This Is our Village

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Turtle Time

There are around 50 turtles at the North Bridge at dinner time, makes fishing tricky. 
Now there will be more!

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  1. I just hope that the raccoons don't get the eggs. They love to dig them up.

  2. When I lived in MA, every so often a large snapping turtle would come up out of the pond we were on, go across our land, and up the dirt road we lived on. Sometimes our kids would catch the snapper and put it in our turtle pen for a while. The pen consisted of an approximately 5x10 foot area enclosed by 4-foot-high chicken wire fencing. Inside there was a sunken bathtub we kept filled with water, which could be drained into a dry well.

    Unknown to us, our neighbor Mary Addison kept an eye out on our goings-on, and one Sat. morning she called me at 6:00 to let us know our big snapper had escaped from the pen and was on its way up the dirt road in front of her house. By then we realized these turtles were females going into the woods to lay their eggs, so I went out to see what kind of progress the turtle was making. Her progress was MIGHTY SLOW, so I came back inside the house to have breakfast, figuring she might be up at the far end of the road by the woods if I went back out in 20 minutes.

    No such luck, The turtle must have had a higher gear for emergency use, for I found a water trail up the road and could see where the turtle had bent the grasses to go into the woods. But where she had gone after this was a mystery.

    How the turtle got out of the pen was a mystery at first, too. There was no hole under the fence showing where she had dug out. Then one of the kids or I found her water trail. This 16-inch diameter big turtle had managed to pull her weight up the 4-foot-high chicken wire fencing, hoist herself over the wooden rail top (I could imagine her teetering there), and drop down the four feet to the ground outside the enclosure.

    Her freedom was well deserved.

  3. On another occasion about 12 years ago, my wife and I were walking on the beach around 7 pm in the Juno Beach area. We saw something moving on the sand where the sand met the grass, and went up to investigate. Lo and behold, we ran across eggs hatching in a sea turtle nest under the sand. The nest was several inches deep. The sand above it had been disturbed as one after another of the eggs had developed a crack and a tiny turtle had emerged and clawed his way up to the surface.

    We saw several of them work their way down to the water's edge, where the backwash from a wave would finally sweep them out to sea. There were many obstacles for these Lilliputians to overcome--mounds in the sand, a deep-set tire track, a grassy "knoll," a big stick to work their way around. Falter they would at these obstacles, but their progress was unerring, and every one of them made it.


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