No fewer than four snapping turtle laid their eggs in the same hole just outside my window during the first week of June. That hole presently is in a raised flower bed, but it was there, in roughly the same spot, before the bed was built a few years ago.

The top photo shows Maisie still in the hole (she’s the star of my previous post), while Josie having taken her turn looks on.

The bottom photo is of Josie peering up at me from the driveway as I looked down at her, camera ready, from my open window just a few feet above. I know I run the risk anthropomorphizing here, but she looked to me more

relaxed and curious than fearful. As if reading my thoughts, she slowly meandered about the yard, taking in the sights, before heading back to the pond.

Incidentally, I’ve always found the snappers in my yard to be docile, but needless to say, you don’t want to get too close, or handle them, unless you know what you’re doing.

Here’s an instructive video on handling a snapper: Helping a Snapping Turtle Cross the Road. And here’s delightful page of snapper lore.

 

One Response to Rite of Spring II

  1. Robin Mirollo says:

    Hi Ron,
    Glad to know that you treat the snappers with respect and from a healthy distance. Not many people are able or willing to give them the space they need. We often encountered snappers at our last address, a townhouse just along the Neponset Rv in Canton. I remember one morning in particular when I heard a ruckus at the front of the house. I opened my door to find my elderly neighbor, Norma, with a shovel in her hand and attached to the other end was a big lady snapper. The snappers used the flower beds in front of our townhouse to lay their eggs. Norma had tried to leave her house that morning and found her screen door blocked by the large turtle. Norma tried to shoo it away with a shovel and naturally the turtle defended herself by latching on. I talked Norma into putting the shovel down and going back in the house, and assured her that if she backed down the turtle would too. Sure enough, the turtle then retreated to the santuary of Neponset’s murky waters. The funny thing is we never saw the baby turtles emerging from the nest and making their way back to the river. They must do so at night to avoid predators, such as birds. I also find it interesting that the nests are shared, but I suppose it’s easier to use a hole that’s already been dug as egg-laying must be quite tiring.

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