Chipmunk and Snapping Turtle

I had a post a few days ago about mallows: the chipmunks must have read it because I pointed out that hollyhocks and hibiscus were both mallows.  Well, I caught a chipmunk eating the hibiscus flowers for the first time although I put them out in the same place each year.

So I brought in one hibiscus to a safe place.  So the chipmunk went after the hollyhocks instead.

Chipmunk on Hollyhock
Chipmunk on Hollyhock
Chipmunk on Hollyhock
Chipmunk on Hollyhock

We also had a visit from a snapping turtle.  It’s too big to be a hatchling from this year, even though it’s almost the right time, but nowhere near adult size.  It is about 8 cm as you can see, barely able to peer over grass that was cut a couple of days ago.  Adults are up to 50 cm.  So it must have overwintered in one of my garden ponds.  It was heading towards my biggest pond with lots of lilies and fish, and I don’t want an adult living there as then it would have no lilies or fish, so I gave it a ride in a pail to a large pond nearby, which is probably where its parents came from.  That led to a serendipitous find.  I dropped it in a spot I hadn’t looked at for a while and found a large ladyslipper orchid plant.  It’s long past flowering season, so I’ll have to wait until next year to find out what colour it is.  I know orchids well enough to identify a ladyslipper just from leaves, but not to guess the colour.

Snapping Turtle 2

Juvenile Snapping Turtle
Juvenile Snapping Turtle

Another reason snapping turtles are in danger

I forgot I still had some images on my pocket camera.  Here is one of the remains of a snapping turtle nest near our house.  Some other animal didn’t read the Endangered Species Act and got all the eggs.  This was taken in late fall and I would have seen it if it had happened more than a day or two earlier.

Snapping Turtle nest destroyed
Snapping Turtle nest destroyed

Invaded by Ninja Turtles

Snapping turtles, that is, not teenage or mutant.

In spite of the ugly chicken wire fence I put around my water garden, this monster got in. I noticed a couple of snipped-off water lily leaves so I knew she was in there, so I got out the turtle net and waited quietly for her to show the tip of her nose to breathe. The “ninja” part comes from the fact that she is so stealthy in the water, for a lumbering, clumsy creature on land. Sort of like me except for the fact that I’m also hopeless in water.

Snapping turtles, that is, not teenage or mutant.

In spite of the ugly chicken wire fence I put around my water garden, this monster got in.  I noticed a couple of snipped-off water lily leaves so I knew she was in there, so I got out the turtle net and waited quietly for her to show the tip of her nose to breathe.  The “ninja” part comes from the fact that she is so stealthy in the water, for a lumbering, clumsy creature on land.  Sort of like me except for the fact that I’m also hopeless in water.

Snapping turtle in the net
Snapping turtle in the net

I know it is a female because she comes to lay eggs in our driveway and then stops off to ruin my pond on the way home (a bigger uncultivated pond next door with no juicy water lilies or brightly coloured, easy to catch goldfish, just tough weeds and fast native fish).

Here she is after I gave her a taxi ride home in the net.

Snapping turtle

Snapping turtle

Then when I got back, I found this 8 cm (3 inch) turtle on a rock by the pond.  Obviously one of last year’s hatchlings who had moved in permanently.  So it got a new home too.

Young snapping turtle
One year-old snapping turtle