I came across this Common Snapping Turtle down the road from my house late last summer. In ten years I have only seen this creature once. He or she is at least 15″ long, excluding that tail. I think this may be a female, as I have read they travel good distances from water to lay their eggs. I also think she may be over 20 years old, based on the size of her carapace. This snapper worked its way up a steep embankment from the creek and was resting about 30 feet from our mailbox.I kept a respectful distance, but she let me zoom in without an argument. Check out those claws!
A closer look at the face only a mama could love. I sure hope we meet again this year.