Snapper Tails

There is a small, spring-fed pond in our neighbor’s pasture about 50 yards behind our home. I’ve never explored the pond, but this summer I got a hint its a healthy environment.

On June 20 I noticed a trail through the dew in our yard. I followed the trail to a large snapping turtle, working its way toward the pond. I figured was a female who had laid her eggs.


On September 12 I was sitting on our porch reading. I looked up to discover this little tike staring up at me.


It takes a minimum of nine weeks for snapping turtles to hatch. So its possible this little guy or gal came from the mature snapper’s eggs. Since snappers are usually five inches long before they can reproduce, I doubt it was coming back to laying eggs. That said, hatchlings are about the size of a quarter. This snapper was little, but not that small. The last I saw of the little one, it was working its way around the house and toward the pond.