Walter: Hand feeding a snapping turtle

Scroll down for the video of Joe hand feeding Walter the snapping turtle! When you live this far north in the land of 10,000 lakes there are two absolute certainties in your life: #1 you actually know that, in fact, Minnesota really has over 11,000 lakes and #2 You’re going to be spending a lot of your time on or near said lakes. I’m sure there are people in this world who might not enjoy spending time in the summer on a lake but I have no idea how that is even possible. Being on (or in) a lake is simply part of my DNA. When I was kid my mom would strap a life jacket on me and just let me swim and I was literally happy for hours. Back then we lived on a lake and I still miss it though I don’t usually realize it until we go to spend time on one and then I am left absolutely speechless by just how much I love it. Honestly, on a summer night in Minnesota there is just no place else to be. Heaven.

Northern Minnesota fishing, northern pike, bass, feeding a snapping turtle by hand

We went out a week ago with my dad and his brother (my uncle) to one of his “secret” lakes that Joe and I have been chomping at the bit to get a chance to go to all summer! The fishing is good there, as it is with all of my dad’s lakes, but that wasn’t why we were so excited! So everyone I would like to introduce you to: Walter the snapping turtle 🙂

Every year we toodle out across the lake, fishing distractedly, hoping that Walter made it another year. Eventually he hears the motor and here he comes 🙂 Walter has been in this lake for so long no one can remember when he first appeared anymore. If you look close at the video you can see that (sadly) Walter was hurt in the face at some point, his nose is broken on one side and he’s missing an eye. I hope that it wasn’t actually “someone” who did that to Walter – maybe a fisherman scared out of his wits when a giant snapping turtle swam up to the boat and started begging for food? Joe brought a tape measure with him and managed to get a rough estimate, his shell is nearly two feet across and even longer from front to back! He is one of our favorite things in the summer time and I hope our feeding him a big meal every time we stop by gives him a break. No we have no intention of harming Walter or taking him home for soup. I am an avid supporter of hunting for our own food etc. but Walter might be 100 years old and who the hell do I think I am to end the life of a creature that’s made it this long? No, thank you. Whenever I see Walter come to the boat the first time, every year, he feels like a miracle. There is absolutely no justification I could find to take his life for any amount of meals that he could provide for us.

I’m sure I’m not the only blogger (or wifey) alive that has lots of pictures to share of their families and never a single picture of herself! Pretty typical I guess, so here’s a couple of pictures of Joe showing off a couple of fish he caught, maybe sometime this year I can get him to take a picture of me!

Northern Minnesota fishing, northern pike, bass, feeding a snapping turtle by hand Northern Minnesota fishing, northern pike, bass, feeding a snapping turtle by hand

We let them both go if you’re curious – no fish were harmed in the making of those two pictures lol. But we did take home some sun fish and crappies that we had for supper the next night. When I first met and started dating Joe he was, in fact, a self declared “Walleye Fisherman” which I always found rather stupid and pompous – Really? The rest of the fish in the lake aren’t good enough for you, eh? I, on the other hand, am an “Anything I can eat fisherman” and can only go out and spend hours on a lake for so long until I’m thinking, “We really need to bring something home to eat to make me feel less guilty for sitting in a boat relaxing for three hours.” I also love fresh fish so the fact that we never have to buy fish is just incredible to me. Joe has dropped the whole “Walleye Fisherman” BS and moved on to enjoying all that the lakes (and rivers!) here have to offer without having to first proclaim he’s a “Walleye Fisherman” before bringing Bass home lol. This spring he was our “River Fisherman” and I can’t believe I never knew anyone up here before who didn’t fish our rivers for trout! They are fabulous! And Joe just loves it, he runs down to the river any time he can now. The other morning I made us pan fried trout (in browned butter) for breakfast! We both felt pretty darned spoiled. Here is a pic of one he caught this winter- aren’t they beautiful? If you’ve never had trout I would say they resemble a small salmon, very rich and very flavorful.

Northern Minnesota fishing, northern pike, bass, feeding a snapping turtle by hand

When I’m not visiting Walter the snapping turtle I’ve been tying up a few projects around here that have been nagging at me. ALL of the trim around ALL of our exterior doors have been needing to be painted since we moved in. And I finally got them ALL done and now I am totally out of painter’s tape lol! I still have most of the eves to paint but I should be able to finish that up this coming weekend. Also, all of the exterior doors need to be painted still too but just on the outside – we already painted them on the inside months ago. Because I need to leave said exterior doors “open” for several hours to actually paint the “outside” of them it got me working on some much needed screen doors. We already have one (the original screen door in fact) on the front of the house but we have two doors in our kitchen that need screen doors as well. It just so happened that I had one lying around (shocking I know…) but I’m going to have to check out our salvage depot for a third screen door. The one I had stashed in the garage was actually at one point on the old screened in porch and needed to be modified quite a bit to work: it was too short and not wide enough! I will post all about it soon after we get it hung up!

Northern Minnesota fishing, northern pike, bass, feeding a snapping turtle by hand

The day I painted it was so splendidly hot that we had a jungle-like down poor in the middle of it, we all enjoyed the relief of the rain though it didn’t cool it off much. It is not every day in northern Minnesota when we have a forecast of 100 degree heat! I know the rest of the country has been suffering more then we have however we don’t have air conditioning so there have been a few nights of laying in bed like roadkill – our master bedroom on the second floor at 89 degrees Fahrenheit, window fan blowing on full blast. But this is northern Minnesota and a couple of weeks all together of it being a little hot in the house doesn’t bother me one bit. In fact, I’m a cold body and every summer I imagine I am literally storing the heat in me for winter. We got a couple of other things done, those darned holes in our hard wood floors where the HVAC used to run I patched one morning while Joe was creating door thresholds for our exterior doors that have also been long since over due! My next blog post here on Monday I’m going to talk all about how Joe and I hand made the door thresholds 🙂

See you guys then!

(PS. Sorry guys for the following crappy picture of Walter, I was too busy videoing to also get a regular picture of him so that’s a screen shot from the video.)

Northern Minnesota fishing, northern pike, bass, feeding a snapping turtle by hand

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Iris Nacole


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