GALE SINGLEY LAIRD: Turtles rule gardens in Pass Christian

June 30, 2014 

Reading the article about turtles by Tim Lockey triggered memories of all sorts of turtle events in my world. I, too, have had tomatoes ravaged by turtles.

I'm a flower gardener for the most part but I'll poke a tomato or eggplant in on occasion just to see what happens. Not being a veggie gardener, I am thrilled when occasionally my tomato plants thrive and produce.

And so were the turtles.

These tomatoes were staked and well off the ground but that did not stop one turtle from rearing up, balancing and chowing down. It was so amazing that I just let him go for it. My attitude is: They're just making a living and I can go to the farmers market. And a good living they had because they're so darned smart. The turtles knew to come out of the woods at lunch time when our carpenters would stop hammering and sawing because they knew they would feed them scraps. But they didn't show up in the afternoon when the work noise ended … no scraps.

But wait. There's more.

Those turtles would come when I called to feed them. You, too, can train them by calling "Here turtle, turtle, turtle" in a high "kitty-calling" voice, at the same time everyday. Now, I don't know if you can just randomly start calling turtles if you don't know for sure you already have them around. You'd probably just get cats.

And then there's the puddle we keep filled because the frogs lay eggs and there are tadpoles all the time … a virtual buffet for the turtles and snakes. It's all about the food.

It's a jungle over here. All we need is a monkey.

GALE SINGLEY LAIRD

Pass Christian

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