Even though she struggles to deliver, I am curious but have little sympathy--still reeling from the loss of the swan babies that I blame on her kind. I run for the camera but my husband finds the shovel. He heaves her 30-40 pounds into the field while I’m suddenly concerned more for her well being than his precious plants. “She’s old,” I cry. “Don’t hurt her!” He knows about life span of snappers (up to 100 years) but also knows her shell will save her as it has for so long.
Every year a snapper or two surprises me; often I only see the indentation she makes or the remains of some of the dozens of newly laid eggs that were a tasty snack for a raccoon or skunk. Several times in the fall I’ve come across broken shells next to a hole in the ground marking the spot of those who survived predators and hatched from months of incubation. Someday I’m hoping to see a row of little ones making their way out of the hole, shaking off broken shells and instinctively heading back to the place from which they came, Flat Iron Lake.