It seems to be a turtle kind of a week.
A spiny softshell turtle was looking for a place to lay her eggs, but Jasmine spied her and had other ideas.
The latin name is Apalone spinifera, or The Turtle Formerly Known As Trionyx spiniferus.
It wasn't until later that I read that their jaws are razor sharp and can inflict a painful bite. In blissful ignorance I sat on the ground to get a turtle's eye view. Luckily I didn't get bitten.
Maybe she was too busy laughing at the muscovy who thinks he's my boyfriend.
The lumps on the shell mean she's a spiny instead of a smooth softshell.
I could see why they're called the pancake turtle. It's harder on the top, but around the sides the shell was pliable like leather.
Supersized! Males only reach about 9 inches, so this one is definitely a female. They're supposed to grow to 18 inches, so she must be pushing maximum poundage. I read that a large female can live 50 years!
I used the shovel to convince her she'd be better off in the ditch, away from the dog. She was much lighter than the snapping turtle I'd shoveled earlier in the month. Later in the day I saw her in the small pond.
It was a herp-filled day yesterday. We also saw a medium sized rat snake (that we relocated to the other side of the creek), a jillion baby frogs, and some small basking turtles.
While looking for info on the turtle, I also found a Checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of Alabama.
More info on the Spiny softshell is here, here, here, and here.