Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Turtle Love

The things you see when you don't have a camera:

It was too windy for open water today - whitecaps - so I decided to explore a swamp. The wind was perfect there, just enough to keep the blackflies to a minimum. While hauling a canoe over a beaver dam, something that initially looked like a large paper bag slowly fluttering in the wind caught my eye. As I got closer, I could tell that it was something alive, but I was within a couple yards before figuring out that I was looking at two huge snapping turtles in the throes of passion.

They were on their sides in mud, with their heads under water. First they were 'spooning', then there was a great deal of clawing and scrambling and they turned face-to-face. Probably trying out new things they just read in the turtle Kama Sutra. Eventually one of them - certainly the female - left in a huff. Maybe his elbow was on her hair. Maybe it was just that time of the month and she was crazy. Anyway, no snuggling, no post-coital turtle cigarette. He probably won't even call her. She probably gave him a bogus phone number anyway.

Heaved the cad into the canoe by the tail. Measured his shell with a dollar bill: 21". He was remarkably docile. Probably still basking in the afterglow. Let him go with a warning not to trifle with the affections of others.

It was amazing how quickly they could simply disappear in a couple inches of water by burrowing under the vegetation and soft bottom mud. On the way back a couple hours later there was no sign of them, but by probing in the same spot I found another, smaller one. I'm always slogging around in the mud foraging for things, I'm going to mind where I'm stepping a lot more from now on.

1 comment:

Bitmap said...

You should have had your camera with you. You could have posted "turtle porn".

Seriously, that is interesting. I've never seen turtles in the act.