Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Another snappy visitor



Last week Jasmine started barking like a crazy dog again. "There's an alien reptile here! Right here! Right here! Right here!"

This time I had to tie her up at a safe distance, since the turtle was jumping at her. Jumping and snapping. I've never seen a turtle move so fast.

If this is the standard for snapping turtle behavior, there really must have been something wrong with April's slow-moving visitor.

The new guy was a little smaller, decked out in about an inch of mud, and feeling very lively.

How to get a fiesty turtle out of a dog's range?

I'd heard stories of snappers grabbing a stick and holding on til sundown. He'd grab it all right, but would let go the moment I tried to lift him up. Didn't take too well to being herded with the stick either. (Got to see him jump at warp speed again though.) I eventually scooped him up with a long-handled shovel and relocated him to the other side of the fence. Heavy little sucker.


I found a site with pictures showing the difference between common snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and alligator snapping turtles (Macroclemys temmincki). They show our visitor to be the former.

17 comments:

Eva said...

Goodness, those eyes! I didn't know a turtle COULD move fast :-)

Cuppa said...

Fascinating and beautiful. Nature is truly amazing isn't it?

Rainypete said...

I've found those armored little beggars can be frighteningly fast when they need to be. Usually lunging for food, but I guess in defence you may get a nutter once in a while. Maybe this one had anger issues and is in need of a turtle psychologist??

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Another great photo. I really like that turtle site you linked to. The difference between the common snapping turtle and alligator snapping turtle is pretty significant.
Nature is so beautiful, and you capture it so well.

Dave said...

Last year, i picked a snapper up to move it off a busy road. I held it way back toward the tail, but it still tried every which way to bite me. You should've seen how far that neck stretched!

LauraP said...

They're fast, aren't they? I had a scary experience as a small child and still have a healthy respect for those buggers.

TurtleHeart said...

What a handsome guy! Beautiful pic.

swamp4me said...

Great shot!

I once scooped a snapper out of the road and into a five-gallon bucket and then put the bucket in my car. My husband had a turtle program to do the next day and I thought the snapper would make a nice addition. I had forgotten one very important fact: snapping turtles stink to high heaven. Even with all my windows open, it was about more than I could stand.
Luckily, the turtle was the hit of the program and I returned him the next day, safe and sound, back to the area he came from (not on the road, of course).

Totally unrelated to the turtle, have you tried the letter version of our favorite puzzle? I am much faster at that version than the number version. Can't do the color patch worth a flip though!

Trix said...

Um, I'll take two waxed chicken dinners, one side of turtle soup, hold the pickle... and I have a coupon here somewhere...

Anonymous said...

Beautiful picture, scary turtle! It never dawned on me that they could be fast....I'm glad there aren't any wandering around my homestead.

-Sarah
http://www.slaphog.com/sarahblog/

Anonymous said...

Beautiful picture, scary turtle! It never dawned on me that they could be fast....I'm glad there aren't any wandering around my homestead.

-Sarah
http://www.slaphog.com/sarahblog/

Rurality said...

Thanks y'all.

Oh yeah this turtle could've given that hare a run for his money... at least in a sprint. After the previous leisurely snapper encounter I wasn't prepared for how fast they could move.

If you get time, look at some of the other photos on that turtle site. UNREAL how big some of the alligator snappers get.

I didn't notice him stinking, but wasn't about to get my nose close enough to get a good whiff! It would have ended up as turtle food, I'm sure.

People did used to eat these guys, in fact I think it was considered a delicacy. But Dave told me that nowdays they bioaccumulate mercury and PCBs, so it's best not to cook them up.

Swampy I haven't tried those versions yet! Been too busy lately to play much at all.

weldergirl said...

A friend of mine had a little beagle that found a snapper out in their yard once. The dog was all yap! yap! yap! right in the snapper's face (you know how beagles are) and the turtle grabbed it by the nose! My grandma used to say they would not turn loose until it thundered. Well, this one didn't want to and my friend finally had to turn the turtle and dog over on their back and slap the turtle on the stomach until it let go. The poor dog had a scar on its nose the rest of its life. The turtle was okay.

Rurality said...

Until it thundered! :) I had forgotten that one. Poor little beagle.

Rhodent said...

We have alligator snappers on the Rainbow River and they get HUGE! Not a turtle to mess with!

cookie jill said...

Wow! what a wild looking dude! ;-)

It's amazing how fast these guys can move. Boggles the mind. My father when golfing in Florida saw a gator run down a dog. Guess someone was really hungry.

Thanks for noticing that skippy got another mention on TDS. This better stop quick else skippy might start trying to "snap" up other mentions. ;-)

Rurality said...

Rho some of the pictures at that site show the huge ones... bigger than our 100-pound dog I think!

Jill - you know you love it! :) I can see it becoming a recurring joke. Everytime something about a blog comes up it's going to be "Skippy the" something!