17 June 2011

Friday Funny

snapping turtle
Sometimes I see funny things along the bike path. Such as this huge turtlegator. Or maybe this is what happens when a lizard mates with someone as slow as a turtle. Perhaps a very good thing The Lizard and I were unable to reproduce. :-O

Even though I am an avid wildlife stalker, this was my first time ever seeing a snapping turtle, and I honestly wondered if it might be an escaped pet alligator upon first sight because I had never seen a snapper. Ever. I had never seen a turtle with an alligator-like tail.

After my ride, I researched turtles to figure out exactly what I'd shot. Turns out the females bury their eggs in sand, often far from the water, in June. So this could well be a female on her way to motherhood. She could lay as many as 80 eggs, and the young 'uns could winter in the nest if weather conditions are not favorable in the next couple of months when they hatch. Mom, who has savage claws and a nasty bite, enjoys dining on small birds and mammals and has a worm-like tip on her tongue to lure fish into her powerful jaw, could live to be 30 years old. As long as she stays on the muddy river bottom and off the bike path.

Along this very same bike path, I was planning to ride 70 miles last Friday. I was feeling strong even though I had a headwind and bugs were prolific. Apparently the wind was 1 mph too slow to keep the bugs out of the sky. And out of my mouth. (Extra protein!) So I was keeping my head down. Not watching the sky...

After the final tunnel, I felt a couple of drops on my legs. I thought my nose was running again. I kept feeling drops. Then I realized the sky was spitting at me.

I rode on.

A third of the way up the dam, I felt the equivalent of a pinprick. Then another. Then another.

Oh, hail!

I looked up. I was right on the very edge of a black, dark, heavy cloud. On the dam. Not the safest location during a hailstorm. The sun was poking out at me. And yet, here was this shower of hail.

Next thing I knew, I was being pelted by crystalized projectiles.

I called The Lizard from atop the dam, and he ordered me to take cover. No nearby shelter! He would come get me, but he wanted me to find a safe place to wait out the storm. Down the other side of the dam I cruised, and the storm was gone before I reached the bottom. I descended slowly and conservatively because the pavement and my brakes were wet, but not THAT slow! The lightningless thunderboomer was just a tiny cell. Thank heavens electricity didn't find a way to make loud sparks.

If I had been ten minutes slower, I would have missed the entire storm. Now I was soaked. Cars were passing me. Most drivers went out of their way to try to keep from splashing me, thankfully. One motorist apparently thought it was hilarious to blast me with a wall of dirty water. I went from soaked to worse, if there is such a thing.

Luckily, I had a big climb to get to where The Lizard was waiting. The climb kept me warm. Shooting the rainbow with the iPhone while The Lizard loaded up my bike diffused disappointment caused by the 20-mile shortage in my day's goal. A hot mineral bath at home chased all the rest of the blues far away!

Somewhere over the rainbow...


  1. When I was in Jr. High a girlfriend and I am across what her dad said was a snapping turtle, he followed us home and back to where we found him after my friend's dad had a horrible fit...we were afraid he'd shoot the poor thing with something other than a camera...but I don't remember his tail quite like that, but then that was Michigan...now that you brought back such cool memories I'll have to google snapping turtles! Isn't it amazing the great and unexpected things that we encounter on any given day!

  2. What a ride --- storm, thunder, hail and a lot of protein :).

    Lovely rainbow.

  3. Amazing turtle! We have them out here too.

    I really want to commiserate with you for only being able to ride 50 instead of 70 miles yesterday ... but I'm too busy being overwhelmed with admiration, envy, and a sense of my own utter cycling wimpiness.


  4. ha ha I think he's cute.

  5. That is a weird looking creature!
    You were lucky to get of that hail storm only soaked and with some stings.

    There is a 3D filter in PSC5 that is really easy to use.

  6. Quite the adventure - for sure...but the rainbow was worth every minute of it..dontcha think??

  7. yea, that was a weird turtle. Don´t think I have seen it either.


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