Greetings all! May was a busy month around here at Intrigued and June is looking to be more of the same. I have a 50K ultra trail coming up the first week of July – a bid for redemption as the first go around at this race two years ago put me in the emergency room (link here). I don’t do well with failure and need to get this only blemish on my racing career addressed. Hopefully they’ve learned not to put box fans out in the open at the aid stations ha. Although it may not have seemed like it from the wildlife side of Intrigued, but May was also a big month for posting – especially on the mothership. As mentioned in one of those posts, the BARwW Consortium (Birds Are Rats with Wings) was blasting my inbox with hate mail tired of all the feathers. Decided to finally address it with a number of posts up there which included a running post (holy crap finally had a REAL RACE link here) and several Halloween posts after that. While gathering up the images for those posts, noticed this in my cell phone gallery.
This prehistoric specimen decided to visit us back in May 2019. Every so often during the rainy season the wash will push the Turtles out of our ravines up to higher ground. I’ve made a few posts on our previous visitors (link here and here). This one was significantly younger than the other visits – younger being relative for a creature than has a wild lifespan from 30 to 45 years.
Hit the jump to read more about our country critters.
There is probably an interesting curve for their longevity. Early years probably a high mortality rate where as it gains size along with a lethal set of claws and jaws suspect there isn’t too many predators that would risk getting in a tangle. That holds for sure in the Midwest – in areas with larger apex predators such as Gators, that curve may be stretched.
I became a LOT smarter since my first encounter with the Snappers. I had no idea of the jaw strength of the larger ones and stupidly used my “handy” reference guide to give my readers a proper perspective (see what I did there hehehe).
Like an idiot, I put my hand right next to beast oblivious to the fact these giant Snappers do not let go – if they don’t slice through your finger you pretty much have to pay it a ridiculous sum of money to let it go or call someone to bring a sharp object – you decide which one gets cut. Kept my hand much further away this time. Not a huge one (although the hand is closer to the camera), but still nothing to get careless with. Unfortunately, this specimen didn’t want to come out of its shell so I could get a decent picture of its head.
Last May the rains came and sure enough, another visitor.
Not that I can tell for sure, but this one sure looked similar to the ones in the previous post. If so, it definitely added new growth over those three years. If I remember correctly, Linda is the one who spotted this beast coming down our driveway. Unlike Snakes and similar ilk, she doesn’t seem to have a fear of these creatures. Odd as I’ve never had a Snake continue walking hmmm, guess that would be slithering, up to me after we’ve made eye contact. Snakes also lack claws – if you are wondering, none of this logic has lessened Linda’s absolute hatred for the scaly tubed ones.
Feel free to revoke my man-card, but there was no way in hell I was going to put my go to reference tool anywhere near that damn thing. Looked around for a suitable replacement and spotted the paint can – even green labeled to complement the composition hehehe. Not up on my Turtle knowledge and thus not sure if there is a way to tell how old one of these armor haulers are – maybe it’s like a tree and you just count the wrinkles.
With a lot of coaching I did manage to get this thing turned around and headed back out the way it came. Figured it would take a couple of hours for it to make it out of our ~300′ rock driveway depending on which direction it decided to take and its ability to break out of the circle and not end right back at the same place. What I didn’t take into account was the position Linda left the Jeep when she came and found me. It was to the side probably 30′ away. This Snapper dragged itself under the middle of the car and decided to just sit there and enjoy the shade. There it sat for the rest of the day as we didn’t want to risk injuring it trying to move the car. Later that afternoon it finally disappeared – where I have no idea.
Since I’m covering large creatures that visit us out here in the country, decided to give you a bonus!
Yep, a true Rat with Wings. There are a lot of horses out by us which means we have to deal with these steroid slurping flies. This one was no longer in the “living” category (no tears shed here). No claws, no vice jaws…and best of all dead – sure I’ll pull out my trusty reference.
Horse flies are oblivious to insect repellent, have apparently no concept of depth thanks to their annoying habit of dive bombing your face while out on trail runs and apparently nothing else to do all day but follow your ass around. On the bright side, they are great motivators for you to run faster!
Will call it there folks – hope you enjoyed seeing some of the sights from the country.