Thursday, April 15, 2010
Expedition into The Nest of the Beast
Yesterday I set off into a surprisingly urban environment, Gahanna Ohio's Walnut Creek Bog. Rumors foretold of incredible beasts lurking just beneath the surface of the shallow mud hole and as we were soon about to find...those rumors were all too true.
During the month of April the Common Snapping Turtle is unearthing itself from a long slumbering winter hibernation...and the males are beginning to battle with each other for the rights to breeding grounds. Walnut Creek Bog is literally a stew of massive sized turtles and in the past 3 days we have captured and recorded 8 of these mud monsters. The largest with a carapace measuring nearly 15 inches and weighing 35 lbs, the smallest...could fit in the palm of my hand.
So far only a single female has been identified...the rest...a bunch of gruff, angry males looking for a good time. So what did I do...well...I threw myself right into the middle of it all and stirred up the pot. With the help of my incredible crew, cinematographer Chammp Swaggerty and Field Factologist Jasper Applewood we had an incredible first shoot of the summer.
Take a look at some of Japser's great shots...and stay tuned for more as the Reptile Chronicles continue...
Look at me...like a kid in a candy turtle shop... wrestling a 35lb monster from the gunk. This turtle put up a fight unlike anything we have ever seen...and when released...it actually tried to attack Coyote several times. The footage is incredible...talk about a dominant, territorial predator!
A moment of admiration between the battles.
A turtle like this dominates the environment...and to be honest, it also dominated my hands with its hind claws...slicing the heck out of me during the catch!
Always fun to discover...the smallest catch of the day who was no less of a fighter then his big brothers...in fact...this little guys claws were like razor blades...my hands have the lacerations to prove it.
The calm of the storm...take a look at those claws, if that isn't from the Jurassic Period I don't know what is!
And when it was all said and done...the beasts return to the dark murky abyss where they will slumber and wait for their prey. We will return to Gahanna soon as we continue to capture, research, record, admire and release these incredible reptiles!