I was out on a bicycle ride yesterday when I came upon a huge, mossy-backed snapping turtle on the side of the road. It was obvious that she was laying a clutch of eggs–right there, inches from the busy highway! I would have wagged my finger at her for such wanton indiscretion, but she could’ve snapped it off like a twig, so I kept my distance. Very few of the typical hundred or so turtle hatchlings survive as it is, but these will literally be left by the side of the road. It seems strange to me, but turtles have been around for a couple hundred million years, so they must be doing something right.
Whenever I run into a turtle, it reminds me of that anecdote about a science teacher who was explaining the physics of the earth in space to his class, when one of the students stood up and said that the earth rests on the back of a great turtle. When asked by the teacher what that turtle rests on, the student replied, “It’s turtles all the way down.”
–Photos by me