Thursday, 8 July 2010

An Unexpected Visitor

We were on our way to the local gala on Sunday when I noticed something moving in the road. It turned out to be this little guy, well, he wasn't actually that little, more the size of a large tortoise. He's a red eared terrapin. We started knocking on doors asking if anyone had lost him, looked for notices in shop windows for anyone missing their pet and asked at the local vet's with no luck, so he's now gone to live with someone who hubby knows who keeps other terrapins. Many people bought these terrapins as tiny pets when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a big TV hit without knowing that they quickly grow to quite a size and can bite. Many were then dumped which has caused problems for wildlife. I'm sure he'll be happy in his new home.

I had high hopes this year of getting more than the measly one cherry which we got last year from our tree. There was lots of blossom on the tree at the beginning of the year but I think it must have suffered the same fate as the blueberries in the late frost. The result was only five cherries which were happily growing but one by one they have all disappeared, I suspect birds have taken them, so there isn't even one cherry to harvest this year.

I have noticed on some blogs that some people are now picking ripe tomatoes. My plants are only just starting to produce small fruits but they're a long way off from being ripe. I thought I must be behind this year so I checked back on my blog posts from last year and it seems that I was at exactly the same position with the tomatoes last year. Blogs are so useful for keeping this kind of information.


  1. AnonymousJuly 08, 2010

    I hope that terrapin will like his new home.
    It’s too bad that you didn’t have any luck with those cherries. To prevent late frost to destroy all buds, we whitewash trees in winter. This way the tree will not warm up too soon and start producing buds and flowers when there is still risk of frost.

    My tomatoes are large, but all still green.

  2. Blogs are useful for comparing year on year but they don't half make you jealous sometimes!

  3. What a great visitor, we have several different types of wild turtles out here. My Sweet Hubby keeps paper towels in the car so he can move them out of the road.
    As for tomatoes, we have two plants this year and some fruit looks to be about the right size, but is still very green. I can't wait!

  4. My tomatoes have only just started to show small green fruits too...I don't know how people have managed to get red ones already!

    Sorry about your cherries...My tree should produce next year and I am now wondering if I should net it???

    IO am very happy that my newly bought bramley twig has started growing some apples...yum!!

  5. Ahh isn't he lovely! My toms are just begining to grow fruit as well, i've been growing mine outdoors, i'm sure that growing toms indoors will hasten the fruit production so that they'll come earlier. This is something i'll be doing next year, indoor growing!

  6. AnonymousJuly 08, 2010

    Creatures like that can cause havoc, and I'm really glad that I don't live in Florida where there's now a major problem with Burmese pythons!
    I sympathise about the cherry tree as my plot neighbour has to net his.
    I noticed that some of my tomatoes have got green fruit on them but being outside it is still very early for them to be anywhere near ripe!
    Flighty xx

  7. What a surprise find!

    I think we will do OK for cherries - it's the second year for the tree and will be the first to provide any sort of crop. Just have to decide when to pick them.

    Out tomatoes have just set some small green fruit too. The plants in the plot greenhouse just don't seem to want to grow - but the ones ar home are looking fine - different growing medium! It will be a while before we have any tomatoes though.

  8. All my tomatoes are green still too, even the ones in the greenhouse. Keep telling myself they'll be worth the wait!

  9. Wow that's an unusual find. I used to see the odd one when I used to go fishing at the local lake. No cherries for us either, birds, need to net the trees. I'm only picking toms as I've tried a different variety this year which seems to be earlier, the others are at the same stage as last year.

  10. What a lucky terrapin! Where we used to live we would often see them after theyd been dumped in the ponds in some of the London parks, I think this little guy has had a lucky rescue.

    Youre definitely not alone on the tomato front, ours are still tiny and green, fingers crossed that they will change!

  11. I've only ever heard of whitewashing trees when you mentioned it on your blog, Vrtlarica. I will have to look in to it further.

    I often refer to my blog when I want to know a particular date that something happened, Vegetable Heaven. You're right though, there are some brilliant blogs out there.

    The problem with the terrapin here is that it's not native, Kat. Therefore it poses a danger to our wildlife. You'll be pleased that you're growing your own tomatoes this year, the taste of homegrown is far superior to those bought in a supermarket.

    You will have loads of fruit next year with everything you're growing, Tanya. I would definitely go with netting your cherries, especially whilst the tree is small enough to do so, I've heard of so many people who lose their's to birds.

    My tomatoes are being grown in the greenhouse, Happy Plotter. They don't seem to be ahead of people's outdoor grown ones this year though.

    That's the problem when non native species are introduced, Flighty, it upsets the balance. It's such a shame for our native wildlife. It's going to be a while before my greenhouse grown tomatoes are ripe too.

    I'm really disappointed about the cherries, Green Lane Allotments. It's my tree's second year too so I was hoping for a little increase in the harvest. Oh well, there's always next year.

    They will definitely be worth the wait, Su. I love picking them and popping them straight in my mouth, heavenly.

    I've never seen a terrapin in the wild before, Damo. I thought he was a tortoise at first but those red stripes on the side of his head gave him away. Sorry to hear about your cherries, I think I'll net my tree next year, even if it is only for five cherries.

    It's so sad that people just dump their pets when they've had enough of them, Freerangegirl. I think the problem is that they don't research them enough before getting them and then they get such a shock when they start growing. I thought I was being left behind with my tomatoes. It seems that most people's are at the same stage.

  12. Our cherry tree produced loads, but unfortunately the birds had them before they were ripe (again)! I was thinking about picking them before they are ripe next year maybe and then ripening them indoors??

    No sign of tomatoes here either.

  13. I know cherry trees are big, Mark, but you could try netting part of the tree so that both you and the birds get your fair share.


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