Monday, April 25, 2005

The visitor

Snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina).




The whole of it.




Jasmine really thought she should be involved.


13 comments:

Anvilcloud said...

Great turtle. Gorgeous dog.

Hick said...

You sure do have lots of scary looking things around your house. I still can't get over that creepy looking yellow fungus...On the upside, you take beautiful pictures them. My hands would shake too much to take a picture.

Amy said...

What an expressive curmudgeon face he has! Were you brave enough to get that close to his face, or do you just have a really great zoom lens?

Rexroth's Daughter said...

You have turtles on your land? Wild, big snapping turtles? That is so cool. Great photographs. Jasmine is a beauty, what kind of dog is she? She looks very good-natured.

shannon said...

Silly Jasmine - Ripley would have done the same thing. (Though I think Rips has leaned a BIT of a lesson after investigating the entrance to the beehive last year....poor kid!) I say this though, minutes after she just fell through the pool cover with a gigantic splash and is sitting drpping outside.

Jerry said...

What a great face!

As kids we stumbled across a snapping turtle and were smart enough not to tease it with our fingers. Instead we nudged a stick close, to which it immediately clamped it's scouring mouth onto and refused to let go. We carried that turtle around, hanging from the stick, until our parents made us leave it alone.

happyandblue2 said...

If you become lost in the forest does the moss grow on the North of South side of the turtle. I never seem to remember..

Anonymous said...

I'm surprise the snapper let you get this close to take the photo. The few I've met (in Missouri) keep me several feet away with hissing and snapping in my direction.

I don't know if snapping turtles hibernate in Alabama, but up here in the Midwest they do, and in the spring when they surface from the muddy bottom of the pond, they are covered with algae in long strands. That's a little bit what your snapper looks like.

Love this blog!

Rurality said...

Thanks y'all. The funny thing is, I've always heard how mean and aggressive these turtles are, but this one wasn't.

In the first picture, I sat the camera on the ground right next to him. The only thing he did was just to keep moving his body around so that he was always facing me.

Maybe he was sick...? Jasmine was barking for a good ten minutes before I noticed that she wasn't moving... she barks all the time but not usually in one spot. The turtle was just outside the fence on the driveway. If I'd let Jasmine out I have a feeling she'd still have a turtle on her nose. :)

I don't know if they hibernate here or not... probably so, we don't see them except when it's warm. There was a HUGE one in the pond last year - the size of a Volkswagon I think. I'm only slightly exaggerating.

Jasmine is a Great Pyrenees. They are livestock guardian dogs, or supposed to be. Sometimes Jasmine gets confused and chases the chickens.

(H&B I think it's the north side, but this one kept moving so it was hard to tell.)

Dave said...

That first photo is wondrous - i didn't know they got all mossy like that.

I read somewhere that if you cut off the head of a snapping turtle, it can take up to two hours for brain activity to cease. That, and the fact that turtles bioaccumulate mercury and PCBs, makes me think I really don't want to eat snapping turtle soup, much as the idea may appeal to me in other ways.

Rurality said...

Oh man I believe it - hubby once chopped off the head of a rattlesnake that was trying to get into our house. That thing writhed for hours. Must be a retile/amphibian thing...? It was truly spooky. If you touched the body, it would coil up and strike as if it had a head! Heebie jeebies.

I didn't know that about the mercury & PCBs. I wouldn't have considered eating this one anyway since I think it came from the ditch where our lovely neighbors until recently have been dumping raw sewage. Ah, the joys of living in the country!

jenni said...

I grew up in upstate NY, on the St lawrence and there were HUGE snapping turtles. I'm not kidding, their shells were the size of small table-tops, so i believe the volkswagon comparison. anyways, great photos. maybe it was sick, i've never seen a friendly one!

Rurality said...

Well maybe that's where I got the idea that you lived in NY now! So maybe I'm not totally insane...? :)