When I went outside this morning to straighten up the patio a bit, I noticed something really unusual in the perennial bed closest to the house. At first, I couldn't make out what it was and then all of a sudden, I could. We have, as I write, a special visitor laying eggs in our garden: a snapping turtle; an older female. Snapping turtles have strong jaws, webbed feet and a very reptilian-like tail that looks like a miniature alligator or dragon. If you look closely, you can see the tail in the last two pictures. Their heads are so large that they cannot be retracted into the shell. How do I know it is a female? She's laying eggs; she actually moved the pots that were there. I got close enough to take these -- quietly and then backed away. The irony? I have a "turtle garden" with turtle stepping stones and turtle paraphernalia. This isn't it. Oh, and the little bit of green under her....those are my hostas and irises that she's dug up.
PS I just looked this up. Supposedly they can grow to 70 pounds; they eat muskrats, frogs, toads, herons, and other wading birds-- also carrion (eewww). Maybe they even eat rabbits! She has migrated over to my turtle garden (is she smart, or what?) and has spent the afternoon there.
- I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.