It was just like any other day that’s ever been in the early morning at the Fairegarden. Sun comin’ up and then…
After coffee is consumed, when the outdoor light has reached a candlepower that doesn’t need the flash, the camera is toted out into the garden. We head to the East to the arbor and look up at the Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ facing the same direction. No wonder we never see the blooms, they all face the neighbors house. Oh well, I hope they enjoy seeing the pretty purples.
The circuit is walked, looking for photo ops in the perfect early light of day for such endeavors. In the front island by the street, the self sown lamb’s ear and Nigella are beginning to bloom. Dainty drops of dew enhance the radiance of the fresh light of day, making the flowers sparkle. Then the gravel path is followed to the back gardens, here a snap, there a snap, everywhere a snap, snap of the shutter. We are looking at the gardens, not downward where steps are taken on the crunchy rocks.
Hidden so well by Nature’s camouflage that we nearly step on it is an Eastern Box Turtle, also enjoying a morning walk. I crouch down to get a better look and take some shots. Off it goes, rather than pulling inside it’s shell.
There have been several sightings of turtles here over the years. We even believe offspring have joined the Fairegarden Turtle population. See posts, here-Turtle Blues, here-Turtle Reds and here-Color Pupple Or Turtle Purples. The markings on his head are like none seen before, this is a new fellow for the census counting. The red eyes reveal that this is a male.
Trying to hide from the very annoying human who seems to be pointing this metal object at him from all angles, he momentarily gets stuck between the rusty barrel rings of the objet d’art sphere. Freeing himself with extra effort, he is now nestled between the reed woven exercize ball, a craft gone wrong, and the ball of metal hoops. The photobug/gardener decides to return to the gravel path and head up to the shed garden.
More snapping occurs. In the attempt to capture what the eye sees in the beauty of the Allium aflatunence ‘Purple Sensation’ seedheads, a dismal failure of pixels, there is another creature in the frame that was not noticed until the writing of this story began and the memory card contents were perused. Note the brave drawing of a colorful arrow to help you, dear readers see who is also checking out the shed bed.
Our first thought was, how did that turtle get up here so quickly? It is true that we may have dawdled at the zen garden, admired the knot garden fireworks and tried to get a decent picture of Veilchenblau in full decadent bloom on the other side of the shed roof. Did enough time pass for our turtle friend to walk the twenty-five feet up here?
A few shots are taken for identification purposes. The size seems to be about the same. But this appears to be a female, the eye is more tan than red. It has been said that the shells of turtles are distinctive, like human fingerprints, but studying the differences is tedious and time consuming. The spots on her faire head are definitely different from the turtle by the balls. There is one sure way to find out, however.
Returning to the spot where the male was last seen, he is gone. But further detective work finds him up near the base of one of the Chamaecyparis ‘Gold Mops’, just inches away from his last known whereabouts. He certainly is a flashy fellow, with that wildly decorated head and those piercing red eyes. This confirms it, two turtles were seen within mere minutes of each other on a bright, early May morning.
Oh happy day! This yard is a Certified Wildlife Habitat. Every effort has been made to provide hospitality to creatures large and small, crawling, flying and walking. Some, like the birds, are so commonplace here as to be almost taken for granted when heard and seen. Nests are built in trees, shrubs and birdhouses we provide. Flowers attractive to pollinators as well as people are grown as best we know how and winged visitors abound. Water is provided, brush piles are maintained, there is no spraying of poisons. The payoff is when we discover other interesting characters sharing this space. It brings a smile. As does the fact that it is almost Lily season. (Lilium ‘Buff Pixie’)