While I have a pretty healthy knowledge of birds and most animals, I am positively sitting on empty when it comes to knowledge of any kind when it comes to reptiles. While some creepy crawlies make my hair stand on end, I do like turtles. They’re cute and I appreciate the way they kind of keep to themselves. They don’t go looking for trouble and I like that attitude.
When I hear they’d be having a “hands on” demonstration with turtles Sunday, I set myself up with a front row position. I figured it’d be a great time to go from “empty” on knowledge to at least 1/4 a tank. Not only were the Nature Station workers a wealth of information, they inspired me to come home and research turtles to learn even more.
That’s one of the most beautiful things about places like the Nature Station, Elk & Bison Prairie, and The Homeplace – each place is an education, disguised as entertainment for all ages.
Alligator Snapping Turtle
The alligator snapping turtle (pictured at the top and above) is one of the heaviest freshwater turtles in the world and, let’s be honest, he’s quite a looker. This turtle is often linked to the common snapping turtle, but they really aren’t that closely related. You do not… not, not, not.. want to handle an alligator snapping turtle. Leave it to the professionals or you will be sorry. They’re bite is outrageous and you never want to find that out “first hand.”
The alligator snapping turtle is found primarily in the southeastern United States, including Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, Indiana, and Missouri.
The Nature Station also has common snapping turtles which aren’t quite as large as the guy pictured above. Still not an animal you want to touch, mind you.
Turtles at Woodlands Nature Station
The beauties (pictured above and below) are probably my favorite turtles at Woodlands Nature Station. I love these pictures – the fact that they’re looking at the camera, the fact that you can see their reflection in the pond… but most of all I love their smugness. They’re looking at me like, “WHAT?!?!”
That adorable smugness is going to earn them a spot in the slider rotation of pictures on the front of Genuine Kentucky, I guarantee it.
Beautiful Smug Turtles Enjoying the Sun!
If we’re being honest, why wouldn’t the turtles be smug? The animals at Woodlands Nature Station don’t just have it good, they have it dang good. The staff treats them as well as most of us treat our pets and the respect they show to them (and demand from others on their behalf) blows me away each time. On this particular trip, the man and young lady who were handling the turtles handled them as you’d expect someone to handle a newborn.
In fact, whenever they’d return the turtles to the water, they did so with such care that hardly a ripple was made in the water. As an animal lover, I respect the heck out of that.
Whether you have children, grandchildren, or simply love animals, yourself, be sure to check out the following information about seasonally recurring events at Woodlands Nature Station:
- Afternoon Animal Encounters
- Totally Turtles! (Mondays)
- Dinnertime for the Bald Eagle (Tuesdays)
- For Goodness Snakes (Wednesdays – this is one place you will never see me… can you say fatally phobic female six times fast?)
- Mystery Animal Encounters (Thursdays)
- Feed the Animals Fridays