On 6.12.14 I posted these pictures. I had opened the back door to the shop and was going to paint some panels outside. While I was carrying saw horses back and forth I felt like I was being watched. I was. A snapping turtle was laying eggs.
She finished, filled in the hole and then walked back over to the creek. I went to the computer to look up how long it takes for turtle eggs to hatch. Best answer I could find was 55 to 125 days depending on things like soil, moisture and heat. What my research did not mention was predators. Several days after the eggs were laid, I noticed a hole in the vicinity and concluded that this was a gopher hole. I figured that the gopher had tunneled up and enjoyed the eggs. I still had high hopes, filled in the hole and kept an eye out. I had marked the calendar.
There had been no activity at all until the other day. I noticed another hole about the same size as the gopher hole. I examined the hole and felt around only to find a broken shell and some kind of gooey remains. I figured these turtles were toast. I guess I was expecting some grand exodus from the hole and a parade of 18 – 20 turtles to parade themselves over to the creek. Nope. Did not happen. I gave up on the turtles.
This morning I had picked up some things at the hardware store for a project in the shop. I entered the shop and was close to the office door when I noticed something on the floor. It was a turtle. Evidently, this was a stupid turtle because the creek was like completely the other way and, oh yeah… outside.
I looked around for others but found none. I assume there are other, brainier survivors out there. After making the turtle pose for me a little, I released it back to the creek. Good luck, turtle. These snapping turtles can live 30 to 40 years. Shit, this one may outlive me!