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“Turtle’s Rock!” (Common Snapping Turtle) Nikon D300, 200-400mm, 310mm, F/7.1, 1/50s, -0.7EV, ISO 400, SB900 TTL Flash w/Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud, -1.0EV

Today’s photo op was literally delivered to my back door! No kidding!

A pretty impressive snapping turtle had found its way into my neighbor’s backyard. There is a large pond behind the houses on our side of the street, so the errant occurance of unusual wildlife is actually not so unusual. Knowing I photograph wildlife, Don was kind enough to carefully and safely transport the turtle over to me in a large rolling cart.

We let him (or her) run wild (yeah, I know…it’s a turtle…) while I snapped away. 🙂 Turtles have been around since prehistoric days so catching a glimpse of one up close is like stepping back in time.

I couldn’t decide on my favorite photo, so in honor of my niece Lindsay’s recent graduation from highschool, I’m posting the top three. Lindsay will be heading off to college in the fall to study marine biology and get this, turtles are her favorite!

“Helmet Head” (Common Snapping Turtle) Nikon D300, 200-400mm, 220mm, F/10, 1/30s, -0.7EV, ISO 400, SB900 TTL Flash w/Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud, -1.

A large telephoto lens on a sturdy tripod allowed me to keep a safe distance (so as to avoid causing the turtle any harm or stress) but get visually close to capture all its really cool details.

“Totally Turtle” (Common Snapping Turtle) Nikon D300, 200-400mm, 340mm, F/5, 1/40s, -0.7EV, ISO 400, SB900 TTL Flash w/Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud, -1.0EV

Congratulations, Linds! These are for you! 🙂



  1. MaTante!!! The pictures are great and thank you so much for the dedication! He or she is so cute ❤ Love You, I hope your project keeps going well!

  2. I’ve started reading your archives this morning Tracy and I keep smiling as I do. I’m loving your witty titles and captions and enjoying your information on how you set up some of your shots. I’m finding more we have in common too – just read about your baby bunny and now this turtle post! A turtle in a neighbor’s yard provided me with shots for my 365, AND my older daughter, who is still in high school, is thinking about studying marine biology when she goes to college. If I may ask, where does Lindsay go? Did she enjoy her first year?

    • That is mighty kind of you, Karma! Back in the early days, not many folks were reading so I can’t even imagine what I wrote – lol!

      That baby bunny was soooo adorable. No idea why Cleo finds the bunnies so very fascinating!

      Oh, the snapping turtle – what a hoot that was! I think it was a female and she lives in the pond behind our house. She seems to like my neighbor’s yard as they just spotted her there again. Unfortunately, they do not have the same appreciation for wildlife as I do and they always remove her from the yard. I think this time she was actually building a NEST in their yard – wouldn’t that have been so cool?? Geesh! Some people!

      Lindsay goes to the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine, and sad to say, I’ve not yet had the chance to catch up with her now that she has finished her first year (she lives in Chicopee). I know she struggled with being away from home, but she really did like the school and the instructors and recently had the opportunity to present a research paper in Washington, D.C. She is a very smart girl! 🙂

      Thanks, Karma! 😀

      • OMG! This is really wild! I grew up going on vacation in Hills Beach, Biddeford, Maine, right around the corner from UNE! I actually applied and was accepted there myself, but changed my mind about going. My daughter looks at the school as we drive by (my husband and I take our family on vacation there now for a week in the summer) and if she’s still thinking marine biology when application time comes, I’m sure she will apply there!

      • Strange how life works that way, huh? Perhaps your daughter will fulfill the dream you didn’t decide to pursue! 🙂

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