Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Voice of The Snapping Turtle

If the voice of the turtle is the signal that spring has arrived, does the voice of the snapping turtle signal the imminent arrival of summer?

Events this morning leave me able to tell you exactly what sounds a snapping turtle can make -- in a plastic garbage can, in a cardboard box, and in that same cardboard box on the back seat of your car. I relocated just such a creature this morning. Said turtle wandered into the asparagus bed and announced it's intention to amputate the legs of our dogs. Happily, I know where there is a lovely no-trespassing type water treatment plant with a little pond, next to a stream, behind office buildings. The perfect location for isolationist turtles.

Turtle soup being out of the question, it was forthwith removed thither.

Now, some of you may recall my rants deploring people who drop off kittens at barns and by the side of the road. Well, snapping turtles are a different matter. For one thing they're a native species (Chelydra serpentina) and for another, they're WILD.

The only logical thing was to find the snapping turtle a new habitat. Away from people and pets those powerful jaws are just a useful tool helping the turtle feed itself, not a threatening weapon. Each creature has a role to play in the creation, so as ungrateful and vicious as that snapper was ... It was really not fond of the car ride... I'm hoping that it likes it's new home and thrives there.


  1. So what does the voice of a turtle sound like? I bet it's not like the voice of the turtle(dove)in the Song of songs!

  2. The Snapping Turtle made an assemblage of noises:
    A sound like an old fashioned clasp on a coin purse being repeatedly opened and shut with vigor.
    A determined rasping of webbed claw against can and cardboard.
    It's voice was a hissing growl. Nothing like the mournful-sweet melody of the turtle doves.
    And that particular turtle had the unnerving habit of meeting your eye with a menacing glare.


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