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The endearing thing about sea turtles is their grace. Most of us humans are water nerds, graceless and gangly and splashing. In contrast, the sea turtle moves with the cadence of time itself. The swimming is slow and graceful, as if it got extra points for style and poetry of motion.

I encountered a second Snapping Turtle as big as the first along the same trail. It had just emerged from the river and was still glistening wet; it even still had a bloodsucker clinging to its shell.

Then all hell broke loose! I stuck my elbow into a Fire Ant nest, and within two seconds it felt like there was a strong electric current running through my elbow. I leaped up, frantically brushing ants from my arm and dancing on the roadside.