Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mulberry's and Terrapins

It's been an eventful weekend, nature wise, here at the Lair.  We began to harvest mulberries from our mulberry trees and the place has been over-run with nesting Terrapin Turtles.  Terrapin amphibious turtles that are native to Maryland and are a smallish version of a snapping turtle.  The ones we're seeing are about a 12 - 14 inches long.

First the Mulberries.  As you can see in the pictures below, mulberries grow on trees and are very tasty- especially in pies or jams.  Harvesting them is relatively easy - lay out a tarp under the tree shake the branches and there-you-go.  We got about 2 gallons of the berries today and hopefully a bit more next weekend.  I'd like to take credit for the planting the trees but they were on the property when we bought it.

As I said before, Terrapins are native to Maryland and are the mascot of the University of Maryland, whose motto is "Fear the Turtle".  Perhaps not as intimidating as a Maryland defensive lineman, they are both very interesting and rather reclusive creatures.  We usually see only one or two a year, but have never seen four in one day.  It's prime egg laying season and we do the best we can not to disturb the guys and gals as they go about producing more.  Every now and then we have to get one out of the pool (as was the case in the first picture with my son).  They like the pool - lots of bugs and frogs to eat and warm water.  I don't think the pool chemicals are the best for them so we try not to let them take up residence too long.

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