Readers’ wildlife photos

We have a grab-bag this Friday. First, one photo from Stephen Barnard in Idaho; his caption is indented:

Here’s a sunrise this morning, through the smoke of Sharps Fire burning 35,000 acres to the northeast.

From James Blilie, who took his own photos this time instead of sending his son Jamie’s bird pictures. Captions indented (photos were sent on April 21):

I’m not much of a wildlife photographer, I leave that to my 14-year old son Jamie, who is very keen on it. But I got a couple of shots from our recent trip to New Orleans (two weeks ago).

Raccoon (Procyon lotor):

American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis):

As you can see, we were on a “swamp tour” and the boar is very accustomed to people.  And you can see why in this video [JAC: taken by James]:

And a reptile from Bob Felton. Can anyone identify it? Is it a box turtle?
A turtle, or tortoise, or something, out for a stroll around my wife’s glass office building – about 100-feet off a busy highway on the edge of Raleigh, North Carolina.  There’s lots to see hereabouts, if you’re alert.


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    “Here’s a sunrise this morning, through the smoke of Sharps Fire burning 35,000 acres to the northeast.”

    [speechless stare]
    [ hormones of uncertain type pulse through torso ]

  2. Terry Sheldon
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Last image appears to be an eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina), which, according to our friends at Wikipedia, is a turtle and not a tortoise despite its terrestrial habit.

    • tubby
      Posted August 3, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Agree. Looks almost like the eastern box turtle I rescued from the middle of a road a couple weeks ago.

    • busterggi
      Posted August 3, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      I’ll second that, once had one I called Big Guy but I only kept it for one summer then released it.

      • Mark Sturtevant
        Posted August 3, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Third. Mine was called Susie, and I had her for only a few weeks when I was about 6 weeks old. I think these can live a very long time, and so she may be out there still.

    • Posted August 3, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      You’re ID is correct. As to why it’s a turtle, here’s a reprise of an earlier explanation on WEIT:

      For the common names of these shelled reptiles, British and American usage diverges. In America, “tortoise” is applied to members of the family Testudinidae, the “true tortoises” (which are terrestrial). The word “terrapin” is applied to a single species, the Diamonbacked Terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin, which inhabits coastal salt marshes along the east coast of the USA. Everything else is called a “turtle” (for example, the Box Turtle, Terrapene carolina, shown in the OP).

      In Britain, “tortoise” is applied to all terrestrial species, which includes members of the Testudinidae, but also terrestrial members of other families (for example the Box Tortoise, Terrapene carolina, of the Emydidae). Fresh and brackish water aquatic chelonians are called “terrapins”, (for example the European Pond Terrapin (Emys orbicularis). “Turtle” usually means a sea turtle (for example, the Green Turtle, Chelonia mydas).

      There are also special common names, such as ridley, slider, and cooter. Some are used in both Britain and Ameirca (for example Kemp’s Ridley, Lepidochelys kempii, a type of sea turtle), while some are used in one but not the other (for example, the American name for Trachemys scripta elegans is the Red-eared Slider, while in Britain it is the Red-eared Terrapin).

      These modal differences in British and American usage are not so much a code, but more what you call guidelines.


      • Terry Sheldon
        Posted August 3, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        Now that you refresh my (failing) memory, I do recall the discussion of the differences in American and British usage. Thanks!

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted August 3, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Would that not be a Terrapin? 🙂

      • Nicolaas Stempels
        Posted August 3, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Oops, somehow wrote before I read our host’s elaborate post.

  3. Merilee
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Love the scarfing wild boar. A real jolie laide. Unfortunately I like to eat them, too.

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted August 3, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      That’s ok, in some circumstances wild boars like to eat bipedal mammals.

  4. Merilee
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink


  5. Rick
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    The box turtle appears to be a female. A male usually has a larger, boxy head and the head and front legs would be more brightly colored.

  6. Posted August 3, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    The boar appears to be a sow. 🙂

    • barn owl
      Posted August 3, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Here in Texas we call them feral hogs, and avoid that problem.

      Feral hogs are the main reason that I wasn’t able to collect a box of pecans for PCC(E)’s squirrels this past year – they came through the ranch in droves and ate almost all the pecans. Also churned up and trenched the soil and turf around the roots, which seems like it might not be great for the trees.

      • Posted August 3, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        They collectively called them “wild boar” as a species. Obviously is strictly incorrect to call a sow a boar. Just going with the local lingo.

        Her nickname was “Little Mama”.

        • barn owl
          Posted August 3, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          “Wild boar” also sounds better than “feral hog” if their meat is going to appear as a restaurant menu item. 😉

        • Posted August 4, 2018 at 2:17 am | Permalink

          Yes, I know. In the UK we also refer to them collectively as wild boar. My comment was intended to be mildly humorous.

  7. Mark R.
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I like the grab bag RWP’s…something in there for everyone.

    Yes, eastern box turtle.

    A guided swamp tour sounds like a fun recreation. I’ve done one on my own in Florida…muddy, wet, hot, humid and buzzing with biting insects; and in spite of all that, it was still enjoyable.

    • Posted August 3, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      It was highly artificial; but it was fun anyway. No bugs on ours, very reasonable temperature (early April). The highlight for me was seeing the alligators — I’d never seen them before.

      All the animals were habituated to humans and the tour boats (which feed them).

      The tour industry is pretty highly developed there in NOLA: They send buses around to the hotels to collect customers and drive them out and bring them back. Very low effort on the part of the tourists. It was what we were after, with our family group including an 82-year-old.

      • Mark R.
        Posted August 3, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Interesting, thanks for the added information.

        I saw alligators on the trip to Florida as well. Very impressive, seeing them in person.

  8. yazikus
    Posted August 3, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Idaho is a state of such beautiful contrasts. For those interested in both Idaho and fires, I would heartily recommend the book The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America.

  9. Posted August 3, 2018 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    I believe the wild “boar” is actually a sow. Check out those teats.

  10. Posted August 4, 2018 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

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