Monday in the muck

It’s been a great week.
Monday I had the chance to spend the day with some friends who are wildlife biologists. We were searching for the rarest turtle in the United States, the little bog turtle …
Bog turtles live in emergent wetlands in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and a few other states. They’re listed as a threatened species, which means that as their habitat is “developed” into strip malls and housing developments, they are threatened with extinction. For about 18 of the last 19 years, I’ve had the privilege of volunteering as part of a long-term study of their status. I put on my hip waders and go out into the muck among tussock sedge, jewelweed, and poison ivy … seeing how many we can find, seeing whether they are marked (having been captured before), taking measurements, etc. This week we found five – a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 year old. It’s encouraging to see young ones, but strange that no adults were found.
I encourage everyone to choose one of God’s creatures that is in trouble in your area, and then to join God in seeking to protect that creature and its habitat. Learn all you can about it. Volunteer. Advocate. It’s holy work … even if you get some poison ivy in the process. (Which I managed to do!)

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