Sat Apr 2023

Rite of Spring

It never ceases to amaze me that these ancient creatures come up from the pond every year to lay their eggs, and find the same spot to do so — like birds remembering a migration route.

In the very place where they’ve traditionally laid their eggs, a raised flower bed was built a few years ago. Does that stop them? Not on your life! They simply climb the 18″ high stone retaining wall.

There’s more. Take the case of “Maisie.” From her small size, she’s obviously a young snapping turtle, and by her trial-and-error antics in the laying hole, new to the game. How does she know where to go? My guess is that she just follows the older females to this well-worn spot.

There’s more yet. Popular this hole may be, but over the years, I’ve seen many snappers go right on past it, and find a place of their own to dig fifty yards or more further inland, even climbing several terrace walls behind the house to get there!

Alas, few of the eggs ever survive. At night, the skunks come by and dig them up. It’s a blessing in disguise, probably, as there are already a great many snapping turtles in the pond.