A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Turtle Tales

My neighbor is always asking me if I've seen any turtles in the backyard. We live on Treasure Lake in Cliffwood Beach and have a lot of turtles back there. They sit and sun themselves on fallen trees and along the shore. I've not noticed any underfoot and haven't been trudging through the lake lately to note their presence back there. I saw a red-headed woodpecker nesting in our tree, and I heard a belted kingfisher, but just didn't notice any turtles.

Now and then we get large snapping turtles wandering the neighborhood looking to lay eggs. They definitely don't want to be messed with. They'll rear up repeatedly and hiss at you. They have a very long neck, able to reach 2/3rds the length of their shell, so be very careful around them.

Once I came upon a roughly 20 lb snapper sitting in the middle of the road at the corner of West Concourse and Brookside Drive. I got out of the car and tried to scare her out of the road, but the beast reared up and scared ME off. (As for my previous qualifications for turtle wrangling: Once in Monterey, California, I succeeded in chasing a huge, flat sea turtle back into the water from a small bridge in El Estero Park. The turtle must have weighed well over a hundred pounds.) Truth be told, I was no match for a Jersey snapping turtle.

With all of the sad videos I've been seeing lately showing marine life suffering the ill effects of oil in the Gulf, I thought I'd look for something about our local turtles. I found this high quality You Tube video of someone's April 2010 turtle spotting expedition in New Jersey. The video includes the capture and release of ten turtles in five varieties.


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