We had some unexpected encounters with nature last week! Michael came home from work Tuesday evening and spotted a turtle stalled out in the middle of the street a little ways down our cul-de-sac. When he came in the house to tell me he found an animal that needed our help, I was thinking along the lines of a stray puppy, helpless kitten, fox kit, baby bunny, or wounded bird. But then he told me it was a turtle, so I imagined a cute little red-eared slider. It was certainly not a red-eared slider! I went out to the car and found a beastly creature lurking in the trunk. We later found out that it was a common snapping turtle.
Here it is loaded up in the back of the car after Michael rescued it.
It smelled awful, like mold, algae, and non-potable water. There’s a small creek/ditch that runs behind our house, and we think that’s where it came from. It had been raining a lot all day, so maybe he felt like finding dryer ground.
He was very sturdy and muscular!
Check out the size of that spiked tail!
This turtle did not like being handled at all. He kept trying to stretch his neck out and lunge toward Michael. When we looked up common snapping turtles online, we learned that they use their necks in snake-like motions when they feel threatened. We also learned that when they’re in the water, they’re more like to simply swim away instead of becoming combative. However, when they’re out of the water, they will usually stand up to a perceived threat. That is exactly how this one reacted. He was quite a fiend!
Rentschler Forest Park and the Great Miami River are less than a mile down the road from our house, so we decided to take the turtle to the river.
Here’s Michael carrying it down to the bank.
He put paper towels around it because it had such a foul odor and was covered in mud. When Michael set it on the ground, he said there was a little piece of paper towel stuck on the turtle and he wanted to remove it. As soon as Michael tried to do this, the turtle responded by rearing up and charging at him! Michael was grateful that he was wearing boots, because he also tried to bite him. After everything we did for him!
I’m really glad I rode over to the park with Michael because of what was hanging out right next to the spot where we released the turtle.
It’s gosling season in Ohio! I loved getting to watch these baby geese hanging out with their parents along the shore of the river. Michael got some great pictures of them after dropping off the turtle.
The parents of these two goslings were very protective and kept their littles in between them.
The mom started hissing at Michael when he came too close.
They used their necks to guide the goslings where they wanted them to go.
Which was away from the human and into the river!
The other pair just had one baby with them, and it was hiding in this picture.
We both love animals and couldn’t have been happier about our Tuesday night experience with the turtle and the geese! I spotted more goslings when I was driving in Kettering. Most of the geese families I’ve seen this spring have about 10-15 goslings, so I do not know what happened to the rest of the babies we saw at our park. Michael suspects they may have fallen victim to snapping turtles!
I helped the gosling on the left side of the picture below. Michael spotted a family of geese crossing the street as we were driving out of a busy shopping center. They all made it up the curb except one little baby. It could not get over the curb and was really struggling. Cars were zipping dangerously close to it. Michael pulled over and we both got out. I gently lifted it onto the grass while Michael made sure the mama goose did not attack me. She was hissing and very upset about how close I was to her little ones. After I set it on the grass, it waddled over to the sidewalk and sat down; it looked exhausted from trying to get over the curb. These are the youngest goslings we have seen so far. They looked like little yellow baby ducks.
Finally, to conclude this post about nature, here is a picture of one of the rabbits that live around our house. I think it is the mother of the babies we see in our yard. She is very skittish and took off as soon as she spotted me!