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Good thing nobody brings broomsticks to the Arboretum

Snapping turtle at Arnold Arboretum

The ponds at the Arboretum all have signs around them warning people they're home to snapping turtles and to enjoy them from afar.

But one of the ponds has an area where you can sit right at the edge of the water and, if you're still, you can watch the snapping turtles, the big snapping turtles that could eat the tiny turtles of Jamaica Pond for a snack, slowly swim up and give you the eye as they come up for air.

And if you had a broomstick, it would just be too tempting to see if it's true what they say about snapping turtles and broomsticks. So leave those at home.

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Comments

That pond in the middle of the cemetery has the biggest snappers I've seen in city limits. Just antediluvian and numerous.

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What happened to Elmer? Anyway, *adorable*. Miss you Elmer!

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The nose knows because the nose will sniff out the truth. Magoo.

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Adorable!

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When I was a kid we'd spend a lot of time catching frogs & turtles (mostly snappers) near our house during summer vacation (we'd put them in a bucket or barrel for a while and then set them free). We sometimes did see how thick of a stick they could snap when provoked. That included a couple of pretty big turtles with shells longer than 1 foot and while they could snap a pretty good stick they wouldn't get through something as thick as a broomstick.

The funny part was that we had the technique down of grabbing snappers by the tail or shell in a way that none of us got bit by them. Though one kid did catch a painted turtle one day and thought that since it wasn't a snapper it wouldn't bite him, he lost some of the flesh between his thumb and index finger in learning that was not the case.

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I lived for a time on a bit of land in central MA and the snappers would migrate across it to get from a stream to a wetland and back. They were these gigantic creatures and our landlord taught us how to help them across the street.

We had an older "neighborhood" dog (lived next door, technically) and a bouncy young doberman living downstairs from us. The older dog was very savvy about tracking the turtles without getting in snapper range. The younger dog came close to making some nasty mistakes, but the older dog would run her off every time. It was fun to watch the "nanny" dog observe and protect the too-inquisitive doberman.

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I grew out in that part of the world, and we lived between two bodies of water. Every summer, we had a neverending parade of turtles slowly making their way from stream to lake. I saw some of the biggest turtles I've ever encountered, just meandering across our back yard. I have zero doubt the bigger ones could crunch through the femur of an unsuspecting canine (or toddler, for that matter) who tried to harass it. Our dog had an ounce of sense and gave the snappers a wide berth.

I also never saw one get through a broomstick, but my father gave one a 3/4-inch wide stick to show us what would happen if we got a finger near the front of one of those monsters.

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