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.