A Letter to Kame and Kachua from Lynn-D and Yertle

Moore's Swamp

Lynn-D and Yertle have been residents of Moore’s Swamp for five months now.  As we are watching Kame and Kachua grow from little nine gram hatchlings to over four times that size over the past two months, it won’t be long now before they too are released back into their natural habitat.

So, for this assignment, you are to write a letter to Kame and Kachua from Lynn-D and Yertle.  Your letter should be at least two paragraphs in length, should be creative, use great words, and be very descriptive in nature.  Here is also what your letter should contain:

1.  Your letter should include information from the time that Dr. Windmiller put Yertle into upper Moore’s Swamp and from the time that I put Lynn-D into lower Moore’s Swamp.  What were their feelings when they were released into the swamp?  What did they do for the first few days?

2.  They have been released now for five months.  Over this time period, we have seen lots of different weather, ranging from 100 degree days to Hurricane Irene to snow and thunder storms as well as some nice days.  Write about how they

Yertle being released by Dr. Windmiller

have adapted to all these different weather.

3.  What types of activities and fun have Yertle and Lynn-D had at Moore’s Swamp?  What types of food have they found in Moore’s Swamp?  What do they do on a daily basis?

4.   Advice for Kame and Kachua from Lynn-D and Yertle.  What types of adaptations will help them survive in Moore’s Swamp?  What should they be doing in their tank to get ready?

5.  Yertle and Lynn-D’s opinion on whether or not Moore’s Swamp is a great place for the Blanding’s turtles.

 

YOU CAN ALSO DO THIS AS A CREATIVE STORY.  PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU INTEGRATE SOME OF THE POINTS FROM ABOVE THOUGH IN YOUR STORY.

Make sure you first type your letter in a word processing program.  It should have perfect capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and grammar.  Make sure an adult proofreads it for you before posting.

Lynn-D being released by Mrs. Erickson

DUE THURSDAY

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Posted on November 28, 2011, in Blanding's turtles. Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. Dear Kame and Kachua,
    I have heard that you are living the life that we were once living in Mrs. Erickson’s class. Isn’t it great! Food, warm water, personal sun, nothing trying to eat you, well let me tell you now, that won’t last long. It is much different here in the wild. There are animals that are constantly trying to attack you, cold water, storms, snow, rain, hail, 100 degree weather, -100 degree weather, trust me, it can get harsh. From the moment we were put into the water, I could tell that it was different. From the teachers warm hands into the swamp’s cold water it was different. After a while, you adapt to your surroundings and it’s not so bad but it doesn’t get better than the tank. For the first few days, it is scary and alone. We spent most of our time under or on top of rocks and dirt and things like that. You are only a little turtle in a big swamp and you feel helpless but then you start to get into the flow of things and you survive on that.
    As I said before, the weather can be pretty harsh in the swamp. For the first five months that we were here, we had a big storm. I heard that it was a hurricane but I have always thought that hurricanes were a lot stronger. There were a few nice days so we can’t complain. There are plenty of days that feel like 1000 degrees and there are also plenty of days that feel like -1000 degrees. But after a while, you just get used to it and now, we know what to do; hide under a rock! That’s always a good solution!
    There are a lot of things that you can do around the swamp. There is log sliding, (where you slide off of high logs), hide and seek, basking, racing a friend, mud wrestling, all kinds of things! A lot of the time, you just find yourself basking on a warm rock! Some of the foods that you will eat are crayfish, worms, bugs, and occasionally, some plants. Between the four of us, the menu is a lot better in the swamp than in the tank.
    Some things that you should be practicing in the tank are hiding, eating, hiding, hiding, basking, sleeping, and hiding. That is pretty much it. Oh, and also try to practice sneaking up on things. That helps.
    So far, we have had a good time in Moors Swamp. We have made some friends, seen some relatives, played fun games, all that we need! We can’t wait to see you!

    Sincerely,
    Yertle and Lynn-D

  2. Dear Kame and Kachua,
    This is a letter from Yertle and Lynn-D. You might know that we used to be kept with the same class that is taking care of you now! Toward the end of this school year you will be released into the same swamp that we are in. The only tip we have about when you are hitting the water for the first time is to try not to go head first. We both learned that the hard way and now there is still pain in our heads from all of the water that shot up our noses. The swamp is bigger than it looks, so try to stay in the same sort of area. If you change places too much it is like moving from house to house and you will never seem to make real friends because you are always leaving them. Some of the weather tips that you should know are to not be out on a rock during a hurricane, on 100 degree days stay in the shade, in snowstorms don’t go up to the surface unless you have to because you can get a huge brain-freeze, and on a normal day just do normal things. Some of the activities that we take part in include finding good uses for litter, and playing hide-and-go-seek. (One time a turtle did not follow the boundaries and we still have not found him yet!) When it comes to catching food we are the experts. Try to get as many crayfish as possible and don’t go on land if you don’t have to. In the tank you should be doing things like swimming in deeper water and going under logs and things because those are some of the obstacles that you might face in the swamp. Moores Swamp is a great place to live with lots of fun things to do.

    Best wishes,
    Yertle and Lynn-D

  3. Dear Kame and Kachua,

    I hope you are doing well in the tank. You must love it as much as we did. All of the luxurious treatments are wonderful. The warmth and the tasty food makes it so comfortable. Well life in the wild is just as fun, but in a different way. When the man and the woman put us into the swamp we were so nervous. We weren’t sure what it was going to be like, if we would fit in or if anyone would like us. For about our first two days, all we would do was explore and get familiar with the area.
    Many different things happen over five months. One week it might be freezing cold, another boiling hot. We even had something called a hurricane. I’m not sure what it exactly means, but all I know is that it means rain and wind. Lots of rain and wind! During the hurricane, we buried ourselves down in the mud to avoid being swept away by the wind. After a while, you understand what to do when something happens. If it is cold, bury in the mud. If it is hot, sit on a rock or stick and try to catch a breeze. Or if it is hot and there is no breeze, then stay underwater and try to stay cool. If it is raining, you probably should go underwater or stay above and feel the rain. It’s your choice. If it is snowing, most likely it is very cold so you should bury under the mud. I haven’t been through many snows, so something else might work better.
    The swamp is also a abundance of fun. Our favorite game is called “Tug-Of-Worm”. This is a very entertaining game. It is where two turtles are on rock, and they have a worm which they are tugging on with their mouths. You want to get the worm and make the other turtle fall off of the rock. If you win, you get to eat the worm! (That is the best part!) There is plenty of food, but it takes some effort to catch it. There’s lots of worms to snack on down in the mud, they are the most delicious worms in the world! I guarantee. The days here are pretty basic and repetitive. Basically, this is what our day looks like:

    1. Sleep in late then wake up.
    2. Go look in the swamp for some breakfast/lunch because we slept in so late.
    3. Take a long nap on a rock basking.
    4. Go back out into the swamp and look for a snack.
    5. Have Fun. Usually play “Tug-Of-Worm”, or chase each other around the swamp.
    6. Take another nap on a rock basking.
    7. Go find dinner.
    8. Go to sleep.
    As you can see, our lives are pretty basic. This “schedule” might change if there is a storm or we won “Tug-Of-Worm” so many times that we had enough food for a snack or dinner.
    In the swamp, you have to be ready for anything. Whether it is a mink trying to eat you, or it is a hurricane, you need to be adaptable. First of all, you need to be willing to adapt to a colder climate than your tank. Second of all, you must be ready to live without food being fed to you.
    There are somethings you can do now that might help you in the swamp. One is, be nice to each other. You never know when one of you might be eaten by a mink. Secondly is that you should learn how to eat the wild food instead of tiny turtle pellets. We both know that they do taste delicious, but eventually they need to go. Don’t worry keep eating them for now, but the humans will give the other food to you when it’s time.
    You’ll enjoy the swamp when you get here. It is the best place for Blanding’s turtles. All of them are nice and we have so much fun here every day.

    See you in June!

    Yertle and Lynn-D

    • EC20 (formerly EC12)

      I really like this! “Tug of Worm” is really funny. It’s well written, too. Also, “You never know when one of you might be eaten by a mink.” I like this a ton!

  4. Dear Kame and Kachua

    Me and Lynn-D want to give you some tips on what you should do at the swamp when you are released. Here is also the story of what happened to me since I was realeased.
    As soon at the man put me in to the swamp, I did not know were I was, the water was dirty with duckweed everywhere and very different from the tank in the classroom. I headed of in a random direction and finally came to shore. Lynn-D was nowhere in sight, so I searched for a temporary place to stay. I found a nice tree next to the swamp and there was small hole that I could get in. I made that place a home for a few weeks. But there was some bad weather days. When it was warm, I would get into the swamp to cool off. One day, I saw a group of kids at the swamp, and they were releasing Lynn-D! I immediately rushed over to greet him. I took him to my home and we stayed there for a few months. One of the days there was a hurricane so we stayed in side and listened the loud winds and lightning. After that we got to a usual routine. We would go to the swamps to catch some crayfish in the morning then find some worms lunch. Mostly we spent our time swimming in the swamp. When you get here, I suggest the first thing you should do is to find a good place to stay. Then you should go and catch some crayfish is the swamp. I think that this swamp is a great habitat for turtles because of food and good places to stay.

    From Yertle and Lynn-d

  5. EC16:
    Dear Kame and Kachua,
     
     
    Me and Lynn-D really want to meet you guys! I can’t wait until it is June and you get released at Moores Swamp. It’s amazing the feeling that you get when you get released, The feeling you get is probably a combination of sadness, happiness, mature and excited. Because once you’re released your on your own for quite some time, we’ll tell you about it. On the first days of my life alone I was struggling a lot because no ones there to feed you each morning. The most important thing to do once you are released is find a home (good hiding place) in case attacked by a predator. While hunting for your first time you don’t want to go after the really hard things to catch like crayfish go after the easy things like aquatic plants and bugs. At least after a week you’ll get the routine. Now here is Lynn-D’s first days alone. I felt completely lost I had no idea what to do first until I found Yertle. One day I was looking for a home and I found a very good one but it looked like someone already lived there. I went inside and there was nobody in there. So I settled down for the night, until I was awoken when I was thrown off the bed. I opened my eyes and there was Yertle looking like he was in war, I was so relieved to see him again. I explained to him how life was and he said he’ll show me around the swamp and how to find a good home and also how to hunt. Now I was a totally experienced turtle. Yertle here! You don’t even want me to get started with the weather from the past five months. We had to be adapting left and right! One day it was warm so we could bask then the next day it would be freezing cold and we had to burry ourselves deep in the mud. Now it comes to the snow, when it snowed me and Lynn-D couldn’t even leave our houses because it was ice cold outside! But that time finally passed.
     
    I think you’ll love it here at Moores Swamp. There is so many fun things to do there like you can play chase with the crayfish or play tug with the plants, there’s endless fun to do. You guys will be in love with the food there. There is crayfish, plants, small fish, bugs and many others. When you wake up you need to have a plan for the day because that will help you a lot. So here is mine!
    – Wake up
    – Eat or go hunting
    – Swim around
    – Play game
    – Eat or go hunting
    – Swim around
    – Explore
    – Eat or go hunting
    – Go to bed
    So that is my daily plan.
    There is certain things you need to learn and you may already know some of them but you can try practicing them in the tank. You need to work on scratching with your claws for hunting and you need to be fearless while hunting so you can’t ever give up. It is very possible to practice these things in the tank. I think you guys will love Moores Swamp because of all the food and all the things to do but thats just are opinion.
     
    See you guys soon!
    Sincerely, Yertle and Lynn-D

  6. Dear Kame and Kaucha,
    Ever since Yertle was released by Doctor Windmiller and Lynn-D by Mrs. Erickson, we have been living by ourselves apart from Mrs. Erickson’s class. We just heard the news and we are so excited to meet you when you come to Moore’s Swamp. We both remember life in the vacation tub, the perfect temperature, the food that they shower down on you, and the rocks that grew smaller very fast, but don’t get too comfy, and enjoy it while you can. We still can’t believe that we were scared when Mrs. E put us in the swamp, but it is just as good in different ways. It is much more exciting to have to look out for yourself.

    The weather is never the same. One day it’s hot and the next is cold, one day it’s sunny and the next it’s a hurricane, but you have to live with what you get. The things we do are repeated lots and lots of times, but never when you expect them to, some things you chose to do like basking but food comes when it does. Yertle’s favorite thing to do is crayfish chasing and Lynn-D’s is worm digging, but they happen when they happen. The things you can do to prepare:
    eat
    act like the food can move
    be pretend predators to each other
    become friends
    practice swimming
    learn to sink.
    Over all Moore’s Swamp is great
    see you soon,
    Yertle and Lynn-D 8)

  7. Dear Kame and Kachua,
    We are writing this letter to you because in no time, you’ll be heading into Moore’s Swamp. When we were getting released into Moore’s Swamp, we were happy, sad, and thankful. We were thankful that Dr. Windmiller, and Mrs. E. released us to our new home when it was time. If they didn’t do that for us, then we would never get a chance to be in the wild. I hope you feel the same way that we did when you get released into the wild. If you get released at Moore’s Swamp, well…. See you then! What we did for the first few days we were at Moore’s Swamp, we were trying to make friends of other animals, and we were practicing our hunting skills. We suggest that you do the same. It is really fun! During the summer, it was a very tough time. There were temperature up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and Hurricane Irene hit. Good thing that with that hot weather, we were swimming in the swampy water. But during Hurricane Irene…. It was hard, very hard. When we were in the water, there were TONS of waves from the wind, and when we were in logs, they kept rolling over. But don’t be alarmed, we were perfectly fine. Since there has been some snow, and a lot of rain, we are used to it now. How is the weather in your classroom where you are staying?
    This year has been really fun. We water racing, we have turtle races, and we have many more games, When you get released into the wild, you are going to get to play these games every day! The food conditions are really good. So far we have found crayfish, grass (a lot of grass), worms, and pillbugs. We hunt 3 times a day! On a daily basis , we hunt, play games with our friends, and we relax. The adaptions that will help you survive are…. Hiding in your shell when danger is coming, hunting (which is very important), being with friends, and more! Every day until you get released, you should be playing games with your brother or sister to help you get used to playing with friends, hiding in your shell if you are fighting with your brother or sister, and start pretend hunting with you pellets. In our entitled opinion, I think that Moore’s Swamp is not a good place for Blanding’s Turtles to live. We think this because it has a lot of bacteria from the swamp water, and the water is really dirty. That is the only thing that we don’t like about Moore’s Swamp right now. I guess we’ll just have to deal with it. Come and visit Lynn-D and I when you get released!
    Signed,
    Yertle and Lynn-D

  8. Dear Kame and Kachua,

    The word on the swap is that you are going to be joining us soon! I remember when I was in your place as a hatchling. Ahhh, the good old days. Meals were always delivered on time. It was always warm. The class got the temperature just right for us. We always got lots of attention. And we never had to worry about getting hurt or eaten. The most danger we saw in the tank was getting caught in the fake plants. But all that is going to change for you. You will have to face many new things.

    You are going to face huge storms like hurricane Irene. When hurricane Irene came it was like our world was being blown apart. There was lots of rain and terrible winds. A tree fell down on my fellow neighbor’s house. Another thing you might face is heat waves. If you have never heard of a heat wave. Well it is so hot. Some of my friends and neighbors have gone through heat waves. They say that it is terribly hot and you feel like you are in a frying pan. Most of us try to hide under rocks or something cool. The swamp sounds pretty harsh right? However, we can not complain about the food. We have lots of options. More than you have when the class is feeding you pellets everyday. Some foods we eat are worms, plants, crayfish and an assortment of bugs. The only catch is that you have to catch it!

    Well we can tell you that there are a lot of fun things to do here. Like we go crayfish fishing. We work on our suntans by sunning ourselves on flat rocks and logs. We also play hide and seek and have swimming races. And we mud wrestle! We are always exploring the swamp for new things because things change everyday.

    We can’t wait until you guys get here. To prepare yourselves you should do lots of swimming. Also, you should get lots of sleep. But don’t worry we will be here to help you out.

    Sincerely,
    Yertle and Lynn-D

  9. Dear Kame and Kachua,

    My name is Yertle and I was released in to Moore’s swamp last year. The first few days in the swamp was hard every morning I stuck out my head waiting to be feed then I would remember there is no kids to feed me, I was also lonely my sister was not released with me so I did not know anyone. Then I met a turtle named Bubbles who says that he wrote to me months ago he brought me to his house and invited me to stay until I was on my feet so I stayed with him he had no problems with me stay with him I am currently staying with him until winter is over and the snow is gone. The weather is very crazy outside one day it is sunny the next it rains then it snows it is just so unpredictable once there was flashes of light that made big boom sounds it was scary and one day we had a lot of rain and a lot of trees fell it was also scary. I stayed inside for most of these events because I am a chicken turtle. Most of the days I swim it is pretty fun I go to peoples cattails to see them and things like that nothing big. Some advice do not cross the road it is very deadly and dangerous and do not go to other animals territory because they will have you for dinner. You kind of have to get used to the cold because there is no heater in the swamp. Moore’s swamp is a great place to live and to grow up and you can live with us or maybe me if I get my own place and you are always welcome to come and visit of stay.

    From your turtle friend,

    Yertle

  10. Dear Kame and Kachua,

    My name is Yertle and I was released in to Moore’s swamp last year. The first few days in the swamp was hard every morning I stuck out my head waiting to be feed then I would remember there is no kids to feed me, I was also lonely my sister was not released with me so I did not know anyone. Then I met a turtle named Bubbles who says that he wrote to me months ago he brought me to his house and invited me to stay until I was on my feet so I stayed with him he had no problems with me stay with him I am currently staying with him until winter is over and the snow is gone. The weather is very crazy outside one day it is sunny the next it rains then it snows it is just so unpredictable once there was flashes of light that made big boom sounds it was scary and one day we had a lot of rain and a lot of trees fell it was also scary. I stayed inside for most of these events because I am a chicken turtle. Most of the days I swim it is pretty fun I go to peoples cattails to see them and things like that nothing big. Some advice do not cross the road it is very deadly and dangerous and do not go to other animals territory because they will have you for dinner. You kind of have to get used to the cold because there is no heater in the swamp. Moore’s swamp is a great place to live and to grow up and you can live with us or maybe me if I get my own place and you are always welcome to come and visit or stay.

    From your turtle friend,

    Yertle

  11. EC20 (formerly EC12)

    Dear Kame and Kachua,
    This is the story of Moore’s Swamp, Yertle, and Lynn-D.

    The first time that Lynn-D and I saw each other since I was put into Moore’s Swamp was about a month from when she was released. We were finding food to eat (we eat things like insects) and happened to bump into each other. I recognized her first.
    “Hi, Lynn-D!”
    “Oh! Hi, Yertle!”
    Just so you know, Kame and Kachua (I think that is your names…?), Lynn-D and me were head-started by that same lovely class that you are being head-started in.
    Anyways, we decided to have a fun day together, filled with swimming to the bottom of the swamp and swimming to the top. It’s a great place here, really. It might not seem like it, since you are in that perfect tank and it’s heated and everything, but once you find some nice friends and everything it’s awesome at Moore’s Swamp.
    Our friends are important to us Blanding’s turtles at Moore’s Swamp. Take any occasion: the 100 degree day in the summer, Hurricane Irene, snow in October, thunder storms, and nice days. We’ve always been there for each other. In the snow storm, we were all caught off guard and went underwater to wait for the snow to melt. To pass the time, we all told stories about our head-starting classes, or if we didn’t get head-started, our life before here. In Hurricane Irene, we did the same thing, because underwater, barely anything bad happens.
    I’ll tell you the story of what happened when I was released.
    I was weighed and measured, and these two kids held my tank. Then, this man named Dr. Windmiller put me in Moore’s Swamp. First he slipped on the water covering the little piece of wood that was acting as a bridge type of thing, and I almost fell out of his hands. Next, the teacher, Mrs. Erickson, said good-bye and all the students said good-bye, too. And Dr. Windmiller put me in the water and I sank a little bit, then swam away. It was nice, because the Blanding’s turtles are really kind and helpful. There aren’t any bad Blanding’s turtles. We’re all in it together. My opinion never changed of Moore’s Swamp: I think it’s a great place.
    “Some of the students were there, and one kid held my carrying tank after I was weighed and measured as we walked down to the swamp,” Lynn-D said. “I was released in the lower Moore’s Swamp, unlike you. Mrs. Erickson held me and the kids that were there said good-bye. She put me in the water, and like you, I sank a little and then swam away. The lower Moore’s Swamp turtles are nice, too, and they looked after me for awhile.”
    So that’s our story!
    As for being adaptable, it’s good if you start learning to eat anything, because your favorite food might not be on the menu every single day. Also, being adaptable to different weather is good, too.

    I hope you learned a lot from this! (Yes, Lynn-D, I’m writing about how awesome you are… grrrr…) And Lynn-D tells me to write about how awesome she is and how she can’t wait to see you all in Moore’s Swamp. I agree! (About how I can’t wait to see you in Moore’s Swamp, not the other part.) I hope Mrs. Erickson is being good to you and the students aren’t torturing you (that’s another story for another time) and you’re having fun!
    See you in… what, six months?
    From,
    Yertle and Lynn-D

  12. Dear Yertle and Lynn-D,
    As turtles raised by Mrs.Erickson now 5th grade class we wanted to know what I was like getting to know them. Should we trust them handling us? Should we eat everything in the feeding tank so we don’t become skinny but just eat some so we don’t become fat and not be able to swim fast? And the giant tank. What do you think about it? We mean you guys swam in that for a pretty long time. And did you guys trust the teacher. And this question is for Yertle… Why is you name Yertle? That was Kama’s question. We want to know how it felt to be released in the wild. Can’t believe you guys made it through without getting hurt by other wild animals. So if you can just write us back the word be turtle-ful.
    Your Favorite Turtles,

    Kame and Kachua.

  13. ec21 (formally ec17)

    Dear Kame and Kachua,
    We, Yertle and Lynn-D, have heard that you are the new Erickson class turtles. We were once your size and we once lived where you do now. We lived in Mrs. Erickson’s class; it’s a wonderful place except for the turtle torture team. That’s just a couple kids that run strange and by my standards useless experiments on you and you have absolutely no idea what is going on. In the classroom there’s food, a protected tank and absolutely no predators. But you won’t be staying there for a very long time. When Dr. Windmiller found you, you lived in a place called Great Meadows. Well, once you are about our size at the end of the school year, you will be returned to that same area but a slightly different habitat. If you walk from the spot where you were born to the place that you will be released it would be a short distance. The place you will be released is called Moore’s Swamp. We’ll give you a short story from our point of view of what happened when we were released so that you know what to expect:
    Yertle was released into the upper part of Moore’s Swamp ald Lynn-D was released in the lower part. Crunch, snap, crackle were all we could hear along with the conversations the children were having. The children seemed to care less about the noise level than we expected. They seemed to feel free about talking and chatting amongst each other and didn’t really care if they stomped or tip-toed to this Moore’s swamp they had been talking about. We both felt as if we could burst into flames of fear. Swaying back and forth in Mrs. Erickson’s cold hands with every step she took and along with that all of these mysterious things kept popping up in front of us. Every time we opened our eyes a third of a nanometer a different green, brown or red object was standing before our eyes. Eventually, we passed by one that looked almost identical to the plastic ones in our tank. Oh, these were plants. That’s why they were in our tank. So that when we see them in the swamp we wouldn’t be scared out of our minds. Oops, that didn’t work to well. After we had hidden in my shell for what seemed like 16 hours we reached a mucky brown area. Confused, we eventually decided that this was a swamp. So this was it? We thought that the swamp would be like a palace and we’d be king, but no, in reality it was just a giant puddle of brown liquid that was a slightly darker shade than peanut butter. Disappointed that we had gotten our hopes up for eight months to see a mucky brown substance, we just gazed at it and sighed. This was more like a prison, we thought sadly; no wonder the turtles who have been residents for their entire lifetime wrote to us acting like we were living in a palace. Later, while Dr. Windmiller and Mrs. Erickson were on the edge we impatiently waited. Splaaaash! Frantically, we jerked my head towards the scene. Could this be a dangerous predator? We wondered. But when we slowly turned my head to peak, Dr. Windmiller’s head bobbed up to the surface and we realized that he had just fallen. Mrs. Erickson was the complete opposite in terms of getting into the swamp. She cautiously bent down and poked her feet into the water first and then sliding the rest of her body in carefully. Once they were both safely in the water, the humans slowly crept through the water holding us. When it got deep, Mrs. Erickson stayed behind and Dr. Windmiller released me (Yertle) into the water.
    So that’s what happened with Yertle. Lynn-D on the other had got released on the opposite end of the pool and Mrs. Erickson placed her into the water unlike Yertle. She had a much more organized experience.
    The first few days we mostly hid, ate the few scraps of food we could find and slept. We were too frightened to go anywhere or do anything. But little by little, we got used to our new habitat and started to wander around a little more. Let us warn you though. There are no pellets in the swamp. As crazy as it may seem, so far all that we were able to find for fod was some earthworms, some plants and other living organisms not very appetizing compared to what you have now. The swamp can be boring at times but sometimes it’s entertaining. Sometimes there is nothing to do but sit around and stare at the sediments lying on the bottom of the swamp. That’s when we wish we were back in the classroom. But other times, the swamp is really alive. There are lots of animals to watch and we can find lots and lots of food. Here’s our daily schedule:
    • Sleep in as much as we want
    • Wake up
    • Hide from predators (especially night predators. Sometimes they’re still awake in the morning)
    • Search for food
    • Take a nap/bask in the sun on a log or rock
    • Fight over a rock with another turtle (like we did with the purple rock back in the classroom)
    • Find more food
    • Explore the swamp
    • Go to sleep
    This is a pretty straight forward schedule. But even though hiding from predators is only one thing on the daily schedule, it is necessary to keep alert at all times. Another thing we need to point out is that this schedule is not exactly the same every day. Sometimes we can change it. For example, if I feel hungry before the scheduled to search for food, I can change it so that I eat earlier. A more important part of our life is adapting to weather. We have experienced very brutal weathers in the short time we’ve been out here. It has been both hot and cold. We adapt to the extreme 100 degree F temperature by not basking too much and staying in the mucky water. That can be another reason we need to switch the schedule around. Following the schedule is our last priority on the priority list we were too busy and lazy to make. We tolerate the extremely cold temperatures very easily. During the winter we are hibernating. Hurricane Irene was probably the hardest weather to live through so far. It was windy and stormy. We spent most of our time in the bottom of the swamp and we were very fortunate it was only a tropical storm in Massachusetts. I did get blown a few feet a couple of times in the morning when I was following my routine but after I realized what was going on I spent the entire day doing nothing. This was one of those boring times that I wished I was back in the classroom.
    We recommend that you should prepare for your journey in advance. We think that when you are given food that moves (live food) you should try it and if you don’t like it, try it again later. There are no pellets in the swamp. You should be expecting frightening and odd things in the swamp, so be prepared.

    Yours truly,

    Yertle and Lynn-D (Mrs. Erickson’s class’s former turtles)

  14. Dear Kame and Kachua,
    Yertle and I are having so much fun here living in Moore’s Swamp. There’s so much to eat such as worms, little fish and much more. We had some interesting weather in the swamp over the last 5 months. Some of the weather was the Hurricane Irene, the snow storm, thunder storms, and just rain. When the Hurricane Irene came in the leaves were blowing like mad. Yertle and I hid with some other Blanding’s Turtles. Good thing nothing really bad happened because that would be terrible. Soon you’ll be put into the swamp. And let me tell you something, it feels so good to be free. You get to swim were ever you want! The feelings just amazing! But the bad part is the first days are kind of scary because the swamp is so big with all these sticks in it. I got lost a couple of times but don’t worry about it too much. Some adaptations you will need to make is the water isn’t always warm, so your gong to have to get used to that. If the kids give you new food, try it because you don’t know if you’ll like it or not. Over all Yertle and I think Moore’s Swamp is an awesome place to live.
    Sincerely,
    Lynn-D

  15. Dear Kame and Kachua,

    We hope you are floating and frolicking in the leisurely tank. And, we know that you are probably thinking that you are going to stay there the rest of the lives, eating and sleeping. But, in June (which is a long way of) you will get released by some figures that you probably know, called humans. Do not, by any chance worry because, it is equally leisurely and luxurious, but in a different way. You will get really nervous.

    When the figures were about to release us we had our heads and legs squished inside and we did not dare to open an eye, afraid of what was going to happen was going to be terrible. Slowly we felt smooth water rub against us. For a moment we forgot all our fears and relaxed. Then “PLOP” we sunk to the bottom. When we realized what was happening, panic started to rise up and then we paddled our legs ferociously and furiously with all our might till we popped our head above the water. We heard the humans screaming “Bye, Yertle. Bye Lynn-D”. After that we carefully put our heads in the water and scanned the bottom of the swamp. At first nothing moved, but then slowly dark shadows behind the plants started to stir.
    What could it be? Suddenly, a shape of a turtle appeared into view. All the turtles started to introduce themselves. And after that life was PERFECT.

    The weather here can be pretty unpredictable. One second it is boiling hot and another it is freezing cold. Once it even snowed, and we had burry ourselves deep in the mud. Then we chanced upon a hurricane which you won’t meet all the time. We again buried ourselves, afraid of be swept away in the unpleasant and rough water. So we have one advice, be adaptable and weather here can be bizarre, so don’t be stunned. We adapt really quickly though. We can slowly move under thick and cold sheets of ice and swim away in the boiling 100 degree F weather. Through the five months we’ve been here, there have been some pleasant days too. During the winter we hibernate and eat few floating pieces of leaves and dead insects. We breathe from small air bubbles in the water. Also our metabolism slows down a ton. Our hearts beats about once in a minute.

    In Moore’s Swamp we have lots of entertainment. There I infinite things we like to do. We will tell you a few but the rest are a surprise. The first one, which is every Blanding’s turtles’ favorite is “Sought then brought”. In this game what we do is this:
    First the oldest Blanding’s turtle in the swamp picks a few turtles. All the other turtles hide (This skill is called camouflaging. It is used to hide from predators.)
    The goal of the game is to find as many turtles as you can. After a certain time period Franklin the Great (the oldest turtle) calls the turtles he picked. So whoever found the most turtles wins and as a prize the turtle gets a yummy dinner from the other turtles. So basically if you win you don’t have to hunt food for dinner. It helps to improve you camouflaging skills. We can’t wait to teach you more games! We eat worms and crustaceans. Sometimes, we eat small fish that swivel past us. This is what we do on a daily basis:

    1. Sleep as long as we’d like

    2. Wake up

    3. Hunt for food

    4. Sit down on a log and bask and eat food

    5. Go to our own personal “hotel” and take a nap (The hotel is a place that is our own personal spot. We can do just about anything there. It is basically a log/rock that is special)

    6. Play a game (VERY IMPORTANT)

    7. Eat lunch and just float around with other turtles

    8. Play another game or explore the swamp

    9. Eat Dinner while Franklin the Great tells an ancient story

    10. Go to sleep

    This is our basic schedule. It may change because of bad weather but otherwise this is it. One tip, be ready to be looking for predators such as minks and skunk. They might be lurking behind your back any moment. But don’t get too worried otherwise they will wash away the fun of murky Moore’s Swamp.

    We suggest using this letter, prepare for your journey. We will teach, comfort, and defend you but odd and scary things or events can take place. Most important, WE CAN NOT WAIT TILL YOU COME! We have a lot of things to show and introduce to.

    Yours truly,

    Yertle and Lynn-D

    P.S: There are no floating pellets. There is live food like cray-fish

    P.P.S: The cray-fish is really fun to torture/annoy. But they pinch you really hard at times.

  16. EC4(formerly EC2)

    Dear Kame and Kachua,
    Ever since I was dropped in to Moore’s swamp I’ve been having lots of fun with the other turtles and my buddy Lynn D, who was dropped off in a different part of the swamp a bit after I was. At first when I was dropped in the swamp, I was absolutely terrified and hid in the brambles. Once all of the kids left (I had to be sure the turtle torturer was gone) I started to explore. Usually when you hear that it means that something bad is going to happen, but this time it was actually the opposite.
    I met up with some other turtles and they took me to a nice muddy spot where they could explain the dangers. Weather can get pretty bad here; we have had a hurricane, and even a snowstorm! Sometimes it gets so cold all you want to do is hide in the mud. Another thing that you should watch out for are turtle eaters, like foxes and coyotes. If you see them, don’t run and stay in your shell!
    Sorry if you’re not feeling so into it, but Moore’s swamp really is great. Even when it gets really cold and the top freezes up, it is really cool when you look at the bottom of the ice. If it gets to be a 100˚F you can get the full effect of basking in real sunlight. That means no more artificial light bulb tans! Also, the foxes and coyotes aren’t there every day. Sure it is pretty nice in the tank, but here it’s great.
    You are probably be wondering what we do when it’s not snowing or when there is a hurricane or we are playing dead. Well, in the morning we usually catch some crayfish or go on land and eat some berries. After that all the turtles get together and play capture the crayfish and do races underwater.
    The #1 tip for getting ready for the swamp is to enjoy the tank while you can, sometimes we can’t find any food and it’s very cold. Also, try to get strong now by swimming laps so you won’t have trouble getting food in the swamp. I think that Moore’s swamp is a great place for Blanding’s turtles. If you want to find out yourself, stop by at the end of the school year!

    See you soon ☺
    Sincerely, Yertle (and Lynn D.)

  17. Dear Kame and Kachua,

    This is Yertle writing. I have wrote this letter in case you are wondering who we are, what we are up to, etc. So, since me and Lynn-D have been released into Moore’s swamp last summer, we have had many adventures out in the world. Right off the bat, I would like to tell you how lucky you are to live where you live right now. In the wilderness, the weather is not always perfect, like you have and we used to have. Out here it has been madness, with the weather that has been going on. It used to be OK out here, but then it started to be roasting outside, so hot that shade was absolutely needed. After that, the craziest thing ever happened. I was like a ten mile long predator. It was so strong it knocked limbs off trees and destroyed all sorts of things. Then the weather got better and the temperature dropped. In fact, it dropped so low that it snowed! You probably have never seen snow. It is basically a bunch of white flakes falling from the sky and they are cold, very cold. then the weather was not as bad once the flakes went away, but I think the sky just had a cold or something. I miss our old home. I remember that sad day when I was picked up like I get picked up a lot, and I willingly obliged, thinking of the food tank that I surely was going to go into. But I was brought in another direction. I was put into a tank with a lid and then I went on a bumpy ride where I couldn’t see where I was going. “Let me out! What’s the big idea!” I yelled repeatedly. But no one could hear. Then I started flying for a few minutes. Suddenly, the box opened and I was taken out and I took in my surroundings. I was near some tall trees. Then, oddly, I got measured like I was home again. Had I been kidnapped? I fought furiously until I noticed familiar faces. In fact, all the faces were those of my friends. I was passed around, and then suddenly, unexpectedly, my shell was cut where it had been cut when I was a tiny baby. Then I was put back in the box and I was moved again, this time to a odd, greenish-colored pond. Was I going to be put in there? In that muck? Struggling to escape, I wondered if I had been brought up just for a sacrifice. That made me kind of crazy and I suddenly was mad. What were they really trying to accomplish and how was I involved with it? Then I was taken out, along with my sister, and I hissed to her “What are they doing?” She replied “They’re setting us free.” And then it dawned on me. What all this commotion was about. Why we were here. We were going to part ways, and I would probably never see them again. But then I had another question, but not for Lynn-D. Why didn’t I think of that answer before? I hate when she’s right and I’m wrong. However, I didn’t notice that, while I was thinking, I had moved to right near the middle of the pond. NOOOOOOOOOO! I plunged into the muck, and for a second, I didn’t even realize where I was. The water was not gross. It was not disgusting. It felt pretty good, actually. And then I was swimming freely. Not confined to the clear walls of my tank (or your tank, actually) where I could only see outside and wonder what it was like. No. Now I was free. A strange, indecisive feeling washed over me like a tidal wave. I was free. I would never see my human friends again. Or would I ? Should I go back to them? And then I made the hardest decision I had ever made. I left. I left my friends. I left my tank. I left my worries and my problems. This what what mattered right now. Freedom. And on that melancholy day, I left a bit of my soul behind with the people who had raised me, who had taken care of me, who had loved me. Friends.

    Note: Yertle stopped his entry (though you could call it a saga) here and it was picked up by his sister, Lynn-D.

    Hello, new turtles. I am Lynn-D, resident of Moore’s swamp. I like it here. It is very nice and not that bad, actually. My brother pretty much told the story of our release. But he missed a few facts. After our release, we had to adapt to the climate. For the first few days Yertle was all for playing around, but I convinced him to help me find a house. We needed to get used to the climate and the predators, but we have fit in now. You should prepare for the predators.They are scary and dangerous and they can hurt or kill you! Watch out for them.There is a varied menu and you can eat things like crayfish and worms, though there are no pellets. It is really different here, but it is great and we both love it and I know you both will when you join us. We’ll show you around when you come, but you should still enjoy the tank while you can. So it is goodbye until we meet. See you around some day!

    Hi, this is Yertle again. Did you like the poetic ending to my entry? And I had a lot of–

    Yertle appears to have not written any more, but some food stains were found on the paper and two and two have been put together.

  18. Dear Kachua and Kame,
    Greetings to you from Lynn-D and Yertle, the turtles released by Mrs. Erickson’s class last school year. I hope all is well in the classroom and you are doing fine. You should have fun while in the tank, because, it is a struggle your first few days in the wild. When you get released, life is in your hands. It is how you make it. We had many thoughts when we got released and we mostly felt scared of the wild. It is okay if you do too. Moore’s Swamp is a very great place to be. You can roam free instead of being crammed in a tank. Our advice is to stay together. You are better off with each other because it is very easy to catch your food if it’s two against one. Something to keep in mind is there are many great hiding places in Moore’s Swamp. Although, you should make sure you find one that isn’t inhabited by another creature. When there was a tropical storm, we stayed in deep waters because trees and plants were blowing wildly and we did not want to become a part of that. We were not very much affected by the hot weather because we are underwater but it is sometimes very hot under water so I recommend crawling out and getting some fresh air. There is much food including worms which are very easy to catch, crayfish (but they put up a fight), water bugs, and other delights that the wild offers. There will be no more pellets so we ease you to try the first worm that is put in front of you. You should practice hiding from each other to prepare for the wild. You will have to adapt to the colder weather so prepare for that too. Moore’s Swamp is the perfect place for Blanding’s Turtles. Although, if you get released somewhere else, I’m sure you will adapt there and have a great time. We will see you in the wild! (maybe)
    Best regards,
    Yertle the Turtle
    Lynn-D (Destroyer)

  19. EC-7 (formerly EC 21 and 5)

    Dearかめand Kachua
    Hi my name Yertle! I will tell you about my life. Splashed in the water not knowing where I was. I took a look around, everything was muddy! I was scared .I swam around looking at something I am familiar with. I saw something with claws and it was red. It was a crayfish. I thought to myself “A snack could be good!” so I ate it. The first few days I had to get used to it. Looking for my food and living by myself. You have to get used to it but after you do it is fun living in the wild like in the 100° weather it is fun to bask in the sun and tropical storm Irene was horrible because there was no basking no playing no going outside and no swimming too far from my home. Then the day came. In June I was just swimming in the swamp when I saw Mrs.E’s feet I dashed there and a heartbeat later I saw a Blanding’s turtle that looked familiar. “Lynn-D!” I yelled and I dashed to him. After that day we always play together. This is our day looks like
    1. Go see if both of tracker batteries are alive
    2. Eat breakfast together
    3. Play “who can bask longer”
    4. Find lunch
    5. Talk about our dream we had today
    6. Play Turtleman (superman) Beats the crayfish villain (snack)
    7. Play Baseacorn (baseball) With other Blanding’s turtles
    8. Find dinner
    9. Bedtime stories
    10. Sleep
    That’s how our day looks like. Some advices we have are be nice to each other because there will be a timeout. [OH hi Lynn-D] sorry to interrupt but Lynn-D came [Can’t you see that I’m reacording something for Kame and Kachua?] Sorry about that so where were we oh yah so you should eat a lot or Mrs.E will force you to. Moore’s swamp is a great place and we have a blast there! That’s all the things I have to tell you I’ll see you in the future!

    Best wishes
    Yertle [Lynn-D]{ Hey! where’s my name!?!}]
    [Yertle{well you did nothing!}]
    [Lynn-D{but…..}]
    [Yertle{OK}]
    Also Lynn-D that did nothing
    [Lynn-D{ Hey!}]
    [Yertle{HeHe}]

  20. Dear Kame and Kachua,
    This is from your friend Lynn-D. I would like to prepare you for Moore’s swamp. These are a few accounts from my journal to give you an idea of what it’s like out here. Enjoy! ^=^

    Warm water engulfs me as I get put into the water. Slowly I swim away, exploring my surroundings. Murky water is my only thing in sight. Slowly I swim away, wondering why they let me into this water. Usually it’s clean and clear. This water also seems bigger than the usual box I’m in. After about ten minutes I lose sight of the people who let me go. Wondering where they’re going I start to worry. If they are leaving me who is going to feed me? Or am I going to feed myself? After more exploration I discover that I’m not alone. They looked weird and very strange. Don’t look nice either. Why did those humans have to leave me here?

    “Crack!” Loud thunder makes my afternoon relaxation in the sun not very relaxing, or sunny. On top of a log I hide under some trees. Right now I feel too scared to swim. Because the thunder I won’t even move. The thunder makes me shiver more than if I was freezing. Trying to think happy thought I thought how much food there was here. Surprisingly there was more food than I had predicted. Plus I can have it anytime I want. Yet I still wish I was back in my old box. There we didn’t have thunderstorms.

    A blazing sun is above me as I swim in the water. Still I can’t escape the heat, even underwater. Since to the sudden heat, I have had to change my daily schedule. Now I usually I spend more time in the water and finding food. There is an increase in food with this heat. This makes up for the heat. Happily I look for food. Not worried about a thing.

    Soft snow falls from the sky like cold sand. My body started freezing without any way of heating up except for hibernation. Today I decided to go into hibernation. Swimming in the cold water toward the bottom I found that the water got a lot colder as I went down. When I felt like I was going to freeze my head thumped on the bottom. Usually the bottom of the swamp was softer. Now it was like a rock from the recent cold. After that I laid my belly on the hard ground. Slowly I closed my eyes, and then I thought a happy thought before I went to my long sleep. Getting placed in this swamp was the best thing that ever happened to me.

  21. Dear Kame and Kachua,

    Enjoy your stay in the tank while it lasts. Savor the taste of the turtle pellets, bask in the lamp light , enjoy no predators trying to eat you in the tank. Here we encounter hurricanes that see huge waves crashing through our swamp, blistering heat, icy fringed snow ( which can bring the end to a turtle ) . Because at the end of the year they will release you to one of three habitats: Great meadows , eastern vernal pools or where we live, Moores swamp .

    On a warm sunny day the bus pulled into a meadow and kids streamed out. They measured me and weighed me then they carried me down to a swamp. There they waded into the depths of the swamp and let me go. For the first few days I hid in the mud and then I began to get hungry, so I came out .

    Life here in the swamp is sweet but not as nice as the tank. There are lots of fallen trees that are great for hiding from predators. It is swarming with bugs which are great for food, and has plenty of rocks for sun bathing . There are plenty of things to do, like swimming, sun bathing, hunting, playing hide and seek , tag , and sleeping . The food here is great it includes; crayfish, fresh water clams , snails , small fish , worms, insects, frog berries and grasses. But we look out for minks ,raccoons ,herrings , and large fish. It helps to be prepared for being released so practice sun bathing, sneaking up on things , swimming , hiding and fighting .

    Moores swamp is a great place for turtles there are fun things to do, plenty to eat, and great hiding places. It is a haven for turtles. Enjoy your stay!

    sincerely

    Yertle and Lynn D

  22. Dear Kame and Kachua,

    This is Yertle and Lynn- D writing from our prospective of hanging around with Mrs. E and all the classmates. First we think that it was an amazing opportunity. Okay, now we can move on along. Alrighty now, going so far from your life, next is releasing. There was a gentleman named Dr. Windmiller letting e go. Letting Lynn- D go was the teacher. I went farther out with the Dr. It was actually really fun being let go. Also, it was really sad because you have to say goodbye to those CRAZY kids. “ Yertle, it is my turn to speak.” Sorry that was Lynn- D. Finally, hi this is Lynn- D. I went out with the teacher close up. Now this was at a different time than my brother. But it was great! Although, again it was sad. But you guys will definitely have a great time! Hopefully we will get to become BFFS. From a couple days or weeks ago, we have been released for five months. The only thing bad about the wild is the weather. You must get used to the blazing and boiling sun, so we can bask or the pouring rain to have a bath. There is also freezing snow. That is when we turtles like to sleep. Don’t forget about the thunder and lightning. Thunder and lightning is like booming music in your ears. It really is an interesting experience. Moving on, the best parts are the food and the games. The foods we eat and find are great. But our favorite is the delightful crayfish. The games we play are hide and seek turtle, find the best food and more? On a daily basis we usually eat, play, rest, eat, fight, play, sleep etc. Some advice is to learn how to fight quickly because when you pass Bully Bob’s territory he will tussle. More is to make sure to be a fast learner on how to catch food quickly. Instead of those kids dropping in pellets. Moore’s Swamp is an amazing place. You guys will love it. Like us! We really hope to meet you someday. Our address is 123456 Dig Down Deeper St.

    Sincerely,

    Yertle and Lynn- D

  23. Dear Kame and Kachua,

    This is Yertle and Lynn-D. Written by Yertle. We are turtles that about 5 months ago in the same place as you. But now we are living in the swamp, which is also a very nice place. When we were first released, we did not know what to do or what to do without each other. We swam around the swamp that whole day looking for each other when finally we did right on shore. Even together we did not know what to do. We were lost, hopeless. We just stayed together and we just kind of blended in with the other turtles. And we were wondering why no more pellets were falling from the sky. I mean it happened like that for like 10 months! Then we realized that we would just have to hunt. We also had to adapt to many different things. There were 100 degree days where we just found a rock and sat there all day. That was great. Then there was also a some snow in October. The water was very cold that day and we had to come out of the water so we wouldn’t freeze. There’s also been thunderstorms which freaked us both out when we first saw one. It was a storm coming right our way. We didn’t know what to do and so we swam down to the bottom of the swamp and hoped for the best. Luckily the lightning didn’t hit the water and we were okay. Oh, and we cant forget, the hurricane. I guess It wasn’t a hurricane at the time, only a tropical storm. But boy, everything got destroyed. Trees fell down, the water was changed, the wind blew us away! It was a nightmare. We took cover behind a big rock away from the swamp. We were okay but the storm lasted like 5 hours! I don’t know how we made it out of that. We do turtle races mostly for activities. Neither of us usually win but even if you don’t its still fun. We also have the BEST crayfish here. We both like to feast all day on crayfish. Yum, yum, yum. Because there’s so many here, that’s basically all we eat. But I’d like to keep it that way. Most days we just have breakfast, (crayfish) Maybe do a turtle race, then have lunch, (crayfish) then go explore another part of the swamp, then have dinner, (crayfish) and then have a good long sleep. When you get here to Moore’s Swamp, you will definitely need to adapt. You will need to get used to not eating turtle pellets. You will also need to get used to the cooler water. Maybe one of the humans can turn the heater a little lower so you get used to the cold water. Lynn-D and I both think it’s one of the best habitats in the world. We think all Blanding’s Turtles should live here.

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