Happy meteorological summer! Here in Mankato, the temperature flipped from "spring" to summer" as if a switch were thrown. Gone are the chilly spring days and here is the heat of summer.
Since completing a master's degree in early May, I've mostly been looking for work. It's a slow process and, as always, a little depressing. To counter that, I've been looking for good photo ops and spending a bit more time in nature. It's amazing what being in a forest, surrounded by trees and clean air can do for one's outlook.
While out at Triple Falls, I came across another creature apparently pondering the universe and his place in it...
This is quite possibly the oldest snapping turtle I've ever seen. It was hard to get a good photo, since he was surrounded by large rocks and, well, I didn't want to get snapped. Snapping turtles are quite capable of taking off a human's finger with their powerful jaws. Standing ankle-deep in the stream and crouching down, I was able to get this portrait of him.
If you didin't take a good look, you might accidentally step on him, trying to cross the stream. Here's a more detailed view of his old, weathered shell. The other side has a long crack.
Not A Stepping Stone
Somewhere, I read that these turtles can live almost 50 years. I can only guess at this one's age, but it's entirely possible that he's older than I am!
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