Environment Spotlight

Look Both Ways Before Crossing

| Tom Driscoll |

Photo: Tom Driscoll

Stopping to help a turtle cross the Outlet Road this time of year is unusual.

Spring is the usual time to observe turtle crossings from Sabbathday Lake towards the sand pits across the road to lay eggs.  Upon hatching, the baby turtles then find their way back to the lake.

This cantankerous omnivore was crossing the road pointing away from the lake towards the sandpit.  But just a while earlier it was crossing the road pointing towards the lake.  In each case, it received a careful (gloved-hand) assist from local humans to help make it across safely in the direction of travel.

Snapping turtles can live from 20 to 50 years, and this particular turtle was particularly large and hissy. 

Summertime swimmers are quite surprised when one of these dinosaur descendants surfaces nearby.  In the lake they are not aggressive and swim quickly away when approached.

As with the safety warning on lawnmowers and snowthrowers – keep hands and feet away – from (big snapping turtles).

Photo: Tom Driscoll