Friday, May 31, 2013

And Then, I Photographed a Snapping Turtle for National Geographic

That National Geographic didn't ask me to take the photos, nor do they know I even inhabit the Earth, is beside the point. 

The point is that this morning, when I was outside crouched on the lawn, under the hot, blazing Virginia sun, sweat beads dribbling down my forehead into my squinted eyes, and soaking through the cotton fibers of my red, polka dotted pajama bottoms, causing them to adhere to the ample form of my backside like rain-soaked leaves on a sticky windshield...

Sorry, where was I?

Oh, yes, so anyway, while I was out there sweating on my lawn, photographing the Eastern (Common) Snapping Turtle - who so hospitably allowed me to make her acquaintance - I imagined that (in another life, perhaps), I should have been a National Geographic photographer. 

But more importantly, that's what I'd planned to tell the two nice(?) men who saw me taking pictures in my sweat-soaked pajamas (and hair), and decided to stop and get out of their truck to get a closer look (at the turtle). (I hope they're pleased with themselves. Like, hellooo, I was in my pajamas.)

And, in spite of all that, the good news is: I get to show you my magnificent turtle girl!
Her name is Magnolia (Maggie for short).

This is Maggie (as taken with a telephoto lens, as I hadn't yet gotten the nerve to get close).

(It didn't take me long to get the nerve...) Hello, gorgeous! (I mean it, y'all.)

Hey, wait up! 

Showing me her best side.

Heading towards the street (yikes!)...

This photo was taken at the approximate time the two (aforementioned) nice(?) men walked over to investigate.
And, yes, they took several photos with their own (phone) cameras.

Check out the points on her shell and her spiked tail!

She did not look both ways, by the way, but I did.


One more sidewalk to maneuver...

And she's rid of me! :)

A few Eastern (or Common) Snapping Turtle facts (from Wikipedia and the VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries):

<> They commonly live up to 30 years in the wild (40+ in captivity).
<> They are omnivores, preferring to eat dead (but not rotting) fish.
<> They are aggressive (on land) when threatened, but rarely bite humans. In water, however, they are docile and when encountering humans, usually slip away without incident.
<> Females lay eggs (usually in June) on dry, sandy land, away from water. (Fact: Several years ago, we saw one dig a hole and lay eggs at the edge of our property. Could have been Maggie.) :)
<> In Virginia, adult snappers have no natural predators (other than humans).
<> They are the state reptile of New York.

Thank you for indulging the wanna-be zoologist/wildlife photog in me, friends!
(Especially if reptiles make you squeamish. Sorry.)

And for staying with me this long, guess what you get?

All these other (furry) "wildlife" photos I took today!

Canis Jon Farlimus Runswithbonesanddropsthemonyourpinkietoe-imus

I didn't do it.

Canis Dewimus Talksjusttohearhimselftalk-imus

I didn't do it, either.


Felis Bertimus Toocuteforhisowngoodimus


Who is the smarter of the two, I wonder?

Felis Maddoximus Onlyhasonefacialexpressionandthisisit-imus

At least they're cute, right?!

Have a fantastic weekend!


  1. Love the turtle tale, and tail! Glad to see both Doggus Interruptus as doing well.

  2. I see snappers pretty often around here as well. Glad to know they are more docile in the water, as I always worry about my guys swimming with them. They get pretty huge and heavy. Scary buggers when they are mad, too!

  3. Great photos. I was completely distracted by how gorgeous Bert's fur is in that photo!

  4. Great snaps! (See what I did there?)

    Love all the captions on the furry ones. AND I learned that states have official state reptiles. (I'm afraid to look up what CA's might be...)

  5. That is one awesome snapper. Your wildlife is well cute and we loved the funny captions. Have a super Saturday.
    Best wishes Molly

  6. All very cute, even the turtle... I caught one of those things once while fishing... except mine was HUGE! Kinda scary..


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