Auspicious turtle appears in our garden on Chinese new year & we release it in a local temple

Our Urban Micro Guard-dog, Beaffin, discovered this Malayan snail eating turtle (Malayemys macrocephalaon Chinese New Year day.

See the amazing video Farmer Lu took just minutes after I called him out to the garden.

We interpreted the turtle’s presence as an auspicious omen for the coming year.

Given the number of snails in our Urban Micro Garden, we though seriously about closing off a section of the yard to keep the little reptile as a pet.

Since the turtle had been hibernating, we put it in a little box under a lamp in the living room to spend Chinese New Year in peace.

Then we decided to release it in the wild at nearby Wat Umong, the forest temple just a few minutes’ walk from our home. Given that the weather was already starting to warm and the frogs had started to sing, we decided that the turtle would probably be happier in a wetland, rather than in Beaffin’s heavily-patrolled domain.

Here’s the video by Farmer Lu of me (Farmer Jack) releasing the turtle in the turtle and fish pond at Wat Umong.

We named her (we think it was a she) “xiao ma gui“, which means “little (year of the) horse turtle” in mandarin Chinese. 

 

Happy Holidays from our garden!

Christmas 2011 in the urban micro garden

Click on the photo to see others who have submitted photos on lovemakesafamily.tumblr.com advocating marriage equality

We took this shot on our front porch on Christmas Day in Chiang Mai with a bit of our www.urbanmicrogarden.org in the background. Beaffin held surprisingly still and we just propped the Thai language sign against his chest as he stared off toward the front gate. Lu Wei’s and my signs both say “love makes a family” and Beaffin’s sign says “I love my family,” which was the Thai grammatical structure I felt most comfortable writing.

How to have a wonderful day

One of the best parts of tending a garden is the cultivation of beauty. But how often do we cultivate appreciation and gratitude of the beauty and wonder that surrounds us? How often do we open the heart to life’s gifts?

This video uses words and images to send you right into a more happy, appreciative, loving space. It’s a lot to pack into just under 10 minutes.