Photographs by Frank

30 May 2010

An Afternoon Visitor

Filed under: Southeastern MA,Wildlife — Tags: — Frank @ 12:00 PM

In the middle of the afternoon the other day, I wandered on to the back porch intending to sit at the table there and do some work. As I was getting set, I noticed that a regular visitor, in the form of a female snapping turtle… the first of the season,  had arrived in our back yard. Needless to say, I decided that the work could wait and went and got the camera!

As many of you know, we live on a piece of land that was once pasture and  that has as one of its boundries,  the Town River. Every year right around Memorial Day, a number of female snapping turtles visit our yard to lay eggs. I imagine that their anscestors have been making similar visits for thousands of year.

These turtles lay their eggs by digging out a depression in the soil, depositing the eggs in the hole and then covering over the eggs with dirt… they use their feet as digging tools the front feet for excavating and thier rear feet for filling in. They prefer to lay their eggs where the digging is easiest, most often in Joan’s flower beds… it drives Joan crazy. The mama turtle of this story went easy on Joan, she picked a bed that Joan had just dug over for use as a nursery bed for some hostas. I guess that the two ladies were thinking alike!

Here are a few portraits of the old girl… the turtle to be specific!

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