|Ephemeral pond on the Little Willamette|
Western Pond Turtles, a species listed as "critical" on the Oregon sensitive species list. We walked through open areas, down to a slough of the Willamette River where we would be likely to find them sunning on a log. Because they are shy creatures, there was a blind to hide behind. We were glad that beavers hadn't destroyed this blind, like they did the previous one.
We were in luck! There were 4 turtles enjoying the sunny morning. Western Pond Turtles get to be 40 years old; none of these are youngsters.
The hope is that they will be able to lay eggs on this nearby slope, recently taken out of grass seed production and now a safe place for turtles. Maybe sometime soon there will be baby turtles scurrying down to the river from here.
Do you have a land trust in your area? I wonder.
I hope that you do. It's a a really good way for land owners to work out deals that benefit their property and the ecosystem it encompasses.
|Purple Martin houses on the Little Willamette|
It's also a nice way for the public to have access to special habitats and learn about the creatures that live there.