Herpetology

For reasons I cannot fathom, my husband does not find countless turtle pictures nearly as interesting as I do.  So, here you go:

This gal came up onto the lawn (sand pile) as my second big turtle (snapper, rather than red-eared) sighting for the season.  Note the bit of shell (a “scute”) that is peeling at the rear of her shell.

DSCN0052 (2).JPG

She wasted no time in circling, laying and heading back to the lake.

DSCN0065

FSCN0081

Much to my surprise I can remain motionless for a long time propped up on my elbows on a paint-peeled porch to capture film of insanely slow (deliberate? patient?) mama turtles.  I do not envy them even a tiny bit.

I believe that the very next day I had my third snapper sighting in a week.

FSCN0103

I think she’s lovely.  Clearly I missed my calling about thirty years ago.

DSCN0083

I especially like how these ladies come to handle their business without regard for the slugs and leaves they are dragging with them.  But then again I’ve spent only limited time with jelly-and-snot strewn children and so probably should not be surprised at all that this mama hasn’t got time to fix herself up.

DSCN0086

Unfortunately their eggs do not survive the night.  Ever. A track left in the sand matched near the eggs left by this turtle matched up with a weasel print.  We also have a skunk that does nightly rounds at about the time my old lady dog needs to go out.  Not sure who to blame.  The first night (maybe after my first turtle, posted a few days ago) I put a milk crate over the eggs (or over the hole in which she’d hidden the eggs about six inches down under hard-packed dirt) and put three pieces of slate on top to anchor it down.  A critter climbed into the crate and dug out the eggs.

So….

DSCN0078

Being heavy on ambition and light on talent, I rigged up a milk crate that was not only anchored with slate but surrounded by it too.  Of course I have never played that video game (Tetrus?) where you make shapes fit together and I nearly failed tenth grade geometry, so I had to include some sticks into the bargain…

DSCN0077

Honestly, if you don’t love me yet there must be something wrong with you.  I kill me.  I think my husband may want to kill me…

Despite my undeniable cleverness, the eggs were eaten.  A weasel (I matched a print) dug a lovely hole under this Hunger-Games like apparatus.

Here is what I’ve learned: my dogs like to eat turtle egg shells and the little kids around the corner are young enough to believe me when I tell them the egg shell remains belong to already-hatched turtles.  Oh – and half a turtle shell fits on child’s fingertips as nicely as do black Thanksgiving olives.

And just when you think the turtles and weasels couldn’t be anymore entertaining, along comes a door toad:

DSCN0228 (2)

DSCN0225 (2)

Now I need to sleep.  And then (alas!!) I need to earn some income.  Had to get these photos out to you so I can focus on much less exciting things.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s