Turtle madness

joelbolden

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I was hiking yesterday along what is called the Spring Creek Canyon trail. The cliffs at that point are around 100 feet high and very steep; although trees and plants grow all the up for a distance before it gets truly vertical and pure rock. I heard, and then saw what I thought was a rock bouncing down the cliffside; until it landed about 15 feet away. To my surprise it was a female Snapping Turtle that had apparently decided to take a quick shortcut back to the creek after laying her eggs. How she got up there, or where she came from was a mystery since the land at the top of the cliffs are mostly cultivated/developed with no visible water around. After staring at me for a bit and moving to face me, she then started crawling past me towards the creek; which was only about 30 feet away. Whether she deliberately stepped off
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that cliff or somehow slipped is a mystery I'll never solve, but I can give testimony on the durability of snapping turtle shells, not to mention the turtles themselves. The pic I included of the slope doesn't do it justice as my 55-300 lens couldn't provide a view of the entire height of it.
 

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