Dawn on the Billy Goat

img_5806As many of you know, I like to do dawn hikes particularly on the Billy Goat Trail outside of Washington.  I had to share this amazing turtle from this morning.  While it is hard to gauge its size, it was huge for a river turtle (almost three feet in length). Indeed, the biggest I have seen outside of the Pacific islands. It was well inland on Bear Island on the side of a boulder.

It was a thrilling discovery this morning at dawn. The trail was crowded with deer, beaver, and other animals. However, the turtle was the  highlight.IMG_7265


30 thoughts on “Dawn on the Billy Goat”

  1. It looks like a snapper by not the variety like here is the SE U.S. The head and shell looks different.

    When we were kids, my cousin David was carrying a slider we had caught “turtle hunting” about 1 foot in diameter in one hand upside down next to his head, because it was so heavy. The darn thing latched onto his earlobe. I came close to dying, laughing so hard. There was really nothing I could do but watch and laugh. It finally let go after about 5 or 10 seconds and no damage was done to David’s ear. We were probably 11 or 12 years old.

  2. @ caroleigh, June 12, 2017 at 8:25 am

    “I have a very large friend [snapper] whose name is Methuselah. No matter where he is in the water, when I call his name comes immediately to me for his loaf of bread. Truly wonderful.”

    You’re blessed to live where you do and to have a wild friend like that.

    Thanks for sharing your happy circumstances.

  3. Prof. Turley, you would enjoy a morning at my house. I live on a swamp here in Mississippi with all kinds of nature. I have a very large friend [snapper] whose name is Methuselah. No matter where he is in the water, when I call his name comes immediately to me for his loaf of bread. Truly wonderful.

    1. I suggest that you think twice about eating turtle soup. You will end up eating their poop.

    2. I had turtle soup for the first time a while ago. Enjoyable, it reminded me of Babette’s Feast.

  4. You have to be careful around turtles. There was a red slider in my back yard last year, about 10 inches or so shell length. I picked him up and when I was putting him in the box, that rascal latched on to the back of my thumb, and it hurt like the dickens. I kept thumping him on the head, and he finally let go. Then, I took him to the river (not a euphemism.) and let him go in the water. Durn thumb swelled up around the spot where it had broken a little skin, but some triple anti-biotic cured it.

    Maybe he was chagrined because he thought that I thought he was a “box” turtle???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  5. Have we truly reached such a point where people cannot post a picture of a nature walk and some wildlife they encounter without being dragged into political mud over it?

    James Madison predicted this.

    “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”- James Madison

    1. The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.

      Eric Schmidt

  6. Looks like a common snapping turtles. If so, look up his larger cousin the alligator snapping turtle.

  7. (music to the tune of the Warren Zevon song regarding the Russians too)

    If you wish to speak with turtles…
    Look them in the eyes.
    Then hold up your right hand and swear you will not lie.

    Speak to them in Spanish and yak about Castro’s zoo.
    Then they will know..
    You are with the Russians too.

  8. Professor,

    Are you sure it was not a tortoise? Also, not by way of criticism BUT when identifying reptiles, you need to also identify the species. It will not suffice to simply say it is a turtle. Everyone can see it is a turtle (or tortoise). When citing a principle of law for a court, you don’t say there is a case somewhere out there that says such and such, right. You specify the case and give a citation so that everyone knows what you are talking about. Turtles (or tortoises) deserve no less.

    From your pic and in my inexpert opinion, the body looks like an eastern paint turtle (they can get pretty large in the mid-Atlantic and southern states), but the snout looks like a snapper which can grow large in these parts, too..

      1. You are probably correct. I told you my opinion was inexpert.

        To be absolutely certain there is a foolproof test: take your index finger, gently touch the turtle’s nose and gauge its reaction.

        BTW: It’s the test that’s foolproof, not the person conducting the test.

  9. Gee JT you got a woodie over some dumb ass turtle? Did the turtle crap some cryptic message he saw Putin in Atlantic City gambling at Trumps Taj Mahal before the election? If he did he lied the joint was closed.

  10. I am presently living on a sailboat at a dock. For some reason the local water turtles come to my boat and stick their heads up out of the water back near my cockpit and beg for food. They do not go to the other boats. I bought some turtle food at the turtle food store nearby. It floats so that the turtles can get it easily. One turtle has the name of Ned. Another one is named Fred. A female is called Julie. I do not have a camera so I cannot take photos.

    1. Wow! Jack has a gentler kinder side. Who knew.

      Hey Jack, phones have 📷 cameras now.

      What ? Not yours. Huh?
      IC. Big ole heavy thing in a big black bag. Got it.

      1. I have an old button phone. No camera in it. I have a new Polaroid but cannot get it to download onto this laptop.
        If turtles could talk, people would listen. My pals know me. It is not just about getting fed.

  11. Ancient looking. certainly no youngster. What was approximate length?

  12. You inspired me. My family and I are headed to Yosemite today for a week of camping. Have a great week and for heaven’s sake, be civil.

    1. Me too. Now all I can think about is…..

      2 1/2 pounds turtle meat on the bone, or 1 1/2 pounds boneless
      4 bay leaves
      1 cup flour
      8 tablespoons unsalted butter
      2 celery stalks, minced
      1 green bell pepper, minced
      1 1/2 cups minced onion
      4 garlic cloves, minced
      1 18- ounce can crushed tomatoes
      3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
      1 tablespoon sweet paprika
      1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
      1/2 cup dry sherry
      1/3 cup chopped parsley
      2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
      Grated zest of a lemon
      Black pepper
      2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

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