The kids and their dad went swimming at the cliff (on the other side of the island, several hundred feet from the main building) this weekend and were very excited to report that they'd noticed a snapping turtle there. They thought it was either dead or dying because it wasn't moving much. Given that there wasn't anything they could do for it, they let it be.
Well, what do you know. It wasn't dead or dying. It was just on its very slow way to my septic tank, where it likes to lay eggs every year, taking 24 to 36 hours to make a complete mess of the thing by digging holes everywhere and laying lots of little ones before leaving again for the shore.
There she was this morning, having just started this process. We're leaving in an hour so we won't see the whole thing this time, but still, we know what comes next. The minute its back is turned, the porcupines will come out, dig up the eggs and eat them. We'll come back later this week to find countless eggshell fragments around the septic tank.
I've tried explaining this to my poor turtle, but she just snapped at me (yeah, it's not a joke, that name). We let it be, and keep the pets from bothering it too much. It will soon be over anyway. Poor thing, though, all this work for nothing.