Sunday, April 10, 2011

Seen In The Garden Today: The Turtles Were Out!

SJG  4/9/11/Lynnda • Turtles on Parade
by Lynnda

Yesterday, I shadowed an experienced guide and it was a great tour. Since this is the start of my second year, and with the long winter break, I thought it would be good to do a few shadow tours before I jumped into leading one. I thought we would be rained upon, but not a drop in sight! The parking lot was full so I parked on Madison and walked to the Garden.

Everyone was out and enjoying the arrival of spring in Seattle. Especially the turtles! I've never seen so many out on rocks. It wasn't especially sunny - were they trying to get into warmer air rather than the cooler water? Because they infrequently move once on the rocks, the people on this tour thought they were all fake! Finally, one of the turtles, ever so slowly, moved its head.

SJG 4/9/11/Lynnda • Bottoms up
Ducks were also in abundance. They were doing a lot of bottom feeding, so were only partially visible.

In addition to the ducks and turtles, I saw an American bullfrog nestled in the new shoots of iris. His (her) skin was so iridescent that it looked like a porcelain sculpture. I've never seen a frog in this garden, so that was a highlight of the tour.

SJG 4/9/11/Lynnda • American Bullfrog
There were many buds, all varieties, throughout the Garden, and they will be blossoming in coming weeks. The air was fragrant with the smells of spring. This is the time of year when a Garden visit every week highlights new colors, new fragrances, only to be replaced the following week with more splendor.
4/14/11 • P.S. from aleks:  I started collating contributions to this theme in the right-side bar, under the heading Seen in The Garden Today - they are listed by date/topic for easy reference throughout the year: click on the one you want to re-visit to get there without scrolling...


  1. cool, thank you, Lynnda. especially appreciate the bullfrog pic - i hear them often in the garden, but never came across one. i remember the previous master gardener, Kathy, saying that bullfrogs may sometimes do damage, so not all pond garden welcome them, but they are quite behaving themselves in our garden, the kids love them, so let them be.

    i guess koi are too big of a dinner for them:) here is a fragment from national geographic, copy and paste the link below, if you want to read the rest:
    '[...] Nocturnal predators, they will ambush and eat just about anything they can fit in their ample mouths, including insects, mice, fish, birds, and snakes. They sit quietly and wait for prey to pass by, then lunge with their powerful hind legs, mouths open wide. [...]

  2. Thanks, Lynnda, for the recent glimpse of wildlife via both words and photos. I haven't spotted bullfrogs at the SJG in quite a while, and it's usually been on the east shore near the wisteria arbor.
    It's funny how often the turtles are mistaken for being fake.

  3. At the south tip of Turtle Island,
    a cluster of slider turtles,
    motionless and no longer wet,
    appear to be masterfully carved
    from the rock upon which they rest.


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