July 16, 2024

Message from a Captain – The Solitary Box Turtle



The Cap’n

Message from the Cap’n is a compilation of fishing advice, waterman and weather insights, Chesapeake lore, and ordinary malarkey from the folks who keep their feet wet in the Potomac and St. Mary’s rivers.


Maryland Department of Natural Resources has some advice on handling Eastern Box Turtles. They hibernate during the winter months after burying in October and emerge from the ground in April. They are solitary creatures and have a territory of about one-half acre. If moved from their territory they will become confused trying to find home again. But the link above does have some hints if they need some help crossing the road.

Box turtles are opportunistic feeders enjoying berries, mushrooms, and insects. They like moist habitat and spend much time buried under leaves and come out to feed after rain fall. Many box turtles live over 30 years in the wild.

Please let me tell you their story another way

The Box Turtle


Nature says what sex I shall be

Wait till Fall and you shall see

Warm clime brings out the she

Cooler time brings out the he


I roam over my leisured ground

And much stuff to eat is found.

I like it moist but not too hot

To keep me in my favorite spot


Bother me and I’ll shut down

Till a quieter time is found

By closing top and bottom shell

To dwell closed up for spell


I claim a half-acre domain

Eating berries and insects to maintain

I make not a good pet

Leave me in my habitat


Moved from my territory confuses me

Please admire me and leave me be

I know exactly what to do

To share my world with you


Till next time, remember “It’s Our Bay, Let’s Pass It On.”

To learn about tours and trips into the Chesapeake, keep in touch with Fins + Claws on Facebook. Catch up on Messages from the Cap’n Member Page. Please visit Cap’n Jack’s lore and share with your social media sites. Or reach him here: [email protected] or 240-434-1385.

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