"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Monday, May 18, 2009


This is a young Alligator Snapping Turtle making his way from the creek across the field to a small pond. It is probably several years old, but a young one since they can live over a hundred and fifty years. This one is about 18 inches from head to tail. Its tail alone is about 6" long with stegosaurus-like plates along it. Its head is massive; as big around as my wrist and extends out a whopping 6". It is also very wary. Its eyes rotated like a chameleon's and watched my every move. I stood still, but as long as I was close or moved an inch, it wouldn't move. I must have waited 45 minutes for these shots. Notice the sharp edges at the tail end of his shell.

When I backed away it began to move again. I had to hide behind a red cedar.

I am lying on the ground to get these shots hoping I wasn't being eaten up by chiggers. I did get three ticks. What I do for you guys.

He quickly went under and watched me; froze in that position. Snapping turtles can weigh over 200 pounds. Can you imagine? I tried to pick up one once (a little bigger than this one) and though I'm not afraid of much anything, I jumped back pretty fast when it turned around in an instant. They can move like lightning unlike the slower box turtles. They also let out a low hiss or growl - much like the sound an alligator makes. I'm quite sure this one could bite toes and fingers off. They are so cute when they are hatchlings, but really ugly when they get big.


  1. You really knocked yourself out for us this time...3 ticks!
    I remember as a kid going fishing and thinking I would have a fish on my line and pulling one of these bad boys out! Needless to say, my granddaddy would just cut the line. Those and alligator gars are just the worst.

  2. Thats a common snapper, not an alligator snapper

  3. oooh Donna, he's a big fella !
    We also cam across a snapping turtle this week, down in the wet, muddy area of the woods.
    I asked my husband "Is he a snapper?" at which point he touched him with a stick, and a horrendous hiss came out of his mouth. "Yep, a snapper"

  4. You're right anonymous. Mine is the more aggressive snapping turtle. The alligator snappers have become endangered due to habitat loss in Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Wildlife Dept. is re-introducing or releasing a number of them into areas of the state. Hope I don't run across one of them while wading in my ponds.

  5. Thanks for your patience in taking these photos. It's amazing to watch nature in action, even slowly! Clicked over from Willow's blog, enjoyed browsing.


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