Saturday, June 1, 2013

Backyard Visitor

I looked out the kitchen door a few days ago and thought, "What is that?" I'd never seen a snapping turtle in my yard before. Better yet, I've never seen a snapping turtle this large anywhere! I grabbed my camera and headed out to introduce myself.

There had been a loud, heavy thunderstorm the night before. I don't know if that brought her out or she was just sightseeing. You can see some grass pieces and sludge on her. I always get excited when I see wildlife, although common, nearby. I went back into the house and got a few carrots, some spinach leaves and a few apple pieces from the fridge. I have a Quaker parrot, so I usually have prepared snacks for us on hand.


She found her way under a large fallen limb from the night before. Maybe she thought I couldn't see her? ha! I tossed her a carrot, which she totally ignored. I tossed the handful of goodies onto the ground, knowing something would devour it sooner or later.
Look at those claws. She could do some damage if she got a hold of you.


As I admired her beauty, I noticed her really large, strong tail. So of course, I needed a shot of that too. She didn't seem to mind.

I left her alone for while. When I returned, she'd dug herself into the soft ground with those huge claws under the hemlocks. I thought she may be looking for a spot to lay her eggs. This made me anxious, so I left her to herself. The blue jays had taken off with the apple pieces. Later I noticed a rabbit munching on the carrots and spinach. I wish the rabbits and blue jays would stop eating my strawberries!


I checked on her the next morning and she was gone.  Nothing but an empty hole. I've since seen her roaming around the yard. My dog goes crazy barking. Even if the turtle is 300 feet or so away, she stops as long as Samson barks. Somehow, she knows he sees her. They'll never meet if I can help it. That turtle would put a hurt on my doggie's nose for sure. I have a fenced area for Samson. I live too close to a country road where country drivers move way too fast. Almost all neighborhood pets end up killed if they get to the road.

Here is a photo of my peony (pronounced "PI-nee" in the country). I have always pronounced it "pee-OH-nee". My mother wanted us to pronounce words as Mr. Webster directed. ha No matter how you say it, it's a beautiful, soft, sweet smelling flower. Seems like they're always covered with ants. I guess because they are so sweet. You can see a bit of evidence of the rainstorm the night before on those pretty soft petals.

The red raspberries are growing very well. I pay a fellow to do the weed eating around my land. He got a little too close around the bushes last summer and cut all the new growth away. This year, I've had to blockade everything.


I'll hopefully be back before too long to say "hello" again. On top of everything else, I'm dog-sitting for a week for a friend who has gone to the beach. Somehow, that's my usual summer task: I dog-sit while others enjoy vacation. I'm going to make some changes in my life ... and I think that might be one ... ha ha.
Wishing you a blessed day ... 


  1. That's such a nice thing you do, dog sit. However, I made changes a very long time ago and I do not baby sit, nor do I dog sit. I think it was the heaviness of the responsibility! :)
    After raising 7 of my own with dogs and cats and bunnies and guinia pigs etc. etc.. I just don't want to do it anymore..and..I learned how to say "no!" in a sweet way. No one asks anymore. Bless their hearts. I will water for my neighbors though. That I WILL do.

    My goodness, that is some turtle! Might be someones pet who got away, unless of course they are natural in your part of the country.

    Peonies are beautiful flowers but I've never grown any. I really don't have a lot of room left in my yard unless I dug up some of our lawn. Say! That's an idea!! :)
    I hopped over from The Blue Ridge Gal's blog! :)

    1. Thank you for stopping by. I love that ol' Blue Ridge Gal. She's always got a great post.

      I don't mind dog sitting at all. What makes me whine about the most is I have to kennel my dog when I go away. No one can care for him in the same manner I care for theirs. I don't get paid for it but my friends make up for it in the long run with helping me out when I need it.

      The snapping turtle is common around here. I usually see them close to water and weeds. There is a stream that runs by my house, which is where she probably came from. It's just a rarity to have one roaming in the lawn. It's the biggest one I've ever seen but I've heard stories of bigger ones. They live to be 30-plus years in the wild.

      If you plant peonies under a window or near an entryway, you'll be amazed how easily that sweet scent drifts into your home. It's worth the tiny spot of lawn for something so rewarding. I recall, as a child, when we'd go to the old cemeteries, there was always white peonies planted all around. The air would be heavy with nature's perfume.

      Thank you for stopping by!

  2. Hi LesleyAnn!
    How nice to see a post here! That snapping turtle sure made itself at home in your yard. I'm afraid of them myself. I once saw one snap a limb in two.

    Sounds like you're having the same trouble with birds eating your strawberries as we did before my husband decided to cover the beds with netting. Now all we worry about are snails, but they aren't as quick as the birds at making them disappear.

    I don't like dog-sitting one bit, either. The poor dog is always missing it's rightful owner and in no mood for a stand-in so it's not the best situation. Also, we owned a Schnauzer once and had to get rid of it as it would have a fit and make a mess every time it was left home alone. I hope you're not having a horrid time with that is kinda cute.

    I love peonies, and my mom made us kids pronounce EVERYTHING the correct way as she was a grade school teacher. (We didn't get away with anything so I take a lot of poetic license these days and say what I please, lol.)

    Have a wonderful week!

    1. Hello Tea! Honestly, I think of posting something every day ... but my thoughts seem to end up as a puff of air. haha

      The snapping turtle is interesting from afar. They can be vicious when they need to be.

      I love this doggie I'm sitting for. To be honest, I have no problem with animals as long as they don't make my house dirty or smelly. If I sit for an animal that breaks those two rules ... they cannot come back. ha I think animals are comfortable here because I have a dog, two cats and a parrot. I run my vacuum more than most people and make sure there is no evidence of animals in my house, other than actually seeing them. Miss Honey is one of the sweetest dogs I've been around. She's about 7 years old. She doesn't seem to miss her family until we're near the gate where her owner walked out. She will sit there and cry for a few minutes. I try to distract her. Fortunately, it doesn't take much for animals to become distracted. ha

      As I was taking the pups out a few minutes ago, a rabbit darted out of the lettuce patch! That little bugger is on my hit list. :-) They are becoming more and more of a problem here in the past few years. Just like all other wildlife, I like them from afar, where they belong.

      Blessings my friend.


I appreciate you stopping by. I hope you enjoyed your visit.