Common Snapping TurtleApril 2005

At the same time I was photographing eastern painted turtles, I was as surprised as anyone when I saw my first snapping turtle in the Toftrees Pond. Snapping turtles, common or otherwise, are huge!

On my first sight, I thought the big fellow was taking a rest. (I especially like his or her tail, which is very prehistoric looking.)

Stretched out snapping turtle
  However, as it turned out, the snapping turtle was taking a rest between exertions.
Snapping turtle progress
  Reaching a high point was worthy of another rest period.
Snapping turtle high on the log
  Eventually, the snapping turtle reached his destination: He wanted to be not only in the sun but with a little friend, an eastern painted turtle.
Snapping turtle and friend
Of course, it could have been coincidence that the snapping turtle went to sleep next to the little turtle. On the other hand, the snapper had better sunlight if he stayed on his original log. So maybe he did want a friend. (On a different day, I took more photos of a snapper next to a small turtle.)

Photography note: The photos were taken with a Pentax *istD and the SMC 400-600mm lens.  

Mom common snapper (2010)   |   Eastern painted turtle

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