Day 184/365: Why Did the Turtle Cross The Road?

So why did the snapping turtle cross the road? Why does any turtle cross the road for that matter?  I don’t know, but he obviously didn’t do it so I could carry him across to the other side. If he did he wouldn’t have been so ungrateful to hiss and snap at me while I saved his shell from tires of a car. He was heavy guy, about 25 lbs and a good 18 inches in length. Didn’t want a car to hit him, so I carried him in the direction he was going, north across Holdredge Street east of Lincoln Nebraska.

Snapping Turtle why did the turtle cross the road

Snapping Turtle, so ungrateful…

There is an old wives tale that if you see turtles crossing the road it’s going to rain. (Within 12 hours of this picture it did rain by the way. ) This theory is true, or is at least true from my standpoint. In 1988 I was working a summer internship job for SafeGuard cattle dewormer in Oklahoma. We were in the middle of a heatwave and drought.  Ranchers were asking me if I was bringing rain with me when I came to visit. I always had bad news for them.

Then one morning I started noticing the turtles crossing the highway, being familiar with the old wives tale I started counting them. I stopped at 73. When I stopped at the Farmers Co-op they asked the question, “Did you bring any rain?” I jokingly told them “Turtles were all over the road it’s going to pour buckets.”

That afternoon as I drove past the co-op again it WAS pouring buckets and I honked my horn as they waved from the doorway.

The next week when I stopped by they asked the same question. I could only shake my head and say, “Sorry, this morning I saw a tarantula cross the road, it’s going to be dry for a while”

So why do turtles cross the road? Probably for many reasons, it’s breeding season, it just rained and their homes got flooded and they have moved to higher ground. Or, like another blogger thought, it’s going to rain.

What Gets Hit More? Turtles or Snakes?

10 thoughts on “Day 184/365: Why Did the Turtle Cross The Road?

  1. Fun shot! And that’s crazy coincidental, my girls got back from Scouts last night and said they’d stopped to move a turtle out of the road on the way home. Of course being in Ohio I doubt it was anything like that monster there!

  2. My mom was a turtle freak. When I was growing up you had to look in any bucket, bathtub or washtub before you got in or put your hand in. There were always turtle including many snappers. 🙂

    1. My Grandma in OKLA had a 3 legged box turtle that lived under her porch. Loved to feed him tomatoes and watermelon.

  3. Thanks for the link! Glad we don’t have the only rain predictors. What a beast. I help the box turtles but the snappers just aren’t grateful and scare me. I have always seen them on my pasture roads without danger of being hit anyways

    1. In Oklahoma the turtles were mainly small, but up here we grow big ones. Snappers are always unappreciative, and scary, I almost dropped him when he turned his long neck and snapped.

        1. Wait until you read my theory on why some people need to sunbathe, based on research in New World and Old World Monkeys. Never know what I’ll come up with next.

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