I guess all of you my faithful readers have been wondering if I was abducted by aliens, eh?
Well… No. But I had a close encounter yesterday!
We were just heading off for our early morning walk. I reached the end of the wooden path when I noticed something very peculiar:
Could they be Crop Circles?
As a Bookshop Dog, I have developed a very open and scientific mind. I’ve heard about this phenomenon two-leggers call ‘Crop Circles’. The theory is that these things are made by alien spacecraft when they land or take off. Elizabeth knows a lady who says she knows the people who made the original Crop Circles in Britain, though, and that the whole alien thing is a hoax. I decided to see who was right. I took a closer look at one.
Certainly looks like something was spinning here…
As a dog, I have an advantage over two-leggers. I have a sensitive and highly developed olfactory system. I have a nose for detection. And I detected a new-to-me but definitely animal scent trail. Well. I guess that technically, Aliens are probably animals too. Only one thing to do… follow my nose to the source.
I nearly bumped into this:
Yikes! It looks like a Stegosaurus tail!
I checked it out from another angle.
Look at those claws!
But when I backed up and got some perspective, it turned out to be
the rear end of a Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)!
The Snapping Turtle is the largest of Ontario turtles and can live up to 70 two-legger years or more. I can’t imagine living that long! They are not endangered, but they are on the watch list. They have a low reproductive rate and take a long time to mature. And two-leggers, well, some of them, like to hunt and eat them. Or just to kill them because they think they are mean old ugly things.
Once Elizabeth was invited to have some by one of the lake people she knew. She almost tried some, but when the old man mentioned that he kept them in his freezer and that they took an awfully long time to die, she just couldn’t accept any. She doesn’t really like these turtles, but they fascinate her.
This one fascinated me, too.
I felt I had to examine it from all angles.
Although she looks shy in Elizabeth’s photographs, she wasn’t really. This is a very aggressive stance, as I found out.
See how her rear end is slightly elevated?
This female had made the trek up from our bay to find a place to lay her eggs. She needed to get the job done, and I guess she thought I was trying to interfere. Suddenly, she reared up on her hind legs and tail, and her head shot forward at me! She tried to snap my nose off!
Fortunately, I didn’t know her, so I was being a bit cagey myself. I managed to avoid her lunge. I thought it was very rude of her, and I began to move in to teach her a lesson. One does not snap at the Queen of the Boreal Forest without suffering the consequences!
Elizabeth grabbed my collar and took me for a little walk. I’m still ticked off with her. She shouldn’t interfere with me when I’m on the job. This was obviously a very dangerous turtle. It needed first to be taught a lesson and, second, to be banished to its watery domain.
When we got back from our walk, she was just about the same place. Elizabeth didn’t notice until she was looking at the photos today that it appears to be blood on the right side of her carapace. While I don’t condone her behaviour, neither do I wish her any harm. I hope she makes it through laying her eggs and back through the forest, down the hill and into the river again.
She does have rather lovely little eyes…
Elizabeth put me in the house and then went out to talk to the turtle and get some more pictures of her. By the time we had to leave for Church, the turtle seemed much more relaxed.
This is the only one Elizabeth took with her telephoto lens. The turtle didn’t snap at her when she got her camera in close for the facial portraits! Hmmph.
When we got home, the Snapping Turtle had continued her uphill quest in search of sandy soil deep enough for her to make a nest for her eggs and cover them in such a way that no one would ever guess they were there. Maybe I will meet some of the baby turtles after they hatch and begin their journey down the hill to the bay….