My children know that when you go looking for Box Turtles, you will not find them, but when you live where they live, it often happens serendipitously. This old tortoise was walking across the cut in the bank that leads to the beach at Windrock. The Massachusetts Heritage and Endangered Species Program lists the eastern box turtles as a species of Special Concern in the Commonwealth. I sent in a record from our property a number of years ago, making the surrounding area priority habitat and ultimately strengthening the environmental significance of the open space protection efforts that have saved so much of Great Neck from the heavy development pressure that has affected the remaining woodlands and shoreline of this coastal community. Windrock itself qualified for Chapter 61B, a "current use" open space tax abatement program,, based on the environmental condition of our property and we cited the presence of this species to help make that case..When our neighbor cleared a part of the woodlands between us to build a stately home, the order of conditions for the construction work mandated a turtle barrier around the build site.
We are delighted to be sharing this land with these turtles. I have the same thrill when I spot one of their long necks peering above a patterned shell that I felt as a child.