Saturday, June 20, 2015

Snapping Turtle Laying Her Eggs

June is snapping turtle egg laying season in my community.  Ever since having discovered a snapping turtle laying eggs in June 2001, we have become aware of this annual happening and every June we are on the lookout for this happening. Sometimes I find turtles  like I did earlier this week when I was standing on an observation deck overlooking the river and I saw two snapping turtles in the water of a pond below. They looked like they were resting., perhaps they had already laid their eggs.  When the turtles come out of the river they have a long steep climb up the river bank to find their nesting areas.  They use the same area to dig the nest  for their egg laying year after year!

above, a Snapping Turtle in the pond below with its head above the water surface.

above, the second Snapping Turtle I saw in the pond below.

 On Thursday I decided to check out a small sandy strip along the railroad tracks where these huge turtles lay their eggs every year, and WoW!  luck of all luck, there was a turtle laying her eggs.  She had already dug her nest and her body was angled at an incline. and although I did not see any actual eggs , she was in the process of laying them.  It looked like serious business as she progressed.  Mosquitoes were biting and I did not stay around until the turtle completed her job.  Experience from observations of other years told me that when she completed this job she would cover her eggs with sand and then she would return downhill to the river.
 A few pictures of this sighting below.

The turtle's body in an incline position as she lays her eggs.
In about three months time, if all goes well and no scavengers have  unearthed and eaten the eggs, babies turtles will dig themselves out of the nest to the surface. I have seen this happening twice  before and the baby turtles orient themselves to face the river and hurry over the steep embankment until they jump into the river.  This year we have a family of foxes in the area adjacent to this nest of eggs so chances are that the eggs may be discovered soon and destroyed.  Such are the hazards and dangers of nature.
I am liinking today to Eileen's Saturday Critters which can be found at:
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
I am including below three  pictures of hatching baby turtles leaving their nest. These pictures are from the first year we had seen a turtle laying her eggs and I kept watch over the nest every day in hopes of seeing the small turtles emerge from their nest, and they did!!!!!  It was a wonderful, magical event!
                                                           "Hello World"


eileeninmd said...

What a neat experience to see the turtle laying her eggs. And the little one is adorable. Awesome photos and post. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

Pamela Gordon said...

Amazing to see these photos after reading about the decline of these turtles this week. I hope these eggs survive the foxes!

Gunilla Bäck said...

Wonderful photos of the turtles!

Marie C said...

How wonderfully fortunate! Oh to see the mama laying her eggs AND to see babies hatch out at different times, just such a GIFT! Love your great photos!

Ruth Hiebert said...

Yes,nature can be beautiful and fascinating and at the same time so cruel.At least cruel in our eyes.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Great shots...good luck, little turtles!