I had this idea for a post, anyway. It was going to be about things purple in my garden. (Yes, I know the title says Pupple, it will be explained later, stay with me now, if you would, please.)
Shown above is purple Perilla fructescens.
The big finish was going to be the very purple and popular Vernonia gigantea, our native Ironweed. We had pruned these down by two thirds in May to be able to take a photo without standing on a ladder at bloom time, which is now. Seeds have been saved and sown with success and seedlings have been identified and moved to garden beds from seed scatterings in winter outdoors to make for a healthy population of them this year. But on the way to writing the purple post we got sidetracked. Here is the story:
The hose had been dragged up to the veggie garden with the metal spinning sprinkler head attached to moisten the soil under the frost cloth covered hoop in preparation for sowing lettuce seeds. No rain and no watering meant that the growing medium was like a dry sponge. Even if we did get the forecasted thunderstorm, the water would simply run off, not soak in, just like on the aforementioned sponge. So we were wetting it down well. While up there, it was remembered that the okra pods have been drying fast on the plants and need to be cut off before they split open. They are to be used in a fall wreath at some point in time, perhaps painted. Perhaps this year. Perhaps not. The okra patch is behind the Arborvitae. Turning to go attend to some other gardening chore after checking the pods, none were ready, we heard a loud rustling amongst the twigs and leaves. Looking carefully, spotting the source of the noise and running at full gallop to get the camera, leaping over stone steps and block walls in a single bound, this is what caused the lack of care in the descent to the house…
The camera is set down, stones are moved out of the way, the lower portion of the fence is lifted a bit and she is placed in position to crawl under the wire. She was rearing to go, but in her haste, she has become lodged under a larger branch that is weighted down with piles of brush and garden debris, the habitat we have been building for over ten years along the back property line.
Fear not, gentle readers, animal lovers and wildlife afficionados, there is a happy ending to this turtle tale. The camera is once again set down on the ground, our small hands just fit through the openings in the rusty fence to lift the branch and free our little lady friend. She quickly figured out that it is better to go over the brush, not under it and climbs to disappear into the darkness within.
With a smile we return to the house, the sprinkler still running, to load the photos and write the story. The idea of using the color purple as the theme of the telling came about as we were washing our hands before grabbing the laptop and plopping into the lazyboy. There have been many sightings and two posts about Eastern Box Turtles before. The first writing was about a female, going by eye color, discovered eating fallen peaches that can be seen by clicking here-Turtle Blues. The next post, and most recent sighting was in this same area behind the Arborvitae hedge, about a male Eastern Box Turtle with red eyes snacking on fallen tomatoes. It can be seen by clicking here- Turtle Reds. Do you see where this is heading? Blue plus red equals purple. Purple is the perfect color for our little princess, don’t you agree?
*Oh, the term pupple, I almost forgot.
This is the source of much amusement here, on many levels. This box with the typographical error housed a beautiful purple glass plant mister, purchased at the Smith And Hawken store in Houston when we lived there. The mister broke long ago, but the box just happened to be the perfect size for my traveling coffee cup and spork. It fits neatly in my carryon bag and holds my precious hand made cup with bubble wrap around it for airplane trips. The fact that I take this cup with me everywhere is laughable to some family members and even some friends. But the comfort this cup offers when we are away from home and garden, (and bed) is beyond measure. Of course, there are several other identical cups stashed safely in the cupboard, made by the same Asheville potter, as back ups. And we fondly think of the Color: Pupple while sipping coffee away from home. The Pupple will now bring to mind a young turtle princess discovered by a helpful habitat providing gardener. With a camera.
And now I had better go turn the sprinkler off.