October 31, 2017

Snapping Turtle Nest

Ever since seeing my first Snapping Turtle in July two years ago, I have wanted to see a Snapping Turtle nest. This year, while on an October hike in the woods, I got my wish.

At first I was not sure what I was seeing. My eye was drawn by white bits on the trail. Upon closer inspection, they turned out to be creamy white ping-pong sized shell remains, exactly as described in my online research of these large turtles.

Sure enough, close by was the nest, the hatchling hole. It was in a well-drained, south facing site, perfect for incubating 25-30 turtle eggs.

Next October, or perhaps in the spring if a nest overwinters, I hope to see the event as it is occurring. What a sight to see a new generation starting out, the individuals of which could live 40 years in these woods.

Go little turtles, Go!


  1. Anonymous11/01/2017

    What a lovely four-legged friend! Thanks for the photos of the nest - isn't that a miracle? - Erin

    1. Erin,

      Yes, nothing short of miraculous. They have so much to teach us.

  2. That's one very large snapping turtle. Thanks for sharing your discovery with us. As you know I've been fascinated with sea turtles and the heroic effort made on the South Carolina coast to protect their the hacklings so they can safely make it out to sea. Turtles are amazing creatures.

    1. Terri,

      They ARE amazing. If a person was in the same state as a hibernating turtle, they would be declared dead. And yet in the spring, the turtle comes alive once again. When I saw the one pictured above I was totally blown away, and I have seen black and grizzly bears while hiking, so close I could smell them.

      The turtles on the coast must be incredible to see.

    2. I've come back here to see comments as I often do. But really I was still thinking about this photo and wanted to see it again. I bet seeing that creature took your breath away! I hope you get to see a nest of them hatch and make their way into being. I look forward to hearing about your observations. Comparing them to being that close to black and grisly bears especially while hiking tells me how exciting it was to meet this guy or girl! These photos are so cool!


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