I raked up some weeds and leaves this weekend and thought that there was a red beetle in the litter. To my shock and delight, it was this little guy! This is a baby snapping turtle.
His mom has visited our yard. We had a snapping turtle come right up to the house about two years ago. She checked out the yard and headed back to the pond.
She was huge, over two feet across. I've seen her in the pond while kayaking and she gives me pause. Usually I see just her head popping over the water's surface.
Hopefully this little one will grow up to be as big and strong as his mama!