Spring is in the air, or so goes the old euphemism for the mating season, when everything from the birds to the bees starts feeling the urge to go out and, well…reproduce. In this case, it’s the rather large Common Snapping Turtle pictured above. I found him in the marsh at Lackawanna State Park while paddling on Friday evening. He’s a big guy and I assumed that he’d crawled up out of the water onto a rock or stump along the shoreline to sun himself.
Turns out that he was otherwise occupied. You can’t see her in this photo, but he’s sitting so tall because he’s actually on top of his mate and, presumably, in the midst of getting it on. When they were done, he climbed down off her and they both went their separate ways; she swam off into the marsh and he ambled forward in the mud.
So there you go, a little unintentional voyeurism, which sometimes comes with the job of being a wildlife photographer. At least these guys were pretty modest about it. And on the up side, with any luck there’ll be a litter of little turtles crawling out of a nest in the sand sometime around September.