Saturday, May 31, 2014

Alligator Snapping Turtle

She's not so pretty
Most of the year, all you can see of the neighborhood snapping turtles is their ugly snouts protruding just above the water in Thurston pond. Our neighborhood has a few smaller ponds such as the one in Sugarbush woods near my house where the above beauty lives. But every year in May, the females come out of their ponds to lay eggs.Some of them cross the road in search of sandy soil to dig holes in. Our street is particularly busy today as the neighborhood is having its garage sales and drivers are distracted. I was trolling them by bike. What do I want? More playground equipment for the kids? Discarded dishes to make my own lawn art? I assumed she was finished laying eggs and was going back to the pond but she was was in danger of being a speed bump. A couple of people stopped to help me. Strangely no one could identify her even if she literally was in their front yards. I first tried to direct her with a large stick which she turned around to snap in two. A neighbor thought she looked dehydrated (not to me, the moss was still wet) and dumped water on her. Another appeared with a  snow shovel. I scooped her up and carried her to the park.

I had posted her photo on Facebook. Within minutes, Josh messaged me to inform me she was a snapping turtle. Duh, who do you think taught you about turtles? When he was a kid, the School of Natural Resources offered to pay him to scoop the turtles out of Thurston Pond so they could mark them. He learned o follow the trail of bubbles.

My son-in-law snapped his Achilles tendon playing soccer He has been outfitted with  an enormous boot that makes it impossible for him to drive. Shanna stopped by for our crutches. How is he to get to work when she is off delivering 2 of the kids to different schools? Lots of complications and changes of plans.

Tonight we are going to have a rare Moms Night Out: dinner and then to a music place. Should be fun.

Also, I was able to solve a mystery yesterday. Back when we were glamping in Big Sur at the yurt place,we came across these huge pink blossoms, which my sister-in-law with her degree in botany could not identify. Yesterday I found it on a new friend's blog: tree dahlia.

I included Steve's arm to show how big this blossom is. Originally grown in South America. The stems are like bamboo: hollow and used there for pipes. Apparently they have been transplanted to Australia and Northern California.


Elephant's Child said...

Love the turtle. Years back I picked one up and put it in my pocket (cargo pants) to move it off the road. The ungrateful beast piddled (copiously) on me.
And I am glad to have solved the tree dahlia mystery for you - ours are still flowering. Woo Hoo.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

No putting this one in my pocket. She weighed about 20-30 lbs and was almost 2 feet long. And then there is her ability to snap my finger in two....
So strange, you are headed towards fall and we spring. Here in the Midwest, we can't grow tree dahlias and I have bad luck with the small, traditional ones.


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