Snowman or Sea Turtle?

You know the old saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well, what if life gave you lots of snow instead? You’d make a snowman, of course, or better yet, how about a giant sea turtle?

snow turtle

The Bartz brothers from New Brighton, Minnesota, have done just that, right in their front yard, and it’s not the first time they’ve caught the attention of the neighbors. Their tradition began four years ago with the creation of a giant puffer fish, inspired by one that was caught by the brothers while fishing in Florida. The next winter brought a walrus, the one after that a giant shark, and now a 37-foot-long sea turtle stands 12 feet high outside their front door. The boys spent about 300 hours sculpting the turtle with snow gathered from 11 neighboring yards and a tennis court in their neighborhood. The snow was hauled to the garage on a sled to warm up a bit (think perfect snowman snow) before being mounded in the yard and sculpted using only hands and shovels. The sea turtle encourages a steady flow of traffic to the neighborhood, and admirers of years past say this sculpture is the best yet.

The Bartz brothers hope to maintain the sea turtle for another month before allowing the inevitable return of spring to melt it. They plan to continue on with their sea creatures theme for a bit, and then they might enlist the help of their fans to decide what’s next.

Leave a comment 8 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Wow, this sea turtle is incredible! Those brothers are quite the artists. I like that they are choosing animals that face problems and need protection and support to not become extinct.

  2. Terry Steinmetz says:

    spring early in MN? Don’t think so! But their sculpture looks great!

  3. Cindi Johnson says:

    Now that’s impressive! What talented young men. How fun to be their neighbor and look forward to their sculptures each winter. I wonder if they also participate in the ice sculpture festival they have there in Minnesota. Some of the most amazing artwork I have ever seen (sadly, only in pictures) is created out of those icy winters.

  4. How delightful and really so very realistic. I love sea turtles and would ride their backs on occasion when I lived in the Seychelles. They swim very fast but when they dive deep I had to let go. I was free diving so no tanks- brings back special memories !

  5. Nancy Coughlin says:

    WOW! So neat to see kids being creative!

  6. Paula Ann Leyva says:

    LOVE your sea turtle all the way in Minn>!! Great idea & beautiful art work!!!!!!

  7. Ah fantastic job wish we had snow like that Beautiful art work looking firward to next year

  8. Kym dyal says:

    These boys are amazing, I love the turtle , I’d love to see their past creations

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