Monday, April 27, 2009

Greensboro Daytrip

Two Saturdays ago we spent a good part of the day in Greensboro, visiting two gardens, eating pizza (Youngest) and other Italian entres at Elizabeth's on Battleground Avenue, visiting Edward McKay's for used music and books (whence the CD post), and finally getting ice cream at an old Baskin Robbins.

The gardens were beautiful, starting with the Bog Garden. The new leaves of bog plants are so lovely. Here we have (from upper left, clockwise) cinnamon fern fiddleheads, mayapple, wild ginger (so shiny!) and the beautiful and unusual leaf of bloodroot (one of the shapes - there are several possible shapes, even all on one plant, all of them beguiling).

We found this little painted turtle trying to cross the sidewalk on its way to the road. Four lanes of traffic to cross... So we carried it over to where it wanted to go, took it's picture, and released it in the little stream on the other side of the road (where the other, more formal Bicentennial Garden is). The turtle hustled into the water, struggled against the current, came back ashore briefly, then swam back out into the current, released a few bubbles to sink, and rested on the cool bottom.

In this second photo you can plainly see the segments in the ridge down its back (click for larger view). Those are the vertebrae under the thin scales that cover everything, including the shell. A shell is a turtle's odd version of spine and ribs. All the tiny details always get me - the miniscule claws, not much thicker than my whiskers, the tiny eyes, which it blinked at us, the little webbed feet, which it paddled in the air, trying to steer its flight just as if it were crawling. If you've never carried a turtle before, out and active, you should try it. Just wash up carefully afterwards - they carry Salmonella, especially the young ones. Big snappers are great fun to pick up, but more challenging, and you have to watch your fingers, or you might be missing a few. This little one won't get much over a foot in diameter, if it has an ideal life.

And the azaleas and dogwoods were beautiful.


Summer Kinard said...

I love the turtle! Click on the photo of the choir in my most recent post - there's a gorgeous smile on the face of your Dearest.

Linda S. Socha said...


I am quite taken with the turtle..THE PHOTOS are really grand and I loved the peaceful feelings I received just viewing them. I can imagine being there!

lisahgolden said...

What great photos. I love the woodland garden and bog garden plants.

Genie Sea said...

Gorgeousness! The touching tale of the turtle's adventure was delightful!

Steve Emery said...

Summer - I heard about that photo... I'll be over to look.

Linda Socha - I'm glad you enjoyed them. It was a wonderful day.

Lisa - Thanks. I thought the great leaf shapes would be fun for others, too.

Genie - Thanks. The turtle was probably not pleased with all parts of the trip, but it turned out OK...

L'Adelaide said...

i adore him, the little turtle, and am so glad you saved him from certain death...we see them from time to time and it seems they are ALWAYS in the road!

and the dogwoods and azaleas, presuming that's a dogwood ...beautiful, thank you for sharing it's gorgeous there!

Steve Emery said...

Linda - Twice a year we see a lot of tortoises and turtles in the road (spring and fall). We stop and move them whenever we can. And yes, that's an eastern dogwood. Springs here are part of what we love about North Carolina and Virginia.

Anonymous said...

Oh! I would be DELIGHTED to happen upon a turtle crossing my sidewalk! he may have not been happy with your intervention, but he was lucky to have it!