Saturday, May 27, 2006

What's Growin' On 5/27/06: Turtles Attack!

These Did Not Touch My Lips

Realization Of The Day:
I need to be in the garden well before 8:00am if I want to beat the turtles to my berries.

Yep, when Cary, Bear, and I traipsed out there this morning, little stainless steel strainer in my hand, this is what we found not 10 feet from the strawberry bed, head stretched out, soaking up the sun, digesting MY breakfast.

And this was not your average duck-in-the-shell-and-close-it-up-tight-as-soon-as-it-sees-you scaredy turtle. Not at all. This turtle was proud to have stolen my strawberries. It was not afraid of a farmgirl and her entourage.

In fact, it tried as hard as it could to swim out of my hand during our entire trip to its new home--which is located far, far away from the berry patch.

Oh, but the excitement didn't end there. No, no, no. Once I'd procured what was left of the ripe strawberries (leaving, as usual, the half eaten ones as bait), I set down my little strainer and went to work.

(The entourage waited in the shade.) And while I was whacking at some tall weeds with my hoe, look what popped out.

Now I'm pretty sure this little critter has never had berry breath. But just to be on the safe side (after I'd beaten down the urge to keep it as a pet), I decided to relocate it--to a nice spot by the spring where there is lots of shade and fresh, cool water. What I should have probably done, though, is packed it up, taken it to Hollywood, and sold it as a Stunt Turtle, because this was one very patient little sport who was perfectly willing to pose for several silly pictures. And I do mean little. (Yes, I even brought it in the house so I could measure it.) It was just 1-1/2 inches long.

Like I said, I'm pretty sure the berries were safe.

What a morning. You never know what you're going to find in the garden. Oh, and the strawberries (once I finally got around to eating them) were absolutely delicious. I kinda wish I'd kept the turtle, though.

© Copyright, the hard shelled foodie farm blog where I find these prehistoric creatures fascinating—as long as they're not near the berry bed.


  1. The little turtle is the cutest ! I love finding the tiny frogs here. The big turtle is cool looking too...I can't blame him/her for wanting to eat the strawberries. I do too !

  2. I would have had to keep the baby and the other one is beautiful. If I let myself, I'd be one of those people with tons of animals like llamas and donkeys and sheep and turtles and cats..sound like anyone you know? ;-)

  3. Oh, now I've got to add stawberries to my list! I don't think the turtles would be a problem, but I figured slugs would do about the same. I must say that little turtle is a bit more appealing than the little "Petunias" we'll start seeing here soon.

  4. Cute! And you're telling me Bear and Carey couldn't have handled just one more tag-a-long critter to keep 'em company? Nothing like a little turtle curled up between your feet while you're typing! ;-)

  5. What an adorable photo of the turtle in the strawberries. I've got to remember to show that to my students at school on Tuesday. (Only 4 more days, but who's counting?)

  6. GAH SO CUTE!!! *dies*

    Great post. I really enjoyed all your photos =)

  7. I'm so envious! Finding a tiny turtle in your garden is so amazing! The only unlikely guests we get are big green caterpillers and the occasional ladybug.

    My son (our almost 4yr old resident strawberry muncher) *loved* the photos - thanks for posting them... at least you have them to remember the turtle by.

  8. Thank you for the fun post. I want a little turtle just like that one. We don't have any around here, just zillions of rabbits, which is why everything I grow is surrounded by chicken wire. Does not look all that attractive, but I will not give up gardening just because those cute critters think they have an *all you can eat salad bar*

  9. I clicked through for the Cary pictures, but that little bitty turtle is just too precious! I think I would have been hard pressed to not keep it as a pet too!

  10. Y'know, it's fascinating for me to see the ways your garden differs from mine, as we're both growing very similar crops but half a world apart.

    Here in the UK bamboo stakes are cheap and ubiquitous ... but turtles!?! Wow! We don't have turtles in this country. Certainly not in our strawberry patches. (Although the slugs more than make up for it, unfortunately.) I had no idea they were so destructive ... or so cute.

  11. Oh .. I thought the big turtle was cute. But that little one! And who knew they ate strawberries! (Well, I guess you did. But .. I didn't!)

  12. Haha - how cute! I never would have thought I'd way "what a cute turtle!"....

    Hi Farmgirl Susan's Mom - see? We all follow her everywhere and love her almost as much as you (I wouldn't dare presume we could love her as much as her mother, but we're up there!). Would you like a white fluffy dog named Max, by the way? Let me know.

  13. those strawberries look amazing! i'm so jealous...i guess i am among the many who couldn't make the move from city to country. what a great blog. i really enjoyed reading it. the little turtle is very cute...great pictures too! :)

  14. Squeeeeeeee!

    You should send the little turtle pic to, that little guy is seriously adorable.

  15. The strawberry crops that we get are not all that good, but they do attract unlimited amounts of little turtles which are delicious in any kind of dip.

  16. You did put it back with its mama, didn't you? What a little cutey, though. I bet the bigger one HAS TO eat the strawberries to keep its lovely mottled red color. Has to. ;+)

  17. Because I'm a geek, I'd like to inform you that you have found a Three-toed Box turtle (Terrapene carolina triunguis). I don't know about the babies, though. Most likely the same, considering their proximity. They look to be less than a month old.

  18. Those are such pretty strawberries! I've been having so much trouble growing strawberries. The leaves get red and brown around the edges and then feel crunchy. What in the world am I doing wrong?


March 2013 update: My apologies for the inconvenience - I know word verification is a pain - but I've had to turn it on to help stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I've been getting every day. Thanks for your understanding.

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