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.
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!