Garden Diary - June 2009

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Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Rainy Day Visitor

I was pitting the last of the sour cherries, when I happened to look up, glance out the kitchen window, and saw this handsome young visitor stumping along. Grabbing an umbrella and my camera I went dashing out into the rain to take her picture.

A young adult North American box turtle, Terrapene carolina carolina. I am delighted to see her.
How do I know her sex? Her plastron, the bottom shell, is flat. Males have a concave plastron.
Her eyes are brown. Males have red eyes. There's a breeding population here at BelleWood Gardens.
Years ago I found a baby, smaller than the palm of my hand. And later Paul found an adolescent.


They have a hard life. Roads and housing projects fragment their habitat. As they try to cross roads,
turtles are often killed by cars. Box turtles want to stay within the same area where they were born.
If one is moved more than a half-mile from its territory, it may never find its way back, spending years
searching, in a non-systematic way, to find its way home. Help them across a road, in the direction
they're headed, and wish good luck to these ancients of days. I hope this young one, about 15 years old,
finds a mate. Another generation of box turtles would be most welcome. Slow to maturity, laying just
three to six eggs per year - and that's if she finds a mate - they need our help, and our respect.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Watch Where You Step!

Friday, 26 June 2009
Strange Clouds

"Come look!" I hollered for Paul. "Strange clouds. They look like they're upside down."
They are strange, they are infrequent, and they have the odd name of mammatus clouds,
for a supposed resemblance to cow's udder, from the Latin word for breast, mamma.

Mammatus form in sinking air, unlike most clouds that form in rising air.
The water droplets become cooler than the surrounding cloud, and appear
below the cloud as mammatus formations, which are typically short-lived.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Thursday, 25 June 2009
Sleek Sheep

Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Garden Club's Garden Visit

Tuesday, 23 June 2009
Look What I Found!

copyright © Paul Glattstein 2009

Sunday, 21 June 2009
Solstice Sunset

On the day of solstice all attention is focused on sunrise,
never on day's end. This morning was cloud covered and gray.
But then, in the evening, in the West, an opening for the sun
to fingerpaint the clouds with glowing warm welcome to summer.


Visits to the Leonard Buck Garden

Monday, 8 June 2009
Weed Eaters

Thursday, 4 June 2009
More Garden Visitors

Last month I told you about visitors both virtual and actual to BelleWood Gardens. Now there are more.

I managed to evict mama from under the toolshed, by tossing solid lumps of used kitty litter underneath it for a couple of days in a row. It is a technique that works nicely for voles too, when rolled down their holes. This family group is now denning in the tangle between house and road. I don't mind their grazing on the lawn. They're welcome to all the clover, chickweed, dandelion, and plantain they want to eat. But we may have come to a parting of the ways.

Overnight, someone waddled up to where potted plants are collecting just outside the garage and ate the leaves off a green-flowered Echinacea. This could lead to eviction, or worse. Whistle pig ragoût, anyone?

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

I go to bed, I go to sleep. That's at night, and I wake in the morning. Sometimes,
especially in winter, I might take an afternoon nap. Cats do it differently.

They sleep twice as long, anywhere from 13 to 18 hours each day. And they do so
in numerous increments, albeit generally brief periods. Which is why we call them
cat naps.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Pinellia cordata

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