The Legend of “Mrs. T” lives on – Snappers with a purpose!

Rebecca MorganConservation & Wildlife Management

The original Mrs. T was so named many years ago due to her scrunched-up facial resemblance to Mr. T and his ever-present scowl.  If you recall, Mr. T starred in the 1980’s action series, The A Team.  Thus, we are many generations removed, yet her legend lives on through her progeny.

Memorial Day Weekend fell a few days early this year, and as such, the annual journey of snapping turtles to attempt the continuation of their species took place a few days after, on May 28 and 29.  And so I was blessed to observe this amazing happening that once again displays creations’ innate propensity to exist on this earth.  Though a private moment, this releasing of fertilized eggs, was interesting to observe as mama snapper patiently deposited and buried her eggs in a sandy section of our yard. Actual survival is not a feat easily achieved, as there are barriers all along the way, including the many predators whose own survival depends on these eggs as a food source.  Out of the many eggs buried within the sand, only a few will make it to carry on the legend of Mrs. T. and the other snapper mothers out there.  

Much different from the human mother, of course, the snapper mom’s child-rearing duties are brief, for once her eggs are laid, her parenting job is done as she leaves her latchkey children behind to eventually fend for themselves.  Defenseless as they are inside their eggshell homes, their fate rests with the forces of nature, with the odds of survival being against them.  

It was interesting to learn that the turtle eggs that do survive this vulnerable state will hatch on Labor Day Weekend.  How appropriate!  But unlike a woman in the throes of labor awaiting the birth of her child, the turtle offspring will do the laboring. After the intense work of breaking through the prison walls of their shell, and digging their way through the sand, likely zapped of energy, they are then faced with the task of returning to the stream from which their mother made this trek 3 months earlier. 

What a privilege to observe yet another of God’s many plans in motion.  Looking forward to more from my front row seat. 

Rebecca Morgan