Today we set out to get some exercise, pick up some trash, and maybe find a few pieces of sea glass... We never know what we will find on our beach, but whatever we expected... today we got MORE! Imagine my surprise... that turned to excitement, that turned to wonder, that turned to exuberant JOY... when we found Turtle tracks! Maybe five or more sets of turtle tracks leading to possible nests!
Nest 1 You can see where she trampled the morning glories and tossed sand.
Second set of tracks!
We came to the beach today prepared to pick up trash. Each of us had our bags and we wanted to go about a mile searching for shells and sea glass, then do the clean sweep on the return trip. Our eyes combed the sand AND vegetation as we walked. When my eyes locked onto the familiar pattern of turtle tracks, I just couldn't believe it. I thought that turtle season was over! I followed the tracks and documented the location. I've GOT to find a way to report these!!!
After the excitement died down, we left the nest in peace and continued on... Only to find a SECOND nest!!!
At first I thought that maybe this was not from last night... but then I remembered that we got a pretty good rain shower before dawn, and I don't think the tracks would be this visible as time goes on... so maybe it WAS from last night as well!
We are experiencing a thick layer of Saharan Dust this week! Makes for eerie views!
We ambled on our way, not finding very many pieces of sea glass today... Seems that they have been fewer since Tropical Storm Karen changed our beach up. There is a LOT more sand here now. For some weeks my concern was growing at how skinny our beach was getting. I know that sand comes and sand goes, but I feared that we would lose so much that our favorite leaning palm trees would tip into the sea!
And then there it was. Possible number three! I followed the messy tracks up to the bushes but couldn't really see any obvious nest. Maybe this is a sneaky one or maybe it was an aborted attempt.
Looks like turtle tracks to ME!
So now, it's becoming kind of ridiculous. Am I being punked? Is there a camera hiding somewhere in the palms, waiting to see what a person would do if they found themselves alone, on a beach, with turtle tracks and nests just littered around??? I really wish that I knew more about what to look for and how to identify the turtles... Then I would know if this number FOUR was an active nest or not!!!
There isn't a lot in the tide line to pick up, but we began picking up tiny pieces of plastic as we neared our destination.
One more place that looks like it might be a nest. Didn't get a video of this one.
Looking into the shadows beneath the sea grapes. Could THIS be one???
Then we reached our favorite leaning palms! I dropped my trash bag and hurried up for a closer look! HURRAY!!! There is a LOT more sand at the base than there was back in April. Below are photos of today, and one from the end of April for comparison. I love nature!
April! See how the sand was eroded away?
We took a little rest, just sitting on a huge piece of driftwood, watching the waves come in, enjoying how the dust-muted sun sparkled on the water. How lucky we are to have this life.
Now it was time to load up those trash bags. All of the stuff we passed by on our way here, we now picked up! Bend and reach and stretch and lift! What a workout!
Oh, and if you want to be a part of the bigger effort, there's an App that you can download to take with you on YOUR walk. It's called CleanSwell! Download it today!
Then there was another spot that looked turtle-ish. Could we have missed this one? Not sure!
Hiding beneath the sea grapes.
Our return trip was fun! It was sort of like a treasure hunt. We found several kid's toys, two party balloons, a few big plastic bottles, bits of rope, bags, LOTS of plastic bottle caps... So much stuff! And this little... voodoo doll???
Back at our place, we dumped it all out of our small bags, so that we could consolidate into one larger bag...
We don't have a scale, but Bruce is pretty good at estimating. He says it's about 18 pounds!
We did find a few other treasures...
I'm not sure how I really feel about Voodoo... Is it real? Can a person really do something to another by manipulating a doll? IS this a Voodoo doll, or just some little island kid's toy?
Whatever she is, she found me, and she's mine now! She was obviously made by loving hands, the detail and the care taken to make her little arms and legs bendable, the cute little shift dress... I wonder how she got here without being ruined!
Regardless of belief or disbelief... I will not use her for evil!
What an amazing day! We are so filled with awesomeness we can barely contain it. Ok, so Bruce isn't having difficulty containing his, but I can tell that he enjoyed today's workout/do-gooder/sea-turtle-explorer sesh!
Oh, and as for reporting the turtle nest findings... I finally got the President of ATMAR to take me seriously! We're planning a training session so that I can identify the turtles we find, and report them accurately. Squueeeeee! I'm IN! Maybe that Voodoo doll has some powers after all!
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