Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Turtles of White's Wetland

I've been watching for "Big Daddy" to make an appearance since I first caught sight of him on July 7. Big Daddy is one of the largest snapping turtles I have ever seen. He is enormous. To give you an idea of his size, I first thought that someone had flung a large green garbage onto the embankment of our pond.

As I approached the pond, however, I felt a rush of excitement. I realized that it was not a garbage bag at all. It was a massive snapper, sunning himself on the rocks. He was green because his shell was covered in the algae from the pond. He had, evidently, only recently emerged from the water. Completely motionless for a good long while, he suddenly turned his huge head. What a thrill to see that prehistoric profile! I named him Big Daddy because that is exactly who he is - the big patriarch of our pond. There are two others, females, and they are much smaller. But Big Daddy is impressive.

My only regret is that I did not have the camera or the handycam with me that day. Since then, I have been on the lookout for this extraordinary creature. To no avail. And as August becomes September, the chances of a Big Daddy spotting will become more and more unlikely. That's because snappers begin their hibernation cycle in mid-September. It is more than probable that Big Daddy has moved from his summer home in the pond and is travelling back to the wetlands via the creek. The females are long gone too, busy with their young.

Sadly, I have no photo, no video of Big Daddy for our blog. However, please check out this link to the Muskoka Wildlife Centre and learn about Sam, their resident snapper.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.