Around this time of the year, I spend quite a bit of time looking for turtles. There are 2 rare types that we search for. One type likes to hang out in streams and stream banks. The other more rare turtle involves walking around wetlands that have a lot of muck. Most of the time it's just a struggle not to step in a bottomless hole or fall in. My pants always end up covered in smelly mud. We are also supposed to stick our hands in these bottomless holes in the desperate and futile attempt to locate a turtle. However, there are unfriendly snapping turtles that are more than willing to take a finger off. The guy in the top photo is an extremely large snapping turtle capable of taking off a bunch of fingers. I think his head is the size of my fist. These guys can even eat ducklings, frogs, and turtles. Obviously I try to avoid these guys.
This year has been not very exciting. Usually there's a bunch of frogs and other critters to keep one entertained while walking around for hours. Not this year. Not sure if it's the end of the world or if these snapping turtles have made meals out of everyone else. But we did find a box turtle (below pic) who was not shy. He was flailing in my hands and didn't once hide in his shell.