Sunday, September 2, 2012

Turtle Time

The lady of the house encountered this little fellow walking down the front walk as big as you please--just as the sun was setting.  The turtles emerge from Lake Manitou every spring and many make their way to Treasure Island, where the ground is nice and high and the digging is easy.  As Fall approaches, many--but not all--of the eggs hatch.  The little ones head back to the lake where they bury themselves for the long sleep as winter descends.  Another group of spring eggs simply stay unhatched until the following spring. 

This little guy is a snapper, and he will have many adventures till winter sets in.  If he can avoid the big fish, and the birds, he can live a very long time and grow to a good size.  The mature turtles have few enemies here. Automobiles are a big problem, as so many of the females choose to cross the street to lay their eggs.  Another problem we have seen lies with the many tire casings strewn about the lake bottom--broken loose from piers where they served as boat bumpers.  We have seen two turtles that were so big that their shells filled the interior space of the casings.  The turtles were able to wiggle in, but could not escape the flanges afterwards and drowned in the lake.  Life in the wild.