While driving by the blueberry fields this morning I spotted a surprise guest – a box turtle in the middle of the road! This little turtle was walking across the middle of one of our berry ferry roads, a wide gravel path that we use to transport guests during to the fields during the harvest season. Box turtles live in wooded areas and grassy fields, so he seems to have found a great home near the Valley Farm blueberry fields (I say “he” because male box turtles usually have red eyes or bright orange eyes, while females’ eyes tend to be light orange or brown). This particular turtle seemed to be heading toward one of the irrigation ditches near the field for a quick dip in the shallow water.
Box turtles are currently listed as a “species of special concern” by the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Although once common throughout the state, populations have been declining due to habitat loss and illegal collection. Lucky for this turtle there is still plenty of space to live at the farm!