20151014 Snapping Turtles emerging from nest

Yesterday a friend told me that snapping turtles were emerging from a nest in Bill  and Laurie’s Rose Garden.  When I arrived the first thing to catch my eye was the penultimate rose of the year …. if the rosebud blooms:


This was one of many little fellas emerging from the nest in the mulch of the garden.


About 20 seconds later….


On a patch of thyme on their way to the water about 30 m away, via a lawn and some rock steps.


Guy picked some up by their carapace, put them on a snow shovel and delivered them to the beach….


… where they clambered into the water ….


and swam away ….


…. sharing their new space with this fellow who ambled by in about 15cm of water:


This part of Lake Huron seems to be home for at leas 5 species of Crayfish.   See this .pdf file for images and illustrations and ranges:


That document seems to indicate that the above is an O. propinquus, Northern Clearwater Crayfish.

Wikipedia’s entry on Crayfish indicates that there are hundreds of species of crayfish in the S.E. USA.

Snapping Turtles are much easier to identify!  That link indicates that the incubation period is very temperature dependent and varies from 9 to 18 weeks!  I saw most of the females depositing eggs in early July — 14 weeks ago.  Local experts, C.T. and J.P. have indicated  that it is not abnormal to see little snappers emerging this late in the year.  Guy saw 26 in the nest before he stopped counting.  More info.

Nature continues to amaze us, eh?