Monday, June 24, 2013

An Animal Surprise in the Garden

In my front-yard garden, I have seen many different kinds of animals, or evidence of their having stopped by, over the years. Some of the animals are pests, and but not all.

Of course, there has been a vast assortment of the neighborhood pets, both dogs and cats. We've had rabbits (the native kind), chipmunks, voles, possums, rats, box turtles, lizards, frogs, salamanders, and snakes. (How could I forget even ONE of the snakes? They are always such a surprise.) I've seen deer walking up the road, thankfully not stopping to check out my garden. And there have been birds of all kinds: those pesky crows, the whole list of species that eat my blueberries, goldfinches, hummingbirds, crested flycatchers, loud wrens, and many more. There are coyotes and racoons in the woods out back, but I haven't seen them or their footprints in front.

If anyone had asked, I would have said that I had seen pretty much all of the kinds of animal-visitors-to-the-garden that I would see.

So this visitor to the garden was unexpected:
Snapping turtle visits the garden.                PHOTO/Amy W.
I had been about to walk down that path to pick a cucumber when the sight of this snapper stopped me in my tracks. I think she was looking for a place to lay her eggs, but the clay in the paths is pretty tough stuff to dig in.

After a few minutes, she got herself turned around,  picked herself up -- on surprisingly long legs -- and made her slow way back toward the creek.

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