Snapper

We have been fortunate to observe a great variety of wildlife on the road down the mountain. The very quick (bobcat, deer, fox, raccoon, bear, rabbit, and squirrel) are off in a flash when we approach. The not-so-fast (skunk, porcupine, opossum, and woodchuck) amble away with perhaps a casual look over the shoulder to be sure we don’t follow. The cold-blooded reptiles have the toughest time getting out-of-the-way. We encounter Black snakes and Box turtles quite often and are sure to keep clear as we pass. [I know there are folks who will, rather than steer clear of animals in the road, do what they can to dispatch them – as sport. I cannot even begin to understand such behavior.] On more than one occasion we have relocated Black snakes to the barn to take up residence in support of rodent control. Although Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina) are quite common in the surrounding ponds and streams we come across them in the road only rarely. The speed with which this one perambulated neither increased nor decreased as I lay prone in the road in front of him. He seemed unconcerned, unperturbed,  and unimpressed. Because Snappers have been shown to be particularly sensitive indicators of environmental quality I was pleased to see such a healthy looking specimen in our neighborhood.

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