Saturday, November 24, 2012
The day I filmed the green heron catching small fish (see the post from November 18th), I was fortunate to see something else that was fascinating in it's own right. Standing essentially in the same spot where I filmed the green heron and just a few minutes earlier, I noticed a large snapping turtle in the water to the right. My first impression was that it looked distressed and seemed to have a back leg tangled up in something below the surface. It very quickly became clear that my first impression was wrong as I realized there were actually two large snappers. When I say large, I mean the diameter of their shells were at least twelve or more inches.
They were mating which, as you can imagine, was not an easy task for two animals confined to shells. There was a lot of rolling around, splashing and dunking. Although you cannot see her, there is actually a female underneath the male in this picture. I love the way the water is rolling off it's head and foot as it emerges from the water and tries to gain the upper hand, as it were. The incident went on for ten minutes or more. As with the area where the heron was filmed, I don't think the water could have been more than a foot or two deep. The way the water has created a trough gives you some idea of how much energy was being expended.