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The Run Has Begun


Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
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Weaver Dunes Field Report Early Summer 2001By John LevellMonday, July 23, 2001

As Spring 2001 draws to a close, the season's exceedingly wet and cool weather is still cause for concern to those of us working on the Blanding's Turtle project at Weaver. Is the unbelievably small number of animals captured thus far really just a reflection of difficult working conditions, or has low temperatures and an overall lack of sunshine resulted in an actual change in normal turtle behavior?

These animals are after all cold-blooded, dependent on environmental heat for the warmth required to complete all necessary bodily functions. Digestion, mating, the production of eggs, even movement, only possible within a relatively narrow thermal range and all inextricably intertwined to the vagaries of weather.

So how will local turtles respond to what, from our standpoint at least, were seemingly far from ideal ecological conditions? Has the well below average temperatures of spring disrupted the timing of seasonal turtle activities? If so, will these seasonal activities be simply delayed or will some, nesting perhaps, be abandoned altogether?

By the final week of May, the start of the Blanding's Turtle nesting season last year, it is abundantly clear that the timetable of "turtle events" at Weaver is already behind schedule. X-rays of some females, hand-caught in Kelly's Pond, reveal that most have yet to develop shelled eggs.

Not surprisingly, this only increases our trepidation. No Blanding's Turtle nesting migration would mean that weeks of physical effort expended installing a half-mile of drift fence will amount to nothing more than wasted time. With this far from pleasant thought firmly in mind, all we can do is wait.

On the sixth day of June, the peak date of nesting activity in 2000 with over 180 Blanding's Turtles processed, the first dozen or so females of 2001 finally turn-up on our fence. Physical examination and more x-ray photography confirm that these "old girls" are indeed loaded with eggs, an unexpected surprise considering the previous week's view of the reproductive condition of our females.

Cautious optimism concerning the start of the 2001 nesting season is tempered somewhat by the small number of turtles captured over the next few days. On June 10, for example, only twenty-five or so Blanding's Turtles are found, despite a full evening of checking fences and patrolling area roa .....
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Carrots do Love Tomatoes

Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, July 23, 2001

This week I would like to share some excerpts from the darling of companion planting, Louise Riotte's great book Carrots Love Tomatoes. This is the sequel to her very popular Roses Love Onions.

On ..... 
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A Stickler for Reality

Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
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By Wayne PikeMonday, July 16, 2001

Having been home from our trip to Colorado for a couple weeks, I have had time to reflect on some of the events and observations that we made. Traveling to another state can hardly be considered exotic, but i ..... 
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Olympic Games With Chinese Tendencies

Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
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Monday, July 23, 2001

If you havent heard by now, China will host the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The country has been working for the last 10 years to get the games believing that the international spectacle will give China the prestige ..... 
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Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
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Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
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Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
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Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
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Submit a Letter to the Editorhere

Fri, Jul 20th, 2001
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To the Editor,
Monday, July 16, 2001

Does anyone remember the phrase, Lets Keep America Beautiful or how about Dont be a Litter Bug? Maybe these slogans date me, but I can remember when there was an emphasis placed on not litte ..... 
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