Friday, May 11, 2012
I'm given to understand that babies and snapping turtles (Chelydra serpentina) don't mix well. As much as I think every child should know how to properly handle a snapping turtle, I decided 5 months is a little too young. I also found it challenging to try to wrangle a snapping turtle that weighed about as much as the baby on my back, with a diaper bag dangling in front of me (I still have to figure out how to load everything just right). So I took the lame pic with the turtle detained but not quite caught, and then let it go to burrow through the mud.
I had found it by kicking. I hesitate to call this a proper herping technique, but when you're wading/slogging through your favorite marsh, you need to stop and investigate any hard object you happen to run into. Most will be old stumps, maybe even a rock, depending on the substrate, but this one proved to be round (as I probed it with the handle of my potato rake - I hesitate to reach into the mud until I know which end is the head and which is the tail), not fixed to the bottom, and indeed a turtle.
Here's the tadpole update. They're fewer and bigger:
Another puddle held some just-hatching toad (Bufo americanus) tadpoles, still hanging out along the empty jelly of their egg string.