Oakland County’s Yellow-Necked Reptile: The Blanding’s Turtle!

Blanding's Turtle

Wilder Side of Oakland County

Looking for a yellow-necked timid dinosaur? I’ve got the next best thing: A Blanding’s turtle! Signs of these ancient creatures may be a slow-moving dome lumbering across the road or a mysterious shell appearing like a glistening algae coated rock at the edge of a marsh. If the turtle’s long neck is extended and the dazzling golden-yellow throat and chin are exposed, the confirmation is certain, you are viewing a Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii); a “Species of Special Concern” in the State of Michigan. Species of special concern are generally described as:

“any species of fish or wildlife that does not meet the criteria as endangered or threatened but is particularly vulnerable and could become a threatened, endangered or extirpated species due to restricted distribution, low or declining numbers, specialized habitat needs or limits, or other factors, or is a species likely deserving of threatened or endangered status, but for which insufficient data are currently available.”

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Painted Turtle Time: Become a Kid Again!


Want to feel like a kid again, with an insatiable sense of discovery? Try wandering the wetland embracing trails of Oakland County and that just might happen. You may even rediscover the sense of wildness within you, no matter how citified or refined you think you are, or pretend to be. Sometimes we all just need something to stir our memories, slow our fast-paced lives and set us free, at least for a while. For some, it may have been the scent of May lilac blooms or the arrival of the first Ruby-throated Hummingbird. For others, perhaps just a soothing evening walk down to the solitude of a neighborhood pond, with a pause to stare at a bug-eyed frog, to gather thoughts before resuming a parental role. For me, it is often the first sightings of painted turtles basking on logs. What moment refreshes your feeling of childhood wonder?

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