Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fourteenth Turtle Walk of 2010

Each Thursday morning, during sea turtle nesting season, we are up and on the way to the beach, well before sunrise. And, every Thursday morning, I have the same feeling of anticipation. I can't wait to see that soft pink glow of pre-dawn light! Why do I love the Sanibel sunrises so much?

I can remember being told, 'yesterday is gone', 'things will be better in the morning', and 'tomorrow's another day.' Sunrise is the beginning of a new day, but my yesterday seemed fine to me. I don't think I'm yearning for a fresh start to a new day, I'm just thankful that I've been given another. I think it's the pure beauty of that pink glow, just before my day begins, and wondering what adventures this day will bring.

The first faint pink glow.

It was, just barely, light enough to see one lady on the beach, walking toward the Sanibel Lighthouse.

I saw no one else in sight.

Looks like somebody had a ball last night.

Shells were pretty sparse.

The tide was pretty low.

Shells were a little a little more dense in places.

Seeing these five holes, made me start thinking! (Not good!)

If dogs start digging holes in the yard, the reason is usually that their owner is away or the dog is being neglected. Yelling or hitting the dog is a reward of sorts, because the dog then has your attention and considers that a reward. Trainers say that the best solution is owner involvement. Keep the dog mentally stimulated . Now….I’m wondering if that could be the answer for the little hole diggers on the beach. Maybe a little parent involvement? That is, unless the parent is helping dig holes.

A random sampling of seashells. :)

We were walking along the beach, saw a slight movement near the water, looked closer and then saw 7 little Snowy Plovers standing very still, in little cupped out places in the sand. They thought they were invisible and they nearly were.

A trap!


Had no idea what this was, other than interesting.

The beach was loaded with sand obstacles today.

Notice the pink glow has gone. The sun is up!

Birds all watching the sunrise.

Chair and belongings, including a steak knife, had been left out all night.

And .... again....

Time for breakfast!

Another chair left out, not sure which place it belonged to. But, obviously someone had dragged it there, from the pool area.

How many butts do you see? I counted 11, as I was picking them up. This sight is getting to be way too frequent. Cigarette butts are laying around on the sand, where people have been sitting etc, but mostly the incoming tide shoves them up into the high tide line. We see them all along the way, picking up the obvious ones, but if we looked the beach over, we would be out there all day picking them up and not be finished. :(

This was the heaviest amount of shells in our zone this morning. However, I didn't take time to dig through them.

This is where our zone ends, and the view as I was just returning from depositing two bags of trash, at the Sanibel Inn. Thank goodness they have trash receptacles on their path to the beach. I think it also reminds their guests to bring their trash from the beach. Thanks Sanibel Inn!

It was pretty hot by the time we started our walk back. But there was a pretty strong wind blowing which helped a lot. The temperature got up to 91 later today.

The one turtle nest in our zone looks to be in good shape, but there were no new ones.

This morning, on our fourteenth turtle walk, I was hoping to have a turtle adventure, but that didn't happen. Oh well, as they say, tomorrow is another day. :) It was just nice being out in nature.

Our sea turtle activity as of August 2, and the previous two years for comparison.

As of Aug. 2, 2010:

Sanibel East- 18 nests, 63 false crawls, 2 hatches
Sanibel West- 131 nests, 238 false crawls, 32 hatches
Captiva- 59 nests, 115 false crawls, 23 hatches

As of Aug. 2, 2009:

Sanibel East- 25 nests, 57 false crawls, 5 hatches
Sanibel West- 148 nests, 176 false crawls, 57 hatches
Captiva- 80 nests, 67 false crawls, 27 hatches

As of Aug. 2, 2008:

Sanibel East- 34 nests, 50 false crawls, 3 hatches
Sanibel West- 238 nests, 240 false crawls, 58 hatches
Captiva- 134 nests, 99 false crawls, 41 nests

The 3rd annual Tour De Turtle, kicked off, once again! Be sure to check out their cute tour De Turtle website to keep up with the race.

I found this article a little disheartening. I can't understand how anyone could possibly think the sea turtle population is thriving, when all studies show the number of turtles nesting has been continually declining.

Injured Sea Turtles from the Gulf Arrive for Care at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Disney donates $100,000 to help with rescue and environmental efforts in the Gulf.

More relocated sea turtle eggs have hatched, and hatchlings were released.

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