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Turtles attend Emma Scott Garden Club September meeting

ELKINS — Dr. Joe Super and several of his turtle friends presented a talk to the Emma Scott Garden Club at its Sept. 14 meeting.

“Bucky,” “Bert” and “Eugene” were among the native turtles on display during the informative presentation. Super has observed Eastern box turtles, red-eared sliders and an occasional snapping turtle in this area. Both land and water turtles are found in West Virginia.

Turtles lay eggs in holes they dig in the ground during the fall and in the spring. If a newly hatched turtle can accomplish good nutrition and protection from predators and survive the first year, it is likely to live a long life. During the winter, turtles hibernate and do not eat again until spring.

When warm weather arrives, they eat mostly worms, slugs and bugs. Being omnivores, they will also eat fruits and vegetables as well as chopped meat. Box turtles are known to attack their food as if it is trying to escape! Snapping turtles will grab large living things (including humans) with their strong jaws and sharp teeth.

Super emphasized that turtles should be left in the wild and not relocated because they instinctively try to return to their home. When rescuing a turtle which is crossing the road, it is recommended that you just place it off the road instead of moving it farther from its home.

Turtles frequently hide under vegetation and in corners. A glass aquarium or clear container may cause a turtle to continually attempt to escape because it can see through the enclosure and will try to get back “home.” Studies have shown that turtles can be found in the same area up to 10 years after they are tagged.

Super pointed out identifying characteristics of his turtle friends and gave tips on handling and protecting them in the wild.

Following Super’s entertaining presentation, club president Pat Mayes conducted the business meeting. Although many club activities were canceled due to the COVID crisis, the club awards from the State and National Garden Clubs were recognized. Awards include the Ashworth Arbor Day award, Arndt Award for Environmental Education for the Midland School pollinator garden headed by Linda Shomo, poetry contest awards earned by after-school program students at Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church, and the Virginia C. Mabley Award for outstanding community gardener Katy McClane.

Bobbi Trimboli reviewed guidelines for the upcoming Scarecrow Days. Judy Guye and Monica Varchetto will prepare the club’s entry. Scarecrow Days will feature the annual display of handmade scarecrows from a multitude of community groups. Plan to stroll downtown and have a look from Oct. 10 through 23.

Club members who have tended community gardens during the summer were thanked for a job well done. The Iron Horse project has brought a beautiful splash of color to the area, thanks to collaboration of the city of Elkins and Emma Scott Garden Club. Special thanks to Judy Guye.

The next meeting is Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. at Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church with presenter David Proudfoot’s demonstration of how to reproduce fruit trees.

New members are always welcome. For more information, call membership chairman BJ McKenzie at 304-614-3079.

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