age 12, from 1912, a neat wood box with brass inlays, old jewelry case, and the coolest things: conjoined Moqui Marbles and a Sea Heart seed pod.
The very bust-esque moqui marbles and the sea heart were in a giant box of rocks and sea shells and costume jewelry. Most of it was pea gravel or random beat up cowrie shells but I couldn’t pass up on those two gems for a quarter a piece. I didn’t even know what the sea heart was at the time but finally figured out after some googling.
Moqui Marbles are iron oxide concretions found in Navajo Sandstone in Utah. Hopi Native American legends said that they were left behind by deceased relatives to let their descents know they were happy in the afterlife. “Moqui” is Hopi for “the dead.”
Sea Hearts (Entada gigas) come from a plant also known as the monkey-ladder which is a member of the pea family. It’s native to Central America, South America, and Africa and has seed pods which can grow to be over six feet long! Each pod has ten to fifteen of these flat, heart-shaped seeds in them.
Here’s the tom turkey I found! The pictures have captions if you want to click through and read them.
This was my first time skinning a bird. If you looked at the skin I’m sure you would be able to tell, haha. I’d thought about cutting his tail off and keeping it fanned out but he’s missing a couple big tail feathers so I just kept the tail folded with the rest of his skin. It and his defleshed wings are sitting in salt and borax right now.
I’ll probably put the head in with the beetles and macerate the rest since my dermestid colony isn’t big enough to handle something that size just yet.