When you have a farm pond you never know what type of visitors it will attract. This snapping turtle was in the windbreak heading toward the pond when Jim saw it and called me from the road. I took my camera out there in the rain to get some shots of it. It's the biggest one I've ever seen up close. The shell is a foot in diameter. I don't know if it's a male or female. How do you tell?
I'm not concerned about having a snapping turtle in the pond. In fact, I'm sure there are already some living in there. For all I know this one could be a resident turtle that's come out of the pond to forage for greens. I know they eat fish too but the pond has an abundance of fish in it. I'd be happy to provide a supportive habitat for a turtle of this age. There will be no talk of soup either, thank you.
So please join me in welcoming Myrtle...or Yertle.
***UPDATE*** About an hour after I took these photos I watched as big Myrtle lumbered into the pond, one step at a time. I wonder what she thinks of our pond?