Thursday, September 6, 2012

Combined perils of climate change and increased biodiversity...

So; walking back home from the greenhouse 2 days ago- after a technically "severe" thunderstorm - quite late in the season, with 3/4" torrential rain and 1" hailstones- I very nearly walked my bare toes right into this:

This isn't the biggest snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) we've seen wandering through our woody agriculture plantings, by a good deal; but this fellow was certainly big enough to remove bare toes, if they went by within range.

We see them rarely; more often in the pond than out.  This one was apparently heading towards the pond, which is at an all time low.  Looking for water, in the drought, maybe.  I'm puzzled a bit by the smoothness of the shell; our other, bigger, snappers have usually had the typical very rough upper scutes- this one looks like it's been tumbled in a rock polisher.  Old?  Perhaps.  We didn't try to count rings on the scales (possible sometimes).

Not agressive.  But with excellent eyesight, and a strike as fast as a snake, if motivated.

We're glad to see them.  Also glad not to trip on them, barefoot.

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