30 April 2012
Today, even though the ground was still soggy from last night's rain, the sun lit the sky brilliantly and filtered amazing dapples of light through our now blooming fruit trees. The aloocha tree has tiny green fruits, the cherry has flowered, the sour Georgian purple plums are forming and the grape vines are shooting out new leaves daily. Our vegetable garden is mostly planted (we'll add some more plants once the seedlings gain a bit of strength and also throw in some direct sow seeds soon).
Over the course of the last couple of weeks, our two free roaming turtles have been plowing through the grass and the flowers-- filling their bellies after awakening from their winter hibernation. So, when the beans, carrots and tomato seedlings went into the ground, the free roaming turtles gained a new habitat. They now reside in a low-fenced space just outside of our kitchen window. We knew they'd need some extra care, with servings of greens provided daily. But, what I didn't realize is how persistent they'd be in trying to escape their new space. They ram their shells against the fence. They desperately attempt to hoist themselves over the barrier. They stick their necks out as far as they will stretch. Desperately hoping to regain their beloved independence. And, today, sometime during the hour it took for me to drive to my son's school, pick him up and return home, the turtles managed to finally escape and tear through our bean plants with a vengeance. Suffice it to say that come harvest time, the bean yield from our yard will be significantly lower than planned.
But, as I write this, the turtles are once again corralled. The kids are all home, laughing and caked in mud as they helped to wrangle the turtles back into their newly secure home. Jeans, torn open during the turtle hunt, have been patched and mended. Trees have been climbed and we're now settling into the evening hours. The clay has come out and my son is creating a caged turtle, while my daughter creates a free roaming version. I'm cooking pasta, topped with lemon and parmesan for tonight's dinner and the setting sun is bouncing a warm rosy light off our back garden's concrete walls. Everyone is happy and cosy in their home-- including the turtles who adventured beyond their still new walls today.