Who likes compost pile fruit scraps?

I've mentioned before that my wife brings home lots of fruit scraps from the baking company. Banana peels are the main fruit refuse, but recently peach peelings have been added to the mix.

Whenever I add somewhat edible fruit to the compost pile, I make sure I add it toward the front, and low down near the ground. Why?


Because like magic, a box turtle will soon appear to feast on the scraps!

I have no idea where they come from, but this happens so often -- although I don't remember to check every time.

Soon after moving into my house 20 years ago I noticed turtles walking down the slope of my yard, as if the house were on some sort of turtle migration path. So I see turtles pretty much every year, but just a couple of times -- they're not an everyday sighting, so I still get excited when I see them.

I love the texture of their skin!

When I was a child my brother had a pet box turtle, and from that experience I learned that turtles love cantaloupe, so I assumed there were other fruits they liked too. I was right, and they'll eat pretty much any juicy fruit I put back here.

I stayed as still as I could, but she never got comfortable with me nearby. She* kept her eye on me the whole time. Do I need to mention that a compost pile buzzing with all manner of small flying creatures is not the ideal place to hunker down to wait for a turtle to relax?

(*I'm assuming it's a female based on the few things I could see: eye coloration, coloration of head and neck, thinness of the back claws and tail. I didn't want to pick her up for a more thorough check.)

I even tried ducking down behind part of the compost pile.
Eventually she started turning to leave...

This is when I left the area, as I wanted her to be able to finish her meal. I think she probably left anyway.

I don't know where they come from, and I don't know where they go, but I'm glad the turtles are around.

I'm also glad that I can supply them with some dietary supplements.

Now if only they would eat banana peels too...


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Susan in the Pink Hat  – (July 27, 2011 at 9:58 AM)  

Looks like she had something hit her shell pretty hard.

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (July 27, 2011 at 10:14 AM)  

Wow, I have never seen a wild turtle. This is so cool. I wish we had them, too.

Alan  – (July 27, 2011 at 10:59 AM)  

Susan: I noticed that too. I'm a bit nervous whenever I'm mowing the lawn.

Gerhard: I've never seen a wild rat, so we're even. (Wait, I did see several in the street one night in downtown Los Angeles a few years back. Nevermind.)

NotSoAngryRedHead  – (July 27, 2011 at 11:57 AM)  

lol! I was not expecting the turtle in the compost pile when I clicked on this post! I also like turtles. They're funny to watch.

Rock rose  – (July 27, 2011 at 12:27 PM)  

Hey, I'd be going after that celery myself!

Pauline  – (July 27, 2011 at 1:30 PM)  

I agree, that celery looks good enough for us humans !! Your turtles are certainly unusual, lovely markings, you are honoured to have them visiting, lucky you !

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (July 27, 2011 at 3:11 PM)  

Alan, California seems to be the promised land for rats. LOL. We see them at least a few times a week, usually at dusk, scurrying back and forth on top of the fence. It's kinda creepy, actually.

Christine @ the Gardening Blog  – (July 27, 2011 at 4:50 PM)  

I just LOVE turtles (although we call them Tortoises here). How lucky you are to have them visit and how sweet of you to provide them with fruit!

donna –   – (July 27, 2011 at 6:54 PM)  

So sweet!!! I only see aquatic turtles here, however I am quite worried about them this year with the severe drought we are having in the south. I have an aquatic turtle that I rescued when she was just a baby, she has been living with us in an indoor pond in our house for 20 years now! She loves cranberries, blueberries, carrots, strawberries, and green peas...

Unknown  – (July 27, 2011 at 11:30 PM)  

WOW! I have never seen a wild turtle. This is so cool. I wish we had them, too..
Thanks for sharing with us..
Flowering Pear

Bom  – (July 28, 2011 at 4:16 AM)  

How cool! I definitely did not expect turtle pictures. If we had turtles around, I would keep the fruit scraps front and low, too. :-D

Garden Lily  – (July 30, 2011 at 6:55 PM)  

That's pretty neat. I discovered a large rat in my compost bin once, but that was not nearly as exciting to me. I would have much preferred a turtle.

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