Tag Archives: snapping turtle

Instinct

3 Oct

Most of us run on instinct to one degree or another.  Jumping when we see a snake, avoiding dark places, reaching out, rearing back – all by instinct.

Turtles instinctively head for the water. If you see one trying to cross the street, carry it in the direction it was heading, and put it on the other side of the road. Don’t bother putting it back where it came from, as it will turn around and head back out. We once found a snapping turtle on top of our woodpile. The critter was headed for the stream, but came across the patio, got stopped by the railing, and was sitting there, clicking its jaws in frustration. We managed to manhandle her into a bucket and dump her into the stream.

Do you know how to tell a male turtle from a female? Turn it upside down; the females have a flat bottom, while the bottom of the male is concave, so he won’t fall off during mating. To quote our church secretary, God thinks of everything!

Some animals climb. One year The Squire rescued three baby squirrels, who insisted upon climbing up my shirt, hooking their little claws in my ears, and sitting on top of my head! We had just given them a bath to remove the fleas when this was snapped. It’s NOT the most flattering shot of me, but I don’t get gussied up to bathe the animals. For three weeks we fed them a mixture of Pedialyte ® and dog’s milk from the pet store, while the druggist kept us supplied with large syringes.Experts agree, Dani is a nut

This morning we found a little tree frog who had tucked himself into the “gully” between the kitchen door frame and the siding.  Instinct told him to get as high as he could, and here he is.  The big question now, of course, is what do we do next?  I’m perfectly willing to let him figure it out for himself, but I do not think this is the best place for him to spend the winter. I don’t want to harm him trying to pry him out of his little snuggery, but I really think he’d be better off in the woods.

I’m waiting for DNR to get back to me on this one.

Country living is never dull!DSCN0739

The Squire swears if I found a giraffe someplace I’d try to put a bow around its neck and stand it in the stair well.

He’s probably right.

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Battle Stations

4 May

Blazer and I went out this evening to feed the fish, which of course also includes feeding the snapping turtles. We have three in the pond at the moment, which is about four too many, and they are very hungry after a long winter fast.  They will often climb about halfway out of the pond to get the food, but today one of them came all the way out and was really threatening me.

Blazer came roaring over and barked at the monster, who promptly reared up and bit the poor puppy on the nose! I heard the dog “yip” but didn’t realize he’d actually been bitten until we went inside.  At any rate, he pawed at the shell and tried to roll the critter over.  Mr. Turtle hurled himself  back into the pond and was satisfied eating the bread I tossed in. We’ll have to see if he is quite as feisty tomorrow.

 

 

Bits and Pieces

15 Jun

swamp monsterA few days ago, I mentioned that I had a shot of me feeding a snapping turtle, while Pepper and Blazer stood guard, directly behind me. Although it doesn’t show in this picture, that hunk of bread IS on a twig. I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I do not hand feed swamp monsters.

Now, picture this beast completely out of the water and  me in my bare feet.

I have often complained, bitterly, about our neighbors to the north. They are honestly very nice people, helpful when the drive needs plowing in the winter, don’t beat their kids and animals, and all that. However, they have been known to throw parties that last until the wee small hours, complete with (illegal) fireworks and loud music. They are truck farmers, and don’t have to get up to push papers around a desk or milk cows.  The rest of the neighborhood is not so fortunate.

Well, the Good Lord has taken pity on us. The house directly across the street from them has been purchased by a member of the Harford County sheriffs office. The party last night ended promptly at 11:00 PM. How about that!

 

 

You Know It’s Going to be a Strange Day…

19 Apr

…when you look out the kitchen window and see a HUGE snapping turtle resting on top of the wood pile.

We have no idea how he (?) managed to get so far from where he was headed, which was probably the pond in the front yard, but the wood pile is against the patio railing, and the stream is just on the other side of the fence. Obviously, the critter was instinctively headed for the nearest water, but he certainly wasn’t going to get there from where he was. What would seem to be the direct route is not always the best approach.

Fortunately, the wheelie bin didn’t have much recycling in it, so I just dumped it out onto the patio. I put the bin behind the snapper and the lid in front of him, and he backed himself up, right where I wanted him. The Squire put the bin in the van and trucked our visitor over to church, where a flight of steps leads directly down into the Gunpowder River. Bon Voyage, Charlie!

Another member of the congregation was working on the Colonial Garden and asked The Squire what he had in the bin. He showed her, and Dot shuddered. “I’m surprised your wife didn’t try to make a pet of it.”

Boy! She’s got me pegged.