Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cottage Life


I am terrified of snapping turtles despite the fact I have never been snapped or touched by one while in the lake.

Doesn’t matter. They are ugly. Yes, they are one of nature’s creatures but they are simply butt-ugly.

Every summer there is a spotting of the snapper. We choose to believe there is only one snapper but in our saner moments acknowledge there must be more.

We can be blissfully swimming for days or weeks but after that first sighting we are on HIGH ALERT. And, I admit I’m talking about the females in my family. The males take a more laissez-faire view of the creature.

The females:

“You go in first – I’ll watch for the snapper.”

“Uh, how about you go in first and I’ll watch for him.” (We make the unwarranted assumption it is male.)

“How about we throw a stick for the dog and he goes in first?”

It can be a while before any of us takes the plunge.

Here’s the thing - what if I’m just swimming along and HE pushes up beneath me as he comes up for some air? Touches me! I think I might drown/die of fright. A perfectly reasonable scenario.

Anyway, I also hold a grudge against this guy since I suspect he’s the reason we never see any baby loons on the lake. I’m not keen on this predator/prey thing.

I gave some semi-serious thought as to making the lake safe for the loons (and us). I used to be pretty good with a twenty-two rifle as a kid and if I could find the parts of that rifle – kept separate for safety reasons – I might take a pot shot at that ugly dude. However, in all likelihood the bullet would ricochet off the turtle’s shell and come back to hit me.

And by the way, I did not take the above picture.

I would never deliberately get that close to my dreaded foe.

21 comments:

oreneta said...

I have to agree to disagree....they hold a certain prehistoric beauty for me...

The Guy Who Writes This said...

I've never heard of an unprovoked attack of a human, though I would watch where I place my toes if the bottom is mucky.

All Mod Cons said...

SHIT! Will you just look at the SIZE of that fucker!

Sorry...language went a bit awry there.

Shucks, he's a big beastie isn't he!

Beth said...

oreneta:
I actually do feel somewhat guilty about my fear and dislike of snappers - but it goes way back to my childhood.

guy:
A cottage myth - a woman had her (painted) toes nipped by a snapping turtle while dangling them in the water. I don't take any chances.

all mod cons:
He's not even as big as they get! See why I don't want to bump into one of these creatures?

Eileen said...

Turtles freak me out in general, much less the snapping ones. I agree, he is very ugly and I would also be on high alert when in the water! We are like that in Maryland when swimming, when we are at our cottage on the Chesapeake Bay, with Jelly Fish, they sting and it hurts for hours.
But, I put the riffle down......ha

Beth said...

eileen:
Yeah, that rifle idea isn't such a great one. It's been years and all I ever shot at were tin cans.

Beth said...

hey, I don't blame you one stinkin bit...just look at the claws on that sucker!! NO WAY would I get in the water with that thing in there....but yet, you don't want to shoot him either cuz ya know, that would be kinda mean. I'd just stay outa the water!!

Lainey-Paney said...

I was once snapped by a snapping turtle. He was little in comparison to the one you've got pictured. That thing looks HUGE. This one...was maybe the length of a coke can.
Anyway---I was a kid & was totally screwing with him. He was definitely provoked. But, in my defense--I'd never really been around turtles, and in ALL MY LIFE would never have dreamed that a turtle would BITE ME. So, there I was...I was at least 10 years old...trying to force feed a little turtle. He bit my finger & would NOT let go. I ran to the house with a turtle on my finger. I was screaming & crying & remember banging him against the brick wall trying to get him off.
Turns out, he let go, he was okay...but I hated him.
I haven't been too close to a turtle since then.

Diesel said...

Those things are creepy. I once went swimming in the Gulf of Mexico and there were dolphins swimming like 30 feet away from us. I wanted to get close enough to touch them, but I was scared sh*tless. The idea of a really big wild animal that is WAY more comfortable in the water than you sneaking up on you and touching you is just really scary.

Beth said...

beth:
Ah, don't worry, I would never shoot a living creature. That would be mean.
But that guy sure puts a crimp in the swimming time!

lainey-paney:
I know you're recounting a childhood trauma but I laughed out loud at the image of you banging that turtle against a brick wall!

diesel:
God, you make me feel so much better. Lots of people have told me stories of "swimming with the dolphins" - say I must try it some day. That would be a NO.

patricia said...

I would like to say ditto what all mod cons said, except no apology for the language. He IS a big f*cker. And ugly, too.

But he is a creature of nature, and just doing what he was supposed to do. That being said, I wouldn't want to swim near one!

Actually, I think turtles are kinda cute (Except for snapping ones, of course).

Dorky Dad said...

I'm sorry. I didn't read your post because I was hiding under the desk after seeing that HUGE, SCARY SNAPPING TURTLE!!!! AAAAAAAGGGGGH!

Beth said...

patricia:
I'm a creature of nature too and I'm supposed to be able to swim in the lake! He's quite the (ugly) impediment to a relaxing backstroke.

dorky dad:
Guess I could never convince you to be the first one in the lake!
(I couldn't fit under my desk - too many cords...)

carmachu said...

my wife LOVES turtles....even had us save a 90 pound one one time...ugh.

Beth said...

carmachu:
Okay, your wife is good - she's really good.
And when you saved that turtle, I hope that didn't mean you had to take it home as a pet!

Coffee Mom said...

Ewww that thing is big and gross and very ugly looking, wouldn't want to get in it's way.

Maybe a way to provoke the men that dive in to be more like the women and be afraid of this thing, tell them there is a possiblity it'll snap their family jewels, LOL

Beth said...

coffee mom:
Ah, men think they are invincible - everywhere!

Princess Pointful said...

Eep.
His mouth is perfect toe sized.

Beth said...

princess pointful:
His claws aren't too friendly looking either.

kristi said...

Uh yeah, they are scary. I had one chase me when I was 7 months pregnant...and I ran!

Beth said...

kristi:
Oh, geez - I didn't know these creatures could chase you on land! Double whammy.

(thanks for stopping by)