Deja vu? Digging a nest to deposit eggs in this Chesterfield County yard is a Snapping Turtle although not a surprising event as a pond is nearby.

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I say deja vu as just last summer I witnessed another turtle digging a nest in my front yard.
Look closely and you will see that the female snapper has sustained a severe deforming injury to her shell that has long since healed. Poor baby. She also has a large cyst on her back leg. In spite of her past tragedy she has prevailed to continue her species...... one tough cookie!

For more information about this Virginia turtle:

Photograph by Carolyn Hietala

Red-Spotted Newt - Red Eft in Richmond. Woodland backyard as a natural habitat for Virginia wildlife. Salamander with spots Notophthalmus viridescens.

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Yardwork can bring lovely surprises! This elusive little beauty was discovered while raking leaves and found nestled safely under a large rotting branch. After taking a few pictures with my Canon Rebel XT this shy little creature was relocated to a new log home a few yards away where it obligingly disappeared from sight once again.

To learn more about this salamander check out this site. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries:

What a gentle invention by Mother Nature :0)

Photograph copyrighted by Carolyn Hietala.

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