A Letter to Yertle and Lynn-D from the Blanding’s Turtles of Moore’s Swamp

Moore's Swamp on a Cold January Day

This Wednesday, we will be traveling to Moore’s Swamp to release our head-start Yertle.  Your job on this post is to pretend you are one of the turtles who

Yertle and Lynn-D Hanging Out

live at Moore’s Swamp and write a letter to Yertle and Lynn-D, welcoming them to their  new home.  You can either be a headstart who was released there last year, a turtle who naturally just moved there, or one of the CCHS headstarts who were just released there a week ago.  You should first watch the movie that I just created to help you write this post.

Your letter, which should be two paragraphs in length, should contain the following information:

1.  Information about the turtle writing the letter to Yertle and Lynn-D  

2.  What Moore’s Swamp is like?  What types of producers live around there?  Why are producers an important part of the food chain?  Where do the producers get their energy from? What other types of animals might Yertle and Lynn-D encounter?

3.  What type of weather will Yertle and Lynn-D be encountering.  Think about what the weather has been like over the past week.

4.  What types of activities and fun will Yertle and Lynn-D have once they get to Moore’s Swamp?  What types of food have the other turtles found in Moore’s Swamp?  What do the other turtles do on a daily basis?

5.  What the other turtles are looking forward to showing Yertle and Lynn-D once they settle in to Moore’s Swamp.

6.  Advice for Yertle and Lynn-D from the Moore’s Swamp turtle.  What types of adaptations will help them  survive in Moore’s Swamp?

7.  How have the changes in Moore’s Swamp made it a great place for the Blanding’s turtles?

Please check your letter carefully for any spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and gammatical errors.  This post is due on THURSDAY


Posted on June 12, 2011, in Blanding's turtles and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. Dear Yertle and Lynn-D,
    I am a turtle at Moore’s Swamp. Everyday, I wake up to such a beautiful sight. You will be waking up to the same thing each morning. Who knows, maybe I’ll see you around Moore’s Swamp sometimes. Anyways, you are going to love Moore’s Swamp. You class is sending you to a great place to spend you life in. As I said before, Moore’s Swamp is a beautiful place, even though it’s a swamp. Moore’s Swamp has many trees, a lot of water that you can swim in, and it has many producers. Such as plants, trees, and many more. Producers are very important to you. Trees give you oxygen. Plants give you food. You eat grass. That is a plant. The plants and trees get their energy from the sun. Because the sun produces energy. That is another producer that will help you get through your life at Moore’s Swamp. The animals around here that you can eat are, grass, crayfish, worms, and many more. I hope that you know how to hunt by now. Or at least you WILL learn. The type of weather that you will be encountering is wetness, moisture, and many other kinds of weather. You will be getting wetness because swamps are wet. You will be getting moisture because the sun and soil creates moisture. There is a lot of soil at Moore’s Swamp.
    When you guys get to Moore’s Swamp, you will have the time of your lives! You will be hunting, playing going on top of rocks, you’ll be swimming, and you’ll be playing with me! It’s like paradise here at Moore’s Swamp. It may not be Great Meadows, but it is full of wildlife! The food that I have found when I got here was crayfish, plenty of grass, some berries, and many more! Help yourself. Other turtles including me, play and lay on rocks, we always swim, and we have lots and lots of fun hunting. We do all of this on a regular basis. My friends and I are looking forward to showing you the tricks on how to hunt, and showing you the best rocks to play on! I suggest that you come to us when you have any questions or concerns. I suggest that you stay away from any animals that you think that are mean, threatening, or dangerous. To help you survive, when you sense danger, tuck everything inside your shell, so that the things that are dangerous can’t eat you. Or hurt you. That way they won’t be able to eat you because your shell is too hard to eat. Moore’s Swamp has been a great place to live because it has many fun things to do, and it has many other turtles there so that you have company. My friends and I are looking forward to seeing you at Moore’s Swamp! You’re going to have a BLAST!

  2. Dear Yertle and Lynn-D,
    My name is Saffron, and I am a Blanding’s turtle that was released at Moore’s Swamp about a week ago by the high schoolers from CCHS. I was elected by the other Blanding’s turtles at Moore’s Swamp to tell you about life here, so that you’ll be prepared.
    Moore’s Swamp is just simply amazing. There are tons of producers that live here like trees, bushes, all of the plants, and the sun. Those producers are an important part of the food chain because the trees produce oxygen for us Blanding’s turtles to breathe, the bushes and plants give us food to eat, and the sun helps the plants make food and gives us energy. Rain also helps the plants get energy so that they can grow. Some animals that you guys (Yertle and Lynn-D) might meet are crayfish, water bugs (although I don’t know whether you would like that – it varies with every Blanding’s turtle headstart), yummy insects (that I don’t know the names to), and worms, and the predators are mink, chipmunks, and *shudder* foxes.
    You will get some sunny days, some rainy days, some HOT days, some COLD days, a little of everything, but for the summer, you can expect pretty hot weather, with some rainy days thrown in. There is a lot of moisture, too, because Moore’s Swamp is a swamp, and there is a lot of soil. You guys will love it at Moore’s Swamp, because there are awesome wrestling matches (I heard from gossip that you two are fabulous at that!), diving boards, swimming races, and the best – hunting down your prey, which are, like I already told you, crayfish (yum!) water bugs (maybe yum!), yummy insects (yum!), and worms (yum!). Just so that you know, the normal things we do everyday are: eat yummy foods, some kind of fun activity (listed above), and hang out. Sometimes we do a little more than that, sometimes we just relax all day except for when we are hunting or eating.
    Truthfully, I can’t say exactly what we are looking forward to showing you, because we have a surprise for you! But I can say that we are looking forward to showing you our swimming pool, diving board, wrestling matches, and pretty much everything else. An adaptation that would be helpful is: being able to stay still, because sometimes if you do that, your camouflaged shell will hide you, and if you don’t move the predator won’t see you.
    The changes in Moore’s Swamp have made it a great place for Blanding’s turtles because we gain so much weight! 🙂 Predators can’t eat us *gulp* as much when we are bigger, gain more weight, and have a really hard shell. It’s just a great place in general, so it is really a wonderful place for Blanding’s turtles.

    Can’t wait until you arrive!
    -Saffron and the other Blanding’s turtles

  3. Dear Yertle and Lynn-D,
    My name is Lertle and I am a Blanding’s turtle just like you. I live in Moore’s Swamp and as a longtime resident at that stunning place in the woods, I was asked to write a letter to you guys over at Thoreau School. I picked a spot right under a pine tree next to the duckweed and water bug infested water to write. Sorry, you’re probably angry with me for giving you too much to look forward to when you’re here, but it’s my job. Well, besides eating. From what I’ve heard you two are big eaters, luckily you can’t eat us out of house and home because there are plenty of producers like ferns, grass, trees, and much more for crickets and other tasty treats to feed off of. And that’s not all (sorry for sounding like an advertisement, but it’s the truth), since it’s been very rainy the plants get watered and the worms come out! Hopefully you will get a sunny day when you are released so that all of us will come out to see you, I won’t make any promises seeing as most of this week was rainy, but we’ll see.
    We can’t wait to show you how to play hide and swim, or play toss the crayfish. Or maybe you guys can try and beat Bertle, the turtle who lives in Great Meadows that sent you a letter before, in a water bug eating contest. When you come we can go on an eating adventure to look for crayfish, crickets, dragonflies, and maybe some berries for dessert. You should catch on pretty quick to the daily activities listed below.
    • Wake up (don’t wake up in the winter though, it’s a bit cold)
    • Eat
    • Look for food
    • Write in journal
    • Have lunch
    • Play games or rest
    All of the Blanding’s here can’t wait to show you the best hiding spots, or the most sunny rocks and comfortable places to sleep. Even though Moore’s Swamp sounds wonderful (and it just happens to be wonderful) we do have to take precautions: like if you go out always stay with an experienced turtle who knows the swamp or an adult turtle to stay safe and to make sure you don’t get lost. Also if you see a fox or mink either go in to the water if you can or just simply hide in your shell. The changes in Moore’s Swamp make it a great place to in which to thrive as long as you like, with a full stomach and hard protective shell.
    See you soon!
    -Lertle and everyone else☺

  4. Dear Yertle and Lynn-D,

    My name is Jimmy and I just got released into Moore’s Swamp from CCHS. I was head-started just like you and only got released about a week ago. Although I enjoyed CCHS here has been great to.
    Moore’s Swamp is a wonderful place. There is plenty of vegetation, even though there isn’t humans to feed you turtle pellets. Producers that live here are duckweed, pin and maple trees, ferns, skunk cabbage and more. Producers are important because they make the original food at the bottom of the food chain. Producers get their energy from photosynthesis which is when plants absorb nutrients, sunlight and water and use them to grow. Animals that you might encounter are foxes, wolves, squirrels, chipmunks, crayfishes, and on rare rare occasions you could encounter a Blue Spotted Salamander.
    Weather that you will be encountering is snow, (which is a white and cold substance) rain, (which is water falling from the sky) heat, cold, and lighting (which is yellow light coming from the sky and is very terrifying).
    Activities that you will do at Moore’s Swamp are basking, swimming, climbing, eating, and sleeping. Food that you will eat are crayfish, worms, bugs, certain plants, water bugs, and much more.
    When you guys get here we can’t wait to show you all the cool stuff such as hibernating, vernal pools, Great Meadows, and great places for basking.
    Adaptions that will help you in Moore’s are getting used to the cold and getting used to getting your own food. If your not used to the cold you will be cold and if you can’t get your own food you will starve.
    The changes that have occurred Moore’s Swamp has made it a better place because now the water level is higher and there’s more food. This place is a great place. Hope to see you soon!


  5. Dear Yertle and Lynn-D

    1.I am Yowser, a turtle that was earlier realeased to the wild. I am sending you this letter so you will be prepared for Moore’s Swamp.
    2. Moore’s Swamp is a great place for turtles, it has a large swamp and some tall s, It’s really mucky so it is great for hiding from predators like squirells and skunks, it also has a lot of excellent producers muck and plants. Also producers are important here because they feed most of the animals but also because since there are so many plants the air is thick. The producers get their energy from the small strips of sunlight that are able to go through the large branches and leaves of the trees. When you’re here you should be aware for some squirells, skunks, foxes, and also some chipmunks.
    3. When it rains here the air and land gets really damp and sometimes the swamp can over flow. When there is a thunder storm usually I hide somewhere in a log or something just in case some lightning strikes the tremendously tall trees.
    4. When the weather is good there are some things to do like swim around in the swamp, climb on some of the large rocks or sometimes I even do some laps around the swamp. Sometimes in the swamp I find some good crayfish, I also go digging and find some good worms in the dirt. Usually what I do everyday is wake up, do some swimming then have a worm for lunch, walk around then I eat some crayfish and get ready for bed.
    5. When you come here, I’ll show you some great hiding and mucky places to hide from predators, there is some mud as the same color as your shell so it is basically camouflaging.
    6. My advice for you is to always be near a good hiding place in case of a squirrel that is stalking you. Also stay out of the water when there is a thunderstorm because the lightning has a 1 in a billion chance of hitting the swamp and you might get electrocuted. We are already adapted to swamp like places so this is a very good place for us, we also adapt to mucky and forest-like places. Just like Moore’s Swamp.
    7. Moore’s Swamp is an excellent place because it has all the adaptations of the Blanding’s turtles such as swamps, trees, and lots of good camouflaging dirt. It also has good turtle food like crayfish, worms and lots of other great things.

  6. Dear Yertle and Lynn-D,
    I am a turtle who was born in Great Meadows but I (and all my friends) migrated here because a lot of foxes came to where we lived and our population was decreasing very quickly. Moore’s Swamp is great habitat for Blanding’s turtles: enough food, high waters, and a lot of mud to hibernate in. But there are some down falls: it’s near a road and some predators live nearby. The producers are ferns, maple trees, pine trees, skunk cabbage and duck weed. If there were no producers, the whole food chain would be unbalanced because the prey would die if they did not have plants to eat. This would affect the predators because they would not have any prey. Producers get their energy from the sun and water. At Moore’s Swamp, you might encounter other turtles, many predators like foxes, herons, hawks, and skunks. You may also see other animals such as small birds, deer, squirrels, mice, fish and insects. You will encounter a wide range of weather including temperatures in the high 80’s or, in winter, temperatures below freezing. Turtles here face puffy white balls called snow, drops of water called rain and chunks of ice called hail, unless you are hibernating under the ground. Most of the time there is just the sun above us.
    In Moore’s Swamp you will get to try hunting for worms, water striders and our favorite: Cray fish. You will also get to mate in the spring when you are older. You will be able to swim in wider waters. There are lots of other turtles there who will also hunt, swim, bask in the sun, and escape from predators. We are looking forward to showing you the best ways to hunt, things you should avoid, and the best places to hide. Some adaptations that will help you live in Moore’s Swamp will be to become a less picky eater and to adjust to cold water. You will also need to learn how to hide and protect yourselves from predators. Some changes in Moore’s Swamp that have made it a better for turtles is that there is less pollution and waste from the sewer and beavers have dammed the drainage system, so there is more water in the swamp and therefore more food. I’m looking forward to seeing you at Moore’s Swamp.8)


  7. Dear Yertle & Lynn-D,
    My name is Grape, and I sent this letter to you because I wanted to let you know what life is like over here at Moore’s Swamp because then when you guys come here you will be prepared. I have lived here for about 7years now and Oh it is wonderful. Moore’s Swamp has millions of producers like trees, bushes, grass and other plants. These producers play an important role in the food-chain because they provide us with oxygen and with food because we eat grass. You will also encounter a lot of yummy animals such as: crayfish, water bugs, insects, and worms. The predators you guys would find are foxes, skunks, raccoons, chipmunks,squirrels, and minks. I can’t wait to see you guys but I have some bad news and that is these days in Moore’s Swamp it’s moist, rainy, and a bit cold so we might not be waiting there to greet you but we’ll try our very best to get out our cozy, relaxing homes to greet you. Hope it’s sunny the first few days you’re here. And oh my we are planning to introduce you to all the fun we have and games we play. My favorite is game is Turtnopoly (it’s our version of Monopoly). We also enjoy doing how-fast-can-you-swim race, who-can-tower-the-most-amount-of-turtles-on-it’s-back and many more. Moore’s Swamp is like a WONDERFUL hotel where you don’t have to pay. On a daily basis we eat, sleep, play, and hang out. It’s awesome. In the morning you are woken up by hearing the relaxing concert of the birds, then you sit on the Gathering Rock and eat what you have caught for breakfast, next we play a game, after that we eat our delicious lunch, then we hang out or sleep on the Basking log and so on.
    Honestly, we can’t wait to see you guys ’cause we sooooooooooo much to do together. Also we will teach you some important adaptations when you come here and that will be that you will have to learn to stay still because if there is a predator around might see you and it might eat you, and if see a predator pull yourself into your shell because it’ll help you stay camouflaged. The changes in Moore’s Swamp has made this a better place because the water level is higher so you can dive deep to the bottom when you see a predator and there is a lot of food now.

    We can’t wait to see you!

    ‘Turtly’ Yours,
    Grape and fellow Blanding’s Turtles

    P.S: We have a surprise for you!:)

  8. Dear Yertle and Lynn-D,
    My name is Dribble. Remember me? Well, you should, Yertle, but not necessarily Lynn-D. You met me in September when Mrs. Erickson was babysitting me for Mrs. Dillon. Anyways, I need to warn you two about getting released. On Wednesday you are joining me in the wilderness. Surprisingly, it is very different compared to life in the tank. I know that you are used to those plastic plants in the tank but here the plants are real. There are all sorts of producers like trees and flowers and definitely plenty of Duckweed. You will also see many animals of all different kinds. Some of the animals you have seen and some of them seem very new to you but you’ll get used to it. For example, you have seen many earthworms and crayfish. There are also plenty of earthworms and crayfish here in Moore’s Swamp. But you haven’t seen salamanders and squirrels those animals will be very new to you and you will have to get used to them. After telling you about producers and animals I have to tell you about the food chain. The food chain is sort of like the connection between the living organisms and the essential things for life. Both plants and animals need air (for carbine dioxide or oxygen), water and sunlight. It also explains why we need all the animals and producers around us and why they all need us. Since we are omnivores we need to eat both producers and animals for food otherwise we couldn’t be alive. We also need producers to remove some of the carbine dioxide from the air and they need us to remove some the oxygen from the air.
    We are lucky that we are being released now. A turtle that I met soon after I was released told me that in the winter it’s freezing, literally! Even colder than that time they did that experiment thingy on you. Weather is another thing that is different in the tank and at Moore’s Swamp. In your tank the temperature, precipitation and humidity is the same each day but out here at Moore’s Swamp things like that are constantly changing. One day is hot and sunny and the next day is cold and rainy around here. What we do on a daily basis definitely depends on what type of day it is. For example, we spend sunny days basking in the sun sort of like in the tank how you bask in the heat lamp. There are also things that you do every day, like eating. Every day, we all have to hunt for our own food, unlike how your pellets and worms are dropped inside your feeding tank in the classroom. And on Some days we get to watch the female turtles leaving. They are going to find a nesting spot for turtles that will hatch in August. Once you settle in Moore’s Swamp, we all can’t wait to show you all of the interesting creatures we discovered. There are all sorts of insects and fish. We also would like to show you this strange path people keep walking on. I’ve always wondered why most of the humans never go into the swamp. We also want to show you all of the duckweed.
    I would also recommend that you don’t bask as much on rainy days or you will probably get very, very wet and basking is definitely a lot more fun when it’s sunny out. An adaptation that will help us survive in the wild is our shells that can protect us from predators. Another adaptation that we have is that we hibernate in the winter. If we didn’t hibernate we would probably freeze to death. As you can see, these adaptations will really help you to survive when you join me. We are also very lucky because we are being released here after a wonderful change has occurred to Moore’s Swamp. Thanks to the beavers the water level is higher and more pleasant for us. We are very lucky that they arrived. We are also very lucky that we are being released in Moore’s Swamp. Some of the other head-starts were released in Great Meadows or Eastern Vernal Pools. And since you class did the research, you should know that Moore’s Swamp is the place where we become the biggest and the healthiest we can become.
    That’s all that you need to know for now.

    Dribble the Blanding’s turtle.

  9. Dear Yertle and Lynn-D

    My name is Jimmy and I’m a head-started turtle just like you guys. I was released about two months ago. Moore’s swamp is amazing I think you’ll love it here because there’s a lot of good food and a lot of plants to eat also there is a lot of duck weed and a lot of good hiding places. There is a lot of sunlight that comes in so its a great place to bask. The only animals you’ll see around here is beavers and other turtles. The weather is really nice in the summer sunny so its perfect weather but sometimes it rains. Moore’s swamp has a lot of fun things to do like you can bask and you can swim freely instead of being in a tank all day. There’s a variety of food at Moore’s swamp but if you want really good food like crayfish you’ll have to catch it but most of the other turtles just eat plants. The schedule for the day is hide then eat and then hide some more and then eat and hide and then eat again then go to sleep. I bet all the other turtles can’t wait to show you where the good hiding places are. Some advice that your going to need is learn how to cover yourself with mud and know whats good to eat and whats not good to eat also don’t worry about being seen because you’ll adapt moss on your shell so your camoflouge. The only reason we turtles like this place is because of the beavers.


  10. Dear Yertle and Lynn-D,
    My name is Cantaloupe I was a head started turtle just like you I was released a year ago. I am writing this letter to you guys because a week ago a few turtles got released and I overheard that 2 turtles named Yertle and Lynn-D where getting released soon so I thought it would be nice to send both of a letter telling you things you will encounter so there is no surprises I already made room in my cat tails for you guys to sleep until you find your own place you can stay as long as you want because I do not have a lot of company most of the times I am lonely I am not lonely when I go to Nikes patch of cat tails he has a lot of food for me. At Moore’s Swamp there is a lot of duckweed and other plants the producers are plants and fish the producers are important because without them we would not have any food the producers get there energy from the sun, water and oxygen. I have a few requests for animals and things you should not meet here are a list foxes, raccoons, wolfs, minks and cars. Here is a list of animals and things you should meet people, other turtles, frogs and snakes. Recently I have been having to hold off my trips to get food because of the cold weather sometimes I wish I were back in a tank with a heater and bunch of kids feeding me pellets, OH! Oh how I miss the orange floating pellets of heaven and kids talking to me you never know how lucky you are you only know it when you have noting. I have the first-second day planed out First day- sleep all day and get settled in Second Day – go fishing, meet the other turtles, meet the painted turtle reading club, go to The Log and have dinner. There has been a ton of fish this year a ton of plants and everything is in full stock. This year the painted turtles learned how to read and now the painted turtles are going around the swamp reading things. On a daily basis the other turtles always go fishing. I already have the third day booked the Mayor of the swamp who is the oldest turtle wants to show you around the swamp. Some adaption’s that would help is hiding all the time and only come up to breathe and to eat. The changes in Moore’s Swamp are that the water gets higher when we need it to and the water gets lower when we need it also.

    Good luck in the swamp,

  11. Dear Yertle and Lynn-D,
    I am a Blanding’s turtle like you and my name is Zertle. I am a turtle that was born in Moore’s Swamp. Moore’s Swamp is a great place for food. There are many healthy turtles that live here. Moore’s swamp is also a great place to bask in the sun. There are many great logs to sit on and it is a great habitat for hiding from predators. There are very shady places as well as muddy places to hide in. There are many Skunk Cabbages, Duck Weed, Pine Trees and other producers at Moore’s Swamp. Producers are at the bottom of the food chain because they produce the beginning food. Producers get their energy from photosynthesis which is when the plant gets nutrients to help it grow. You might encounter many animals including other turtles, Skunks (Uh-Oh!), Foxes (Double Uh-oh), many species of fish, many birds, Squirrels, Chipmunks, and there’s a slim chance you might encounter a Blue Spotted Salamander. The weather has been pretty nice lately but it also can get quite cold in the Spring. It also gets very cold in the winter although you wouldn’t notice since your hibernating. It is cool in the Fall and a perfect temperature to swim a long distance without getting too hot. There are awesome summer activities here and I think you will just love the swimming races. It is also very fun to play underwater tag with your friends. You can climb almost every log and race to the top. I think you will have tons of fun here. We eat mostly Worms, Crawfish, and water bugs except they don’t get dropped into the water and corner themselves. And there are absolutely NO turtle pellets. Our daily basis is usually wake up, eat, hide, have fun, eat, hide, sleep. We look forward to showing you the best hiding spots, the best food areas, other turtles, and all the great things about Moore’s Swamp. Some adaptations you might want to have are to adapt to the cold weather. You are not going to be in a heated tank all day. You also have to adapt to that your food will not be stuck in a tank and could swim away easily. And finally, you have to adapt to that you must hide from predators. They could be lurking around anywhere. This place has gotten so much better since you get bigger than in most other areas. It helps you survive in the wild since smaller predators cannot eat you.
    I look forward to seeing you and giving you more tips.

  12. Dear Yertle and Lynn-D,
    This is Sparkles the turtle who just got put into Dino Swamp a few weeks ago. First let me tell you a little about myself. When you hear my name I bet you think of me as a little turtle that had all of the children in her head-start class put sparkles all over her. That is not me. I am a HUGE 1 pound male head- start turtle. When I meet people they are usually like this: Wow you’re huge! I am not even like half the size of you! What is your name? It must be like Batman or something! When that happens I usually say something like you’re right I am pretty big. Then my sister Motcho Man comes along. This never ends well. Matcho Man is a little turtle that had all of the children put sparkles on her. When she says my name everyone looks at me in a funny way like she is lying. I just let out a little giggle and swim away. Not that I am jealous of Motcho Man’s name or anything.
    When you guys get here be aware that it is nothing like your old life. First of all you have to hunt for your own food. Second of all there are more than just turtles living here. There is all kinds of animals for you to eat (that you have to catch), and not to scare you or anything but there also might be a couple of things that are looking to eat you. Be careful. The producers that live here are some of the ferns, duckweed, some of the trees that you might run into, and lots of other things. I do not know about this too much but I would suggest that you eat the animals and not the plants.
    You have been inside pretty much all of your life so prepare for the outdoors. Some of the weather that you might find strange is fog, rain, thunder, lightning, snow, hail, cold, and hot weather. Even though hot and cold won’t affect you as much it is still good to be prepared for them. The weather over the past week has been pretty cold and rainy. Today though (Wednesday the 16) was great. When Lynn-D gets put out into the wild I don’t know what the weather will be like.
    Some activities and fun that you might be things like playing with other turtles, catching fish, meeting new turtles, swimming away from things that might want to eat you, and catching food for you to eat yourself. There are lots of ways to entertain you in Moore’s swamp so just remember to have fun and try not to get bored.
    When you get here we are really looking forward to teaching you how to catch food and witch food is good for you to eat. We also want to show you around the swamp so that you will know which place you want to stay in best. One last thing that we want to show you are what places in the swamp too stay away from and what kinds of living creatures to stay away from. With our help you will feel like the swamp has been your home for the whole life.
    The changes that this swamp has had make it a great place for a Blanding’s turtle include the beavers flooding it, all of the plants, lots of wildlife that you can eat and some wildlife that you can stay away from. The last change in the swamp that I just found out about today is that it used to be fields. I know this from the sign at the field trip to Dino swamp.
    I know you guys will have lots of fun

  13. Dear Yertle

    I am Nacho at Moore’s Swamp. Remember me? I have heard about you from all of the other turtles. They say that you are coming here soon. I just wanted to give you some background on Moore’s swamp.
    Moore’s swamp has a lot of water and trees. There are also a lot of ferns, algae and Lilly pads. These plants (producers) are important to the food chain because lots of animals need to eat plants to stay alive. The producers get their energy from photosynthesis (how plants get their food using energy from the sun).
    You will encounter lots of animals here some of which you already know like a crayfish or a worm. You will also encounter bad animals that will try to eat you for example foxes or raccoons.
    There are lots of types of weather. For example, rain, snow, sleet, sunny and hot, humid, cold or sometimes hail.
    Here are some fun activities in Moore’s swamp. First of all hide-and-seek is fun here because there are lots of places to hide and it is very hard to find the other turtles. Wrestling is also better here than in your tank because here when you defeat someone there is always a new turtle to challenge. Whereas in your tank when you defeat Lynn-D or Lynn-D defeats you, you just need to challenge each other again.
    Even though we do spend some of our time playing games we usually spend most of our time hiding and eating. We usually eat small plants or fish but sometimes if we are lucky we might find a crayfish and catch it.
    I also have a secret hideout near a log that is halfway under water and halfway on land. This hideout is best in the morning when the sun hits it directly and you can warm up. When you come to Moore’s swamp you should take my advice and stay away from raccoons and foxes. Even though chipmunks might look cute never make friends with them either.
    Adaptations help you survive. Everyone is born with them. Some adaptations you have are like sharp claws and to be able to hold your breath under water over long periods of time. Over time Moore’s swamp has changed. Most of the changes make it a better place for us Blanding’s turtles. Here are some of the reasons we (Blanding’s turtles) like it here. One reason is that beavers have made a dam so the water got blocked and flooded. Over time the flooded areas became a marshy swamp that is the perfect place for us. Another change that is good for us is that trees have fallen down and made good hiding places.

    Good luck on your trip over here. Can’t wait to see you.

    P.S. In a hailstorm take cover immediately.

  14. Dear Yertle the awesome turtle and the other awesome turtle Lynn-D
    Hi my name is The turtle in the wild! I am one of the turtle that did not get head started and I still lived! I have been int the swamp for one year and I heard that some turtle Yertle and Lynn-D was going to be released so I thought I might write this letter to you!This is a field guide to the swamp! You might see green stuff that are called duck weed (this is not poisoned because if it was I would be dead) and a lot of dead trees and a lot of predators! they are all using the same energy is the sun! You might eat water bugs, worms, meal worms, and best of all Crayfish! The weather is not always sunny like at you cozy home, there is rain and snow. You will get to bask in the sun a lot! and you can swim in a lot of different places. The best part is you can meet other turtles! We are looking forward to show you a lot of things like including ducks jumping in the water from a high place! I suggest starting off stop eating pellets because there are no pellets in the swamp.

    The turtle in the wild

  15. Dear Yertle and Lynn-D,

    My name is Saffron and I live here in Moore’s Swamp. Being released a week ago, I am still pretty new to this wonderful place. The CCHS students did a wonderful job getting me ready for the wild like I am sure your class did as well.

    In this life filled area there are many living creatures. Just so you two know what you are going to live with, the producers are: trees (Pines and Maples), Ferns, Skunk Cabbage, and the first thing that will catch your eye is all of the duckweed. The producers help give food to the water bugs that I heard you two love to eat. Their part in the food chain is to provide nutrients for many animals, they wouldn’t be able to do this without all of the energy that they receive from the warm sun. Many animals live in this swamp, some that you will encounter are: many species of ducks, woodpeckers, all different species of birds, and sadly minks and raccoons. When you were in your luxurious tank, you did not really experience much of mother nature. Weather can very from perfectly warm sunny days perfect for basking, to rainy stormy nights when you’d rather bury down into the mud. Mother Nature will take some getting used too.

    There are many things to do in the swamp but our favorite food-filled activity that we discovered is called “Catch the Crayfish” it’s where we go out and search for crayfish and once we find one, we chase it around trying to be the one who catches it. Another activity that is a little bit more relaxing is basking in the warm sun on a dead tree or log. Other than the crayfish, we have discovered small fish and a bountiful amount of water bugs “delicious!”.
    The daily schedule of a turtle is really anything they want to do. Most turtles sleep in late and then play a game of “Catch the Crayfish”, or look for food. After eating, they will take a relaxing basking break and have a nap. Once they wake up they need to go catch some dinner, then they will settle down to sleep and dream about the next day ahead. The other turtles and I, are dying to show you are the endless supply of water bugs, and the best places to find the most colossal mealworms.

    As a turtle, you were born with instincts. These instincts help you adapt to the wild. What you will need to adapt to in the wild is that there is no floating pellets bobbing around you, you have to catch your food yourself and your natural instinct knows how to find food which, helps you adapt to the wild. Another adaptation is that you can’t be careless. You can’t go wondering around the far away because you could swim right into a mink’s area and you might not come out! So your body will also curl up and tuck in whenever a predator is near, to conceal itself from the danger around you. Moore’s Swamp is more deeper than it used to be. This has helped us because when there is more water, more food comes with it. Also, then we have more water to swim around in and you don’t get stuck in the mud.

    Soon I will see you here in Moore’s Swamp, and I can’t wait!

    With best regards,


  16. Dear Yertle and Lynn-D,

    I am a turtle that has been released in Moore’s Swamp last year by a class in Concord. I was a head-started turtle just like you. The class called me Bubbles. Moore’s Swamp is a great place for turtles to be released because it has a lot of good things that a Blanding’s turtle needs in its habitat. You will find plants, worms, bugs, and fish here. Plants get their energy from the sun. Small creatures get their food from plants. Producers keep the food chain going because it’s the circle of life, and other things need to eat them to live. Yertle and Lynn-D, you may also encounter crayfish, small fish, ducks, hawks, and other birds. Watch out for foxes, raccoons, and great blue herons, they will want to eat you.
    The weather you might encounter will be humid, wet, and warm.

    When you are released you will probably hide in the muck or in a burrow or somewhere in the swamp because you will need to adapt to your new habitat. When you are just released you will hide, eat, and sleep, hide, eat, and sleep. For fun you will swim around under water and look at roots, rocks, mud and underwater creatures. Out of the water, you will wander around in the mud and dirt. You will have crayfish, worms and bugs to eat. The other turtles and I climb around on stuff in the swamp every day. I am aware of predators and hide in my shell, but worry that they know I am not a rock because Dr. Windmiller put notches in my shell. I can’t wait to show you the awesome stuff in the swamp. My favorite thing is to just swim around. Some advice is that you should hide in you shell if you see a raccoon, fox, or great blue heron. Claws can be used for climbing up steep things like rocks and logs to bask in the sun. Moore’s Swamp is a great place for Blanding’s turtles since the beavers have made their dams and flooded the place. The water drowned trees that eventually fell over and made a great place to live, feel safe and especially bask in the sun.

    Another head-started and released turtle like you,

    P.S. You are not in a tank anymore. So when you see a crayfish, it’s harder to catch because it is not boxed in by the sides of the tank. You really need to be fast to eat.

  17. Dear Yertle and Lynn-D,
    I am a turtle from Moor’s Swamp, the place you will be released. I hatched in a neighborhood near the swamp and landed here. I do not have a proper name but other turtles here call me Tug because one time I played a little bit of tug-of-war with a snapper and surprisingly won! Anyway, I think that you will love it here at Moor’s Swamp! There is tons of duckweed and crayfish and rocks to bask on. Some of the major producers of Moor’s Swamp are trees, bushes, fern, tons of duckweed, and don’t forget, skunk cabbage. Producers are a big part of the food chain because they are eaten by even the smallest things like caterpillars and they are also eaten by bigger things like birds and skunks and raccoons. Plants get a lot of their energy from sunlight and water. Sunlight helps the plant make food for itself which gives us energy and things like that, sometimes, we come across plants that make us very sick. We now know not to eat those plants.
    Some of the other animals that you will come across are raccoons, skunks, ducks, hawks, herons and other birds, and an occasional human. You may see other animals when and if you migrate any time soon which you most likely won’t be. Some weather that you might see or experience are huge thunder storms, big rain storms, extreme heat, chilly and windy days, or just cool, breezy days. I like those most of all.
    Some things that we like to do here at Moor’s Swamp are hide-and-go-seek, mud baths, more hide-and-go-seek, naps, basking, and more hide-and-go-seek. That’s just about it. Oh wait! I almost forgot! We eat too! Well you probably did that anyway, but that’s what we do too! Some food that we find here at the swamp are worms, crayfish, bubbles although I have found out that they are filled with air not meat or anything, lots of water bugs and other bugs, and other things like that. We haven’t tried everything in the swamp but we do know that the red berries are not really yummy, they get you very sick. Some other turtles spent their whole day basking, or sleeping. Others like to be active, like me, we like to play and swim and do things like that. Most young turtles are like me but older turtles mostly like to do what old turtles do. Sleep and sleep and eat and eat and nothing else. That’s boring. I wonder if they were always old because they sure look like they have had a lot of practice at doing nothing.
    Many turtles are looking forward to seeing you guys and showing you around the swamp. There is Saffron, Lertle, Jimmy, Cucumber, Dribble, Cantaloupe, Zertle, Sparkles, and Nacho. Everyone has some advice for you in the wild. We suggest that you hide really well, don’t go into the big swamp, stay away from furry or feathery animals, and don’t eat the red berries. Some adaptions that will come in handy here at the swamp are staying still near a furry or feathery animal, and get used to being cold in the winter.
    The changes of Moor’s Swamp have really made it a great place for the Blanding’s turtles because it has deep water, plenty of vegetation and lots of food. I promise that you will love it here!

    See you later!


  18. ear Yertle and Lynn-D,

    My name is Emerald and I was a CCHS head-start. So I heard that you two are coming to Moore’s Swamp to live here. Oh golly gosh. It is a great habitat for us turtles. Well you’re probably wondering why. Well lets get started! Moore’s swamp is a really great place. There is so much nature. And I know you like crayfish. Wait till you see them. There are a ton of producers. Producers such as trees, sun and many more. They are very important to you. Producers are food makers and without the food makers no animals would survive today. So you should be very grateful for the plants that live there today. All the plants get their energy from the sun. Luckily there are small cracks in the trees so that the sun can glide through the trees. Some more animals you might find are ducks, red-tailed hawks, fish and crayfish. You will most likely see more but that is all that I can remember right at this point. As you know over the past week it has been raining and sometimes sunny. It is possible that the swamp can flood. But for turtles it is no problem. All we have to do it hide and hope to stay safe. Over the week it has also been sunny. When it is sunny, we can go outside and play for a bit. Here there are some great activities. My favorites are the swimming races and the crayfish hunts. Everyone’s usual schedule is eat hide eat games hide eat and it keeps going on and on. I was just talking to Saffron (another CCHS head start) yesterday and she said that she definitely wants to show you where the target is for crayfish. Some adaptations that should come to help is using your shell, using the claws and especially digging. Just in case you don’t know but we Blanding’s turtles have turtle meeting every other day. The best change is that the beavers have made a dam which had made the swamp flood up which equals better for the turtles. Flooding+beavers= Awesome for us!
    Until then TTYL (Talk to you later)

    Lots of Love,

    P.S. Sorry about how messy my handwriting is ☹. Remember I am only a turtle.

  19. Dear Yertle,
    My name is Bigmouth. I’m a Blanding’s turtle at Moore’s Swamp and obviously, I have a big mouth. I live in the side of the swamp that you were released in, so maybe we can find each other some time. Moore’s Swamp is a beautiful place filled with rich soil and wonderful trees. Here there’s ferns, buck weed, and lots of other common plants. These producers get all their energy in from the sunlight. The producers are very important to the food chain because the food chain is part of the ecosystem and if these producers become extinct then the ecosystem will be imbalanced. Yertle, you and your friend Lynn-D will encounter beavers, Red tailed-hawks, occasionally blue spotted salamanders, and other types of turtles. You’ll be encountering something called rain, sometimes lightning (big bangs from the sky), extreme hot, extreme cold, and snow. You’ll play capture the turtle shell, turtle racing, and many more exciting turtle games. Oh, and I can’t forget turtle hide and go seek. We have found a big jackpot of crayfish some worms a little bit higher up and some other great delicacies. On a daily basis we’ll get up, go out for breakfast, some activities, then crayfish lunch and more activities. We’re looking forward to showing you the jackpot of crayfish. It’s fun to look at their tasty claws and yummy antennas… anyway those crayfish are good. I advise you not to go out on the land very much. It’s very dangerous and you might be eaten by some predator. All of us Blanding’s turtles can defend ourselves by hiding a lot. That is what we do for a lot of the day. Everything that has changed here at Moore’s Swamp makes it a great place, especially the fact that there’s not that many predators.

  20. Dear Yertle and Lynn-D,

    I’m a turtle at Moore’s Swamp. I got released last year. I love it here and I think that you will to. I’m so excited to meet you guys. There is plenty of food and hiding places for everyone. I’ve heard that Yertle likes to eat crayfish. And Lynn-D will eat a lot including worms. So here’s some information. In the wild there are predators, so you’ll have to keep away from them because they’ll eat you. Moore’s Swamp is full of food and it has lots of hiding places. It has lots of duck weed and plants. Some of the producers are trees, a lot of plants, bushes, and skunk cabbage. They are an important part of the food chain because they provide food to many animals that live in the swamp. They get their energy from the photosynthesis cycle that uses the sun. Some other animals that you might encounter are crayfish, worms, fish, and other turtles. The types of weather are rain, thunder and lightning, high wind storms. Every day you get to play with other turtles, bask in the sun, and eat food found in the swamp. I am looking forward to showing you my hollow tree that I hang out in. When predators come you will have to hide from them in branches of trees or within your shell. With a lot of branches in the water turtles can hide better.

    A. Turtle

  21. Dear Yertle,

    In few a short days you will be released to a lush nourishing environment. This environment, a.k.a. Moore’s swamp, was created when a family of beavers moved to this area and made a dam that blocked the culvert. All of the water flooded across the land, creating a swamp. Sorry I forgot to introduce myself: I ‘m turtle 1340. I’m a hatchling who was not head-started. I weigh 50 grams, but I really know how to hunt. Anyway, there is plenty of skunk cabbage, lots of ferns, and the ground is full of all sort of bugs to eat. They grow well because of lots of water, sunlight, and the nutrients in the soil. The water is full of crayfish, but there is lots of competition, too. Look out for minks, that eat turtles, raccoons that love crayfish, and pike that like crayfish, too.

    You’ll see light skies, and dark rainy days. Sad to say water attracts lightening and so do tall pointy things, like trees. Take cover when it rains. We go into a deep sleep when it gets cold. And after we eat, we like to hide, and then hide, and then hide some more. That’s what we do for fun. We do enjoy basking to harden our shells, but we like to do it alone. We are not very social.

    Your camouflage shell will help you hide from predators, just pull your head and arms in and stay there and you will be safe. The changes in Moore’s swamp have made it a good place because it is lush with plants. Another big change which makes it perfect for hiding from predators is that the flooding killed many of the trees in the water, so know there are many downed trees and perfect places to hide.

  22. Hello, you two! I’m your brother, Franklin. I was a naturally-born turtle from Dino Swamp, where you will be. Here is an overview of what will happen when you arrive.
Moore’s Swamp has lots of hidey-holes and trees and cool things. There are many cool creatures here, some that we can talk to.  Hide- and-seek is also really fun. You will have different weather than the weather in your tank. It will be sort of unpredictable when you arrive here but lately it has been rainy, sunny, rainy, sunny. Unlike your perfect weather in your awesome tank. But anyways, we will have some fun once you come. Yertle, I know how you like crayfish, and there are a lot here, so you won’t be hungry. Lynn-D, worms will also be easy to find, so you’ll eat pretty well, though there’s no mealworms.
    Every day, our schedule is like this: wake up, hide, eat, hide, etc. There is a lot of hiding involved in being a Blanding’s turtle. We need to hide from predators like raccoons, herons, and other large, dangerous, animals. Our shells also help us stay safe from the predators who are trying to eat us. Also, there are many producers in this environment, including trees, bushes, and other plants. They like the sun just like us. They aren’t exciting, so don’t play with them. But they are important because you can eat them. The beavers who flooded the swamp and made it bigger are helping us. We can swim in deeper water where predators can’t come. Anyways, there might be humans reading this, so I’m going to stop now. We’ll talk more when you come. Bye!

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