Gardening is not my calling, but this time of year brings out the farming instinct in many of us.
I had a brief conversation with a recent retiree and he was explaining how he has discovered the joy of planting a garden. He has 30+ tomato plants, rows upon rows of potatoes, and multiple other vegetables he is carefully nurturing. I was surprised that this business man turned gardener was so excited about his new passion. His face beamed with enthusiasm as he talked about the size of his plot of acreage designated for vegetables. His zeal was contagious, and I briefly contemplated joining the planting craze.
Then I recalled having done that years ago, when I was young, flexible, and energetic.
I eagerly planted lettuce, squash, tomatoes, carrots, watermelon, cantaloupe and okra. I watered, weeded, babied, and watched over what I hoped would be a plethora of delicious bounty from my very own garden. It was going to be healthy, beautiful, and delicious.
But I began to notice problems in my small patch. Leaves were chewed on. The ground messed with. And my plants suffering. I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong. How could this be happening when I was caring for these plants with fervor and diligence?
An unknown enemy was invading my garden, and I couldn’t catch him/her/it…until…I noticed a turtle lumbering around my yard. It didn’t dawn on me that this benign creature could cause damage to my dreams of food production, until I saw a second one, then a third one, and yes, you guessed it, a fourth one.
Now you wonder how I know I was not seeing the same turtle. I decided to paint a number on the back of each turtle, just to make certain there were multiple ones.
By the time I put the number 9 on my garden invaders, I realized I was feeding an extended family of hungry creatures. These critters were feasting on all this new growth I was providing for their edification, and all they had to do was move slowly up and down the rows nibbling on the fresh sprouts emerging from my efforts.
I found the turtles such fun to watch. They were determined, persistent, methodical, and thorough. In fact, I kept working on the garden just to make certain they had something to eat. I didn’t have the heart to kick them out of my yard, and if they were living there, the least I could do was offer them a meal or two. Right?
Let it be known that my garden efforts lasted 2 years, and the number of turtles grew to a total of 14. We moved from that house, leaving behind the remnants of a garden, and a growing number of yard residents. Well, and yes, my enthusiasm for having a garden.
Thanks to Bernadette at Haddonmusings.com I learned this is National Turtle Day. Learn more at :https://www.facebook.com/WorldTurtleDay/info/?tab=page_info