These guys are a protected species in Illinois, but it's only because we are on the edge of their range. They're abundant where they are found.
I saw this Western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata) taking refuge along lower Lagunitas Creek on Sunday December 2nd when flows exceeded 3,000 cubic feet per second (comparatively, today is 45 cfs)!
Spring! Frogs croaking in the forest even though it was still bitter cold. First time for me to hear in 2013, and wholly unexpected. No frogs seen in the creeks at the Arboretum, just this vernal pool. All frogs seen were floating in the water, as pictured, not sitting on the pond edge or on logs.