Tag Archives: snapping turtles

Our Front Yard

20 Jul


These two friendly critters came by for a visit this afternoon. They were racing and chasing all over the place,  and I was lucky to get this shot at just exactly the right moment.

In spite of the fact that a snapping turtle bit my toe Monday evening, I wouldn’t live anyplace else in the world.

My eyes were bothering me on Sunday, so I took out my contacts as soon as I got home, and put in some OTC eye drops. I woke up Monday with my left eye glued shut, and blood red when I did get it open. When I’d had my last eye exam in February, I was told I had a cataract on that eye that was just about ready to be removed, so The Squire called his eye specialist (he suffers from frequent, spontaneous detached retinas) to see if they could work me in. I think he hoped they could treat the pink-eye and diagnose the cataract in one swell foop, but that was not to be. Still, they told me to come down ASAP, and they would work me in. They had an opening in 15 minutes, which I couldn’t have made even if I had been dressed, but the receptionist said they’d just take the folks who were there a bit earlier, and slide me in when I arrived.

Prescription eye drops four times a day in both eyes, and a follow up the first week in August, and we’ll see where we go from there.

It is, as they say, always something.


Rolling Stone

5 Jul

This morning I noticed a largish grey stone in the front garden. I’d didn’t remember seeing it before, but lately I’ve begun wondering which box I’ve used to pack away my brain, so just figured I’d tend to it later.

A few minutes later I noticed the “stone” was trundling off in the general direction of the pond. Given the layout of our property, how a snapping turtle had managed to get from the stream into the flower bed is one of life’s great mysteries, but I certainly didn’t want this beast in the pond. I figured it was probably a new one – I recognize the three we have by their markings – and three is already, oh…about three more than I wanted. snapping turtle

Emptied one of the cartons I’ve been using to pack books, and went out to corral the monster. While it was busy trying to bite off pieces of the flaps, I picked it up by the sides of the carapace and flipped it into the box. Hooray for our side! Closed the flaps and put it on the back seat of my car, and off we went to church.

Stock photo from Google

Getting across the field and down a muddy bank with a damp corrugated box, which threatened to break apart at any moment, down a steep bank, and to the river’s edge was a bit trickier than I anticipated, but mission accomplished.

I had to put the box in the recycling. I can’t use it to pack books, as it smells of snapping turtle spit.


Just When You Thought it Was Safe…

10 Jun

When I went out to feed the fish – and the turtles – neither The Squire nor the dog were interested in going with me.

Normally the vibration of my feet on the patio around the pond will bring the turtles to the water’s edge, but neither of them were there, so I just started casting my bread upon the waters, so to speak. Suddenly one of the turtles came zooming up to wall, and totally ignoring the bread I was tossing in front of it, climbed completely out of the water and was literally chasing me around the patio, trying to get fed. I managed to find one little lilac twig, but he (she?) bit that in half on the second go-round. When I turned around to locate another, stouter, twig, the turtle must have suddenly realized he was not in his element, and made a mad dash for the pond.

Let me tell you, there are few things that will get one’s attention more quickly than being barefoot in the company of a hungry snapping turtle.  Someplace around here I have a very old photo of me feeding a turtle with a twig, while both Blazer and Pepper hide behind my skirts. I’ll have to dig it out and post it.

Pushy, Pushy

8 May

We removed (caught) another snapping turtle day before yesterday, and thought we only had one left in the pond.

This evening Blazer and I went out to feed the fish, and there were two very impatient turtles literally hanging over the edge of the pond, waiting to be fed. Because they were halfway out of the water, I couldn’t throw bread to them, but had to find a small stick (a lilac branch, in this case) break it in half, and put a piece of bread on each one. Once both sticks were “loaded” I held them out and the turtles yanked the bread off. They will only eat store-bought white bread, and I have to use the crusts and the heels so the stuff won’t fall off the sticks. (The center of the bread gets thrown into the middle of the pond so the poor fish actually get to eat.)  I am not the sharpest crayon in the box, but this is as close as we get to “hand feeding” snapping turtles.

I squatted out there for about five minutes, poking food into two gaping maws, while Blazer hovered behind me. Some protector he is! I imagine it was like feeding twins, but most twins don’t have such sharp edges.

Open Wide

1 May

This morning I happened to glance out the window and spotted a snapping turtle headed for the pond. I really don’t object to turtles in the pond, but let’s just say they are not among my favorite forms of wildlife. Frankly, I’d rather have snakes.

I grabbed a rake and began the tedious process of rolling the turtle back into the stream, which involves sliding the rake under the side of the turtle and giving it a good flip. You do NOT pick up a snapper by any portion of its anatomy unless you are willing to lose part of your own, so it was quite a battle of wills. He (she?) kept trying to get to the pond, and I was equally determined the critter was going to go in the opposite direction.

To make a long story short, I did get the turtle into the stream, but I noticed that the poor thing (having now gone from enemy to victim) had bitten off a piece of the plastic rake, which seemed to be lodged in its mouth. Poor thing may starve to death. What to do?

I certainly wasn’t going to stick my hand in there, but for a moment or two I toyed with the idea of getting a pair of needle nosed pliers and trying to remove the plastic from the turtle’s throat.

I didn’t.

I may not be the sharpest knife in the box, but my mama didn’t raise me to be no alligator wrestler.