Just a few days ago, our weather was so warm that the forsythia in our back yard was blooming. But last night, while we were watching “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” a snow storm snuck in early to take us all by surprise. So this may seem like an unlikely time for me to write about turtles and tortoises, but they will be hatching soon enough. I read a fascinating article about our shelled friends in the current issue of “Mary Jane’s Farm” (Feb-Mar 2022) about a place called Tortoise Run Farm. Tortoise Run Farm (https://www.tortoiserunfarm.com/) is a sanctuary for tortoises and box turtles. Upon visiting their site I was amazed at the amount of information there is available about these reptiles, including their care. Since turtles and tortoises have very long lives, most people don’t realize the commitment involved in adopting them. Releasing them into the wild is not recommended, as this can lead to malnourishment and (possibly) harm. Also, I know from a previous reading that if you come across a box turtle crossing the road, pick them up and let them continue in the direction they were headed. If you attempt to turn them around, you will interfere with their homing instinct. Also, I recommend giving snapping turtles a wide berth, as they will bite and their jaws are strong and sharp. Snapping turtles are wild animals that have no real desire for domestication. Box turtles have a rounded shell and snapping turtles have a flatter shell with a groove down the middle. I found a great site that outlines the differences between box and snapping turtles and the care for each. Finally, if you come across a turtle nursery, let the little nippers do their thing until they get a chance to grow up and take care of themselves. For more detailed turtle information, check out https://petkeen.com/snapping-turtle-vs-box-turtle/.
Right below the turtle article in “Mary Jane’s Farm” was an article about wineries in Napa Valley that are now welcoming birds of prey, such as owls and hawks into their vineyards to control the vermin population. By using nature’s way instead of chemicals, the winemakers are able to lower their costs, and improve the ecosystems of the vineyards. https://napagreen.org/. Time and time again, we find that working with nature instead of against it has true benefits.
If you would like to read more articles like this, look for MaryJane’s Farm, by subscription or at your favorite bookstore.
“To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.”