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Sex Life of the Red-eyed Turtle

Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina) are common through most of the eastern United States. They are slow-moving, long-lived throwbacks to ancient times when reptiles dominated the Earth and mammals were just coming onto the scene. These shelled creatures deal with their environment in unusual ways: they wander the landscape, seemingly without goals but always in pursuit of a juicy blackberry or fleshy mushroom to devour; when threatened they draw the appendages inside their shell and completely escape from the outside world; and they go through life with scarcely an enemy--except for fast-moving motor vehicles that smash them into oblivion if they attempt to cross a dangerous thoroughfare. Everything Box Turtles do transpires in slow-motion--even during mating when a male can only be distinguished from the female by his cherry-red eyes--but they nonetheless accomplish what they need to do. In this humorous and inspiration look at the Sex Life of the Red-eyed Turtle, educator-naturalist Bill Hilton Jr. of Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History uses the plodding Box Turtle to focus on human behavior and talk about lessons we all can learn from this peaceful creature.

(Photo © Hilton Pond Center) Eastern Box Turtle (male)

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Conservation for the Christian Consumer

What does the Judaeo-Christian Bible tell us about how to care for the Earth? Are we to "dominate" the beasts of the field, or are we to "have dominion over" the flora and fauna with which we share the planet? How does the Protestant work ethic mesh with conservation as a way of life? These are hard questions that religious leaders seldom deal with from the pulpit, but they are questions that must be answered as natural resources diminish. In Conservation for the Christian Consumer, educator-naturalist Bill Hilton Jr. of Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History discusses the choices with which we are faced each day, and talks about the ethics of recycling, driving the speed limit, and choosing which kind of orange juice to buy from the local supermarket. If you're not actively recycling and taking other positive steps, this presentation may make you feel a tad uncomfortable about your own past actions, but it will inform and guide you on what you can do today to change how you view and treat the environment.

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Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History is a non-profit research & education organization in York, South Carolina USA; phone (803) 684-5852. Directed by Bill Hilton Jr., aka The Piedmont Naturalist, it is the parent organization for Operation RubyThroat. Contents of this website--including articles and photos--may NOT be duplicated, modified, or used in any way except with the express written permission of Hilton Pond Center. All rights reserved worldwide. To obtain permission for use or for further assistance on accessing this Web site, contact the Webmaster.