I've Been Everywhere Dennis Daubney – Photography, Graphic Design, and Organic Living

25Jul/090

Realistically Saving Our Turtles

Six out of ten turtle species native to Massachusetts are  endangered according to the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA). These include the Box, Wood, Spotted, Red-Bellied, Bog, and Blanding turtles. The summer time is a crucial time for our turtles as they move from waterways (often crossing busy roadways) to traditionally safe nesting areas.

Turtles are incredible creatures with lengthy lifespans. Unfortunately our turtles, in New England's most populous state, are either losing their habitat completely or having their traditional routes of travel interrupted with roadways. Often, they are prone to becoming the victims of vehicular manslaughter.  Their newly hatched offspring are vulnerable to vehicles, as well as a number of predators.

Mass. Wildlife recommends caution in assisting any turtle crossing roadways. If traffic is relatively light, you can safely move a turtle in the direction it is heading, but just assist it in crossing the road, nothing more. Turtles have their own genetic form of GPS, akin to a salmon traveling back to its spawning grounds.

Care should also be taken when handling Snapping Turtles. They should be handled by the tail and supported underneath the shell. A bite from a Snapping Turtle can sever a finger. The less you handle them the safer you will be. (Note: I am no expert on handling Snapping Turtles, so any advice taken from this post is taken at your own risk and I release all liability.)

Report Rare Species to Mass. Wildlife

The Turtle Conservation Project is also keeping tabs on the tracking and conservation of New England's turtles. Report your turtle sightings to the TCP! "Where citizen scientists monitor turtle populations."

I found the TCP site after helping a turtle cross a street just a week after reading Mass. Wildlife's report on turtles. I wanted to see about reporting the species. Species monitoring programs are key to scientific studies as well as the possible definition of our state's turtle population.

Although I haven't had the chance to photograph turtles in New England, I have photographed them elsewhere. Due to their slow nature on land, they may be easy to photograph. Submerged or partially submerged makes for a turtle photograph that I enjoy best.

Here are two photos of Australia's Eastern Long-Necked Turtle at Sydney's Taronga Zoo.

17Jul/094

Great Book for Budding Agriculturalists

For those wishing to start going green, there are a number of books and resources out there to help you get started.

One that has greatly assisted me is The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It by John Seymour.
self-sufficient-life-cover

Seymour covers the wide spectrum of husbandry from cover to cover. He touches on all aspects of agriculture and provides detailed plans for working your land, whether you have one acre of total land, five acres or more, or even an urban garden.

The book is well-laid out with sections on growing vegetables, raising animals, land preparation & maintenance, harvesting wild game, dairy, brewing & wine making, green energy, crafts & skills, and so much more. Each section gets very detailed with illustrations on various things such as how to butcher a beef cow into different cuts or how to make butter, cream, or cheese. The detail really is top-notch.

The book has helped me with a number of things. Among them were harvesting wild concord grapes and making homemade jam, levering up boulders without the help of tractors, building stone walls, successfully planting & harvesting my first crop of red potatoes, and providing me with new knowledge and a wealth of inspiration.

This book could literally teach you how to completely survive on your own, granted a few things. A real hard core DIY(Do It Yourself) supporter could use this book to sustain themselves year round, where someone who's looking to just go green and save some cash could also make great use of this book. Even by learning and utilizing just a small number of sections from this book, it could save you hundreds of dollars plus reward you with a lovely harvest or a handy skill you could pass down to your children.

I'd like to end with a quote from the book that I feel we should all strive to enact.

"Nothing should be wasted on the self-sufficient holding. The garbage collector should never have to call." - John Seymour

15Jul/090

And There Was One

Originally, I planned to maintain two blogs separate from one another. One would be for photography/design and the other would cover my interests and involvement in agriculture, farming, masonry, conservation, politics etc. Since I already am maintaining my photography website, I figured that I would condense my additional work into one blog.

Twitter has really made me appreciate the act of condensing. The art of the "micro-blog"!

So be on the look out for a variety of updates from me soon.