Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Snapping Turtles

We have a fondness for snapping turtles. Not, mind, when they are snapping at your fingers -- which they might just do if you confront them on dry land. They are usually non-aggressive, and will just quietly swim away from you, but on land, they do feel threatened, and can move surprisingly fast.
As Nancy discovered one spring, riding her horse 'Bacon' across a narrow bridge. A mother snapper was busy laying her eggs, and Nancy figured she could just sneak past on the far side of the track. Luckily, Bacon was faster than any of them, and leapt out of the way. He did, however, view rocks with deep suspicion after that, not having realized they could come to life and chase him.

This snapper was over by Farside cottage. She was probably up from the lake looking for a place to lay her eggs. This is the time of year! Snappers lay eggs in a soft, well-drained soil, in a flask-shaped nest she digs out with her front legs. About 40 eggs get laid in the nest, and then Mom heads back to the lake.

It's hard to get ahead if you're a turtle. First of all, lots of critters like to find and dig up the nests -- the picture shows all that was left of one last year. If you do make it through the egg phase, dig your way out of the nest and find your way to the lake, there are still critters that will eat you.

The sex of the snapping turtle is determined by the temperature in the nest -- at 25 degrees C, you will be a boy turtle. 30 degrees C or more, you'll be painting the nursery pink. Global warming could throw quite a spanner into this system...

Mom turtle wasn't too pleased with the camera. She cannot pull her head all the way into her shell, as some turtles do, because there's just too much turtle in there already. She did pull her head back as far as she could, bending her spine into an S-shape to do that, and I'm sure she was happy when we left her to continue her search for a nice nest site, partly sunny, partly shaded...

The greatest predator of the snapping turtle is the automobile. These creatures have been around, pretty much unchanged, since the dinosaurs roamed the swamps, but they are now threatened, simply because so many get killed by cars. Slow down, we say... take your cue from this great bumper sticker!

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