The family and I went out to dinner this evening. As we were leaving the driveway, my husband asked if that round thing on the grass was a turtle. It was indeed, almost as big as a freaking dinner plate. She was hovered over a hole, and I wondered if she was laying eggs. I got out of the car and looked in the hole, which seemed to be filled with these big white glops. I thought they were too big to be eggs, we've seen remnant shells on the driveway before and they were much smaller.
Low and behold, next thing you know, she pushed an egg out of her behind. I mean, probably not literally her "behind", but that's what it looked like. Those are some big eggs! I'm guessing she laid about 10-12 of them in that hole, pushing them down gently with her back leg each time. So freaking cool to see that, and to be able to give that experience to our daughter -who laughed hysterically when I yelled, "OMG, she just shot an egg out of her butt!" because it completely shocked me.
We're hoping the eggs survive, I may fashion some sort of "cage" over the hole so predators don't eat them. But I'm on the fence about whether or not I should interfere with natural selection and nature's fate and all that. From what I have heard (and I'll do more research), turtles lay eggs and then just leave them, never to return. The babies who make it, hatch and go happily on their merry way. Weird, no? In any event, we've got some investigating and observing coming up this summer...there looks to be at least 1 more turtle egg hole in the yard!
Another thing I found out is that the incubation time for turtle eggs is anywhere from 45-90 days, depending on the type of turtle. Of course, I have no idea what kind of turtle this one was, so that's more research we need to do. Can anyone say homeschool activity?!? That ought to keep us busy for a day or two, now that preschool is out. And by early fall, maybe we'll be lucky enough to have a handful of baby turtles to watch as they leave our yard to start their own lives.
Got anything cool like that in your yard? Leave me a comment and tell me about it!