Snapping Turtle

This female is digging in the dirt to lay her eggs.

The combination of ponds, woods and open fields on our property attracts a variety of wildlife year round. We see lots of turtles sunbathing on the shores of the pond when it’s warm. But snapping turtles don’t seem to be avid sunbathers. They don’t appear quite so often, but we see them when they climb out of one pond to get to the other one.

Some of the snapping turtles are huge. One spring, in the pouring rain, we watched from our bedroom window while two giant snapping turtles battled each other in the pond. I’m not sure who won, because it went on for more than hour and I stopped watching them. When it’s time to lay eggs in the spring, the females leave the pond and climb the hill to lay eggs.

Mr. Mims remembers eating turtle soup that his grandmother cooked in a cast iron pot. We’ve talked about it, but it hasn’t happened yet. Making turtle soup would involve catching the snapping turtle and keeping it alive for two days without food and then boiling it for a long time. That’s what I read when I looked it up awhile ago. But until someone actually brings me a snapping turtle for dinner, that’s as far as I’ve gone. Anyone ever made turtle soup? Please tell me all about it.


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