Two days ago as I was driving back to the cabin, I saw a large common snapping turtle along the edge of the road. So why is it that my photos look as though this turtle is such a wimpy little thing? Okay, so it wasn’t the biggest snapping turtle I’d ever seen in my entire life, but I’d say it was a good 14-16 inches long. With snapping turtles, I don’t want to get too close to measure them properly.
Usually snapping turtles aren’t found very far from water. This one was as far from water as I’ve ever seen one—perhaps 150 yards or even somewhat more. This one is likely on her way to lay eggs—it’s that time of the year. They tend to wander around away from water as they look for egg-laying spots.
Although most of my readers likely know this, in case someone doesn’t, let me state now that it is NOT safe to pick up a snapper by its tail. That’s a fast way to get bitten and to injure the turtle, too. Snappers can bite through a broomstick, so you do not want that to happen to a finger or your arm. Their necks can stretch at least halfway back the length of their shells. If you have to move one—this one conveniently moved itself off the road after a few minutes—the best way is to scoop it onto a shovel, preferably a large shovel like a snow shovel.
This turtle was quite benign for a snapper. She didn’t strike at me once, though she eyed me suspiciously. I’ve had snappers snap at me from several feet away. I usually give them as wide a berth as they want.
Nina of Nature Remains also found a snapping turtle a few days ago, if you want to check out hers.
Cathy of The Quiet One had a bruin visit at her bird feeder this week and got some great photos of that bad little boy with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak.