Young Brantwood midwives slowly deliver

In late August, 83 days of patient checking paid off for nine-year-old Persephone McPherson and her six-year-old brother Quinn:  the snapping turtle eggs they had seen being laid in June finally hatched.

Almost every day since June 9, when a large snapping turtle laid her eggs just east of Brantwood’s basketball court, Persephone and Quinn checked to see if anything was happening.

Then, early in the morning on Aug. 30, Persephone spotted the opened-up earth. Twenty palm-sized turtles were crawling out of their white, papery shells, heading straight to the river about 150 metres away.

Photo left: Midwives Persephone and Quinn McPherson helped one laggard baby turtle find its way to the river. Credit: Brian McPherson

“They thought it was fabulous,” said the children’s mother, Melissa McPherson of Onslow Crescent.  Their father, Brian, a Mainstreeter photographer, captured the remarkable event.

In June, on their way to soccer practice in Brantwood Park, Persephone and Quinn had come across the mother turtle digging a hole, carefully laying each egg and burying the whole clutch. Remarkably, the clutch remained hidden to local wildlife, the occasional dog wandering into the park and the many basketball players using the adjacent court.

Only one of the eggs did not hatch. One newborn didn’t set off for the river.  Persephone and Quinn kindly gave the little beast a helping hand, carrying it to the river’s edge.

Meanwhile, as earlier reported in the online Mainstreeter, another batch of eggs was laid near some of the play equipment in Brantwood Park. Conscientious park users protected the area, marking it with fluorescent tape.

Two weeks after the first eggs hatched, it was time for the second batch. Persephone reported there was again only one egg that did not hatch.

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