Hello Madame!

Back in 1999 I rescued a large snapping turtle who was trying to cross the highway. As soon as I put it down on the verge it grabbed the edge of my shoe and bit a chunk out of it. I guess that is a way of showing appreciation. It’s not a good way, it’s just a way.

Heading to the shop yesterday I noticed something (I usually drive slowly and sometimes pay attention) and stopped. It was a large snapper, just chilling along the edge of the ditch by the driveway. It’s a good safe spot, about 100 yards from the big bog and there’s no traffic except deer and the occasional me.

After my previous stint as a turtle paladin, I was going to drive off and leave this one to its own devices but then I noticed signs of what might be struggle. Until I looked a bit closer and … perhaps I have witnessed a “blessed event.”

My minimal research – I busted a scroll of Google – indicates that now is the time of the year when the mommy turtles do what they do when they love daddy turtles very much. Actually, I don’t believe that for a second, snapping turtles appear to resemble Mitch McConnell in temperament, too.

The Google scroll tells me that there is a pretty wide window in which the eggs might hatch, so it doesn’t seem like much of a point to putting a GoPro there to record the second part of the blessed event. Besides, 80 of a turtle’s eggs wind up feeding raccoons, coyotes, and who knows what all else. Everybody eats someone else, even if it’s only a lettuce.


  1. jrkrideau says

    She is probably laying eggs. It is more or less the time and one would seldom see a snapper or any turtle that far from water in my (old) experience.

  2. kestrel says

    We rescued a snapper once, or rather, the Partner did. It was NOT happy about being taken back to the pond, but it was out on the road and we were afraid it would get run over. The whole time it was being put back in the pond the turtle was glaring at the Partner, hissing with its mouth open, very offended. Every time we drive past that pond we imagine that turtle is there, staring at us and plotting revenge.

    Perhaps the new little baby turtles will be very grateful to you for peacefully passing by and leaving their mother alone, but don’t pet them anyway.

  3. voyager says

    I once helped rescue a duck that had been grabbed by a snapping turtle. It was at the dog park and the duck was screaming so loudly that all the dogs were upset and pacing by the fence. A young man and I jumped the fence (well, he jumped and I clambered) and I used my jacket to throw over the duck and the fellow quite bravely got a stick and eventually pried the turtles mouth open. The duck made a getaway with both legs still attached and neither one of us got hurt. The grip strength of that turtle was amazing.

  4. says

    The grip strength of that turtle was amazing.

    It was brave of you to try and rescue the duck! Turtles are nasty customers when they get their beak on you – it’s designed for gripping and that sure is what it does.

  5. voyager says

    Thanks, Marcus.
    I actually felt quite brave that day, although I had the easy part of the job – cover and hold the duck. The guy with the stick was truly brave.

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