Snapping Turtle Season

It’s that time of year again.  The snapping turtles like to lay their eggs around our house because it is sandy and well-drained, although a few like the manure pile even though by now it is too old to give off any heat.

They come from neighbouring large ponds but like to stop off for a rest in my fish pond, or should I say restaurant, because if I leave them alone, they eat all the goldfish.  So I’ve had to evict two in as many days.  I catch them in a net and cart them in a wheelbarrow to a neighbouring larger body of water where at least some of them live year round.  I’m careful because I don’t want either me or the turtle to get hurt.  Wikipedia tells me that “Snappers can stretch their necks back across their own carapace and to their hind feet on either side to bite. Also, their claws are sharp and capable of inflicting significant lacerations.”

Here is the first one in the pond (which is rather green just now, it always turns green for a couple of weeks when the weather warms up before the pond gets itself back into balance with more shade from the water lilies and more micro-organisms to eat the algae.

Snapping Turtle
Snapping Turtle

and here it is where I dropped it off.  The shell is about 30cm (1ft) long and it weighs about 5 kg (10lb) so needs a strong net.

Snapping Turtle released
Snapping Turtle released

Here is a picture from a couple of years ago of the babies hatching.  Their shells are about 3cm (1″) so they have a lot of growing to do.

Turtles hatching
Turtles hatching

Author: Eric Lawton

Eric is a natural philosopher living in rural Ontario

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