We've been able to observe terrapin habits for many years now. The turtles appear in late March or early April, many years coming on the first day of spring, as if they knew. They go into hibernation in late October or early November depending on how warm the water stays. I feed them Purina Cat Chow. Mind you, it's just dessert. They've been snacking on Fiddler crabs and other such delicacies all day long. The few times I've given them other brands of cat food they have protested either by not eating it or even worse, by giving me the "stink eye"! Many folks have come to the house to feed the turtles. Family, friends, Closed Today Theater attendees and especially children love to feed them or watch them be fed. When the tide is low I put the food on the mud so the turtles have to come out of the water to get it. That way I can get a better look at their markings. It's then that my cats get curious about who is eating their food. We've had many a laugh as the cats sneak up on the turtles, the turtles scurry quickly back to the water only to stop , regain their composure and come racing ( a relative term) back to charge the cats. The cats then whack them in the head, the head retreats and the turtles wait for the cats to get bored which we all know cats do rather easily. The cats move off to other adventures or misadventures and the turtles have dessert. No one gets hurt and over the years it seems to have turned into a game that both enjoy or at least tolerate .
You can read our latest newsletter here. It's a history of Ocracoke's historic Howard Street