There is always something going on in the north woods of Wisconsin. A walk along Kingston Road; West Shore Drive; or the Nicolet Trail in Oconto County, Wisconsin in June you will be able to observe the annual ritual of the Painter and Snapping turtles coming out to lay their eggs in the abundant sandy soil and gravel in the area. Countless times you will find myself or others stopping their cars and literally giving the painters a hand to get to the other side of the road or trail. Generally, just walking behind the snappers will hurry them along and get them out of harms way. You definitely do not want to pick them up, they are not named Snapping turtles for nothing. After they lay their eggs, it is the long walk back to the water. After doing a little research on the turtle, evidently the eggs hatch in 60-90 days, however, the babies will live inside the nest and hibernate there until spring when they are big enough to make the long trek to the water.
In early spring sometimes you will find these little fledglings slowly making their way to Chute Pond and the Oconto River. You can walk it easily in 5-10 minutes. Imagine being a little turtle about the size of a quarter walking that distance not every having seen the path before. Genetics is fascinating, something inside them, guides them to the place where they will live there lifetime maturing and carrying on a life cycle passed down for thousands if not millions of years.