The Critter Radio Sports Update

HNWR Painted Turtle_6615 aHey, hey, hey sports fans! This is Shelly Zuppa with your sports update here on KRTR 99.9 FM – Critter Radio. Today we have a real treat for all you sports fans – live coverage of yesterday’s hotly contested Herp Swamp Hockey match. Nothing like the timely coverage you’ll get here on Critter Radio! Let’s throw it over to our play-by-play announcer.

Hi, folks, I’m Myrtle Turtle the Dapper Snapper, and welcome to the Marsh Arena. For the Herp Swamp Hockey novices out there, let’s review the game. The league is restricted to herps – reptiles and amphibians, in other words. No fish, no fowl. No rules, no referees, no holds barred. Four teams for all the marbles, competing on land and in water.

HNWR_5624 a Looks like we’re all set for the match to start. The crowd is trembling with anticipation…

HNWR_9701 a…as their favorite players from the Tinicum Turtles take the field.

CM Higbee Beach_9885 aRight off the bat, the Higbee Beach Fence Lizards take the offensive by going on defense. These guys would lead the league if the game were Freeze Tag. At the first whiff of an opponent, they become motionless. “If I don’t move – you can’t see me!” is their battle cry.

HNWR Snake_7379 ACSThe strategy must have worked, because we can see they’ve got this Garter Snake player from Serpents United on the rocks.

HNWR Bullfrog_7722 ASMeanwhile, this American Bullfrog is mired deep in his own zone. Maybe water polo is more his game.

HNWR Tadpoles_5187 aHalftime entertainment keeps to the water with a nice display of synchronized swimming by three baby fish. Yes, folks, there’s nothing we Snapping Turtles like better than a good fish fry. Or three…

Tinicum_6389 Alt 2 AS OrigBack to the action, these Painted Turtles from Heinz seem to have been benched. The Tinicum Turtles try to overwhelm other teams with sheer numbers, but spend most of the game sunning themselves on the sidelines. It’s enough to make a fellow turtle weep.

CM Higbee Beach_9945 aWait, folks, what’s this… There’s a Spider Crab on the field and creeping away with the ball… Oh my gosh, we have a streaker! Don’t look, Ethel!

CMPSP Snake_9767 aThe Cape May fan contingent is not happy with this turn of events, as a Ribbon Snake shows his displeasure.

HNWR_2233 aWith time running out, Serpents United have taken a risky strategy by sending a Garter Snake player deep into the opposition’s Thistle to try to score. It’s a highly unusual place for a snake – but…

CM Higbee Beach_9942 aYES! He scores!

GOOOOOAL!

And the Serpents take the match!

Well, folks, it’s all over but the shouting. This Horseshoe Crab spectator seems overwhelmed with emotion. What an exciting game!

The rematch is bound to be a barn-burner. Be sure to tune in again to catch all the action right here on KRTR Critter Radio.

Blimp_3787 a copyI’m Myrtle Turtle the Dapper Snapper from the Marsh Arena – good night!

Aerial coverage provided by the Goodyear Blimp.

FUN FACT: Most crabs that walk on land do so sideways, but the Spider Crab usually goes forward. It’s particularly fond of draping itself with all sorts of adornments, including living sea plants, bits of shell and other oddities. Presumably this is for concealment, but maybe the crab’s just really fashion forward!

Coming up: Independence Day: Wissahickon Wanderings

Mating Dance

Caution: Contains mild “adult” material. Use your own judgement when sharing with the kiddos. HNWR Snapper_6644 ASSpring is the time for babies. It’s also the time for making babies. Looks are no impediment, even for a creature as prehistoric-looking as this Snapping Turtle. My first day on the Eagle Watch at Heinz NWR we arrived to find a pair of Snappers mating in the impoundment right in front of us. The entertainment went on for over an hour. Mating for Snappers involves a lot of biting, and the female is submerged for much of the time. Better her than me!Image

At one point another Snapper swam over to see if he could get in on the action, but he left disappointed. You know what they say – two’s company, three’s a crowd!Image

FUN FACT: Snappers mate any time from March to November, but the nesting period is only a few weeks. Once they’ve mated, the male’s sperm can remain viable in the female’s body for up to several years. They will usually lay 25 to 50 eggs, which will hatch in two to three months. Snappers spend most of their lives in the water, in deep pools or buried in the mud of shallow ponds. On land they can be fierce when threatened, but are downright docile in the water.

HNWR Carp_8160Also on the Dance Card:

On another warm and sunny day, the carp came out to spawn, thrashing and circling each other in the shallows. Carp lay hundreds of thousands of eggs, which hatch in a few days with no further parental care. They are actually members of the Minnow family.

HNWR Carp_8166 A

And that’s the end of this tale!HNWR Snapper_6657 a