Recently I stayed home sick from work. I went out in the yard to sit in the sun. But look what I discovered! Two female snapping turtles were laying eggs in our lawn.
Our house is built in a pine swamp. Up until four years ago the woods went right up to the house. The previous owners cleared out four acres around the house to facilitate the sale. So I've surmised that these two ladies were probably born in the vicinity of our lawn, years back when it was a wooded swamp. Now they had returned to lay their own broods.
We also found this toad making tracks away from the snappers. He obviously did not want to be lunch. Can you see him?
There are two types of snapping turtles: Common, such as these two girls and Alligator such as my husband remembers from when he lived in Alabama.
Snappers can "snap" fingers and such. So I was careful around the girls. They came back many times over 5 days to lay more eggs. After they were finished we roped off the entire area to make a "turtle habitat". We didn't want the lawn crew to crush the eggs. Eggs incubate from 9-18 weeks.
A few days later we found a baby in the drive way. Obviously she was from an earlier laying. We brought her back into the swamp and she seemed right at home. Perhaps we'll see her again many years down the road.
2 hours ago