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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.

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

The rabbits felt they had done enough damage and called in for help...

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.

12 comments:

Deblynne said...

Wow Are you near a pond? Somehow this seems better than rabbits, but I don't know what or how much turtles eat.

Purple Flowers said...

I feel bad for you because it doesn't seem to end.

Cheryl said...

Very interesting. I think I'd like a turtle in my garden but not the snapping kind. I'd like a turtle more than all the moles/voles I have. Watch your fingers.

Lena said...

Very smart turtle!

We used to have snapping turtles around the pond on the farm where I grew up. Surprising to hear of one in your garden!

Traffic would often come to a stand still when they would be crossing the street.

jane said...

i´ve never seen one of these.. now i´ll probably have dreams about them... happy sunday kathy!

Jay said...

That's very cool. I don't guess they're endangered or anything, so you could probably relocate her if you wanted. But, if it were me I would just enjoy her being there. Unless she attracts predators or SNAKES! Then I'd kill her. LOL ;-)

Jay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay said...

Before I get emails ...

I would NOT kill the turtle! I was kidding. I kid because I care. ;-)

Palm Springs Savant said...

I like turtles, but wow can they be destructive. They burrow and claw around. yikes kathy.

cri said...

Kathy, ma il tuo giardino sembra uno zoo!!! Bellissimo: pieno di fiori e animali.... un paradiso in terra1

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Oh my. Is this some type of payback from fate for saying you loved turtles?

Brad said...

I think maybe you better put in a claim to be a nature preserve - there's gotta be some benefit right ?