Posts Tagged ‘Yoda’

This must be egg-laying season for Eastern Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina serpentina) for I have seen them on multiple occasions this past week far away from the water that is their normal habitat. I spotted this venerable one in a grassy field at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

I am happy that I was able to capture some of the turtle’s wonderful skin texture  and serious expression in this head-and-shoulders portrait. I do realize, of course, that turtles do not really have shoulders—I used a bit of artistic license in characterizing the portrait with those words (and in calling myself an “artist”).

Many people say that snapping turtles look prehistoric to them, but I tend to think of Yoda every time that I see one. In my mind, I imagine a snapping turtle speaking with Yoda’s wisdom and unusual grammar structure with expressions like, “Named must your fear be before banish it you can.” (Lots of wonderful Yoda quotes like this one can be found at yodaquotes.net.)

Snapping Turtle

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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This summer has been a dry one and the recent fall rains have not done much to replenish the water in the local marshes. Recently I came across this snapping turtle in a sunny area relatively far from the water. The turtle looked like he was starting to dry out a little and I feared that he might be trouble. Fortunately, when I came back a little later, he had disappeared, presumably to another location with water, or at least shade.

I love the amazing texture of the neck area and even the head of the snapping turtle. I considered doing this photo in black and white to emphasize that texture, but would have lost the beautiful gold circles in his eyes and the green of the plants that make a semi-circle around his face.

When I gaze into the eyes of this snapping turtle, I am reminded of Yoda, the wizened sage of Star Wars, who had seen a lot during his nine hundred years. The turtle also seems to have the bemused, yet sad expression on his face that Yoda displayed when he was trying to train the young, impatient Luke Skywalker and said these words:

“Ready are you? What know you of ready? For eight hundred years have I trained Jedi. My own counsel will I keep on who is to be trained. A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away… to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph. Adventure. Heh. Excitement. Heh. A Jedi craves not these things. You are reckless.”  (quote from imbd.com)

Snapping turtle on dry land

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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