Sunday, July 22, 2007

Home again

For ten days.

Things will probably be quiet here at Seasonal Soundings for a while. There is more work than I know can possibly get done in the next ten days. And I must attend to it.

We had a wonderful time at the beach again. I was diligent to walk every morning to The Teaching Company's American Revolution course which is riveting. The place we stayed was adjacent to the state park whose beach is not nearly as busy or populated as most. This was part of the stretch I walked.

One morning I noticed tracks on the sand in the distance. There are always tracks in the sand, even from early morning walkers and maintenance vehicles. These tracks were different; they were not parallel to the shore--they were perpendicular to the shore. I knew it had to be turtle tracks. YES! They were loggerhead turtle tracks!

She had pulled her heavy body out of the high tide overnight, pushed the sand to form those famous tracks, dug out more than two feet of sand, and laid over a hundred eggs. (Now obviously I didn't see all that happen, but that is what they do.) Then she turned around and labored toward the water again.

They say the turtles come back to where they were born to lay their eggs. Don't know how true that is, but fascinating nevertheless. And only 0.1% of the hatchlings will survive. Most become protein source-food for the crabs and shore-hugging fish.

I told the lifeguard who was assigned to that stretch of beach. He was Bulgarian and spoke with broken English, but was also thrilled to see the tracks. He was to pass word on of the nest sight which he did because the next morning, that familiar orange sign was posted and webbing was placed over the nest.

I was thrilled to be able to see part of this event. And she laid those eggs on my birthday! Interesting too, during the first couple of days, I read Mary Alice Monroe's latest release, Swimming Lessons, the sequel to
The Beach House. Monroe is a Low Country author and conservationist. These two books story around the loggerhead turtle conservation efforts. They are great beach (or otherwise) reads. Seeing those tracts was like the icing on a cake! A birthday cake!

The pelicans were plentiful this time also. If you look closely at the picture (or click to enlarge), you will see nineteen skimming to top of the water. Pelicans are becoming a new favorite with me.

One aft
ernoon I looked up from my book to see several sitting in the water most likely cooling themselves. (The temps that afternoon were high 90s with the heat index at 100 degrees.)

I was able to watch them do some fishing before settling into float-mode.

Interesting....Just before
they dive, they stick that long neck out, immediately bend the beak end of the neck perpendicular to the water, and go into a tail dive.

Straight down.

I caught one on film an
d enlarged it enough to see. Fascinating.

Now it's back to planning. Enjoy the pictures!

An offshore late afternoon storm brewing.

Morning sun.

Underneath the pier.


Carrie K. said...

Welcome home, Janie! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photographs.

Carol in Oregon said...

Glad you're back, Janie. I love the turtle tracks. Doesn't it seem like a bonus when you see something special like that?

Happy planning!

Kathleen Hamilton said...

Glad you had a good and restful time. Happy working!

Dana said...

Enjoyed the pictures :)

Dana in GA

desert mom said...

I'm glad you had such a nice time at the beach--very cool about the turtles!

maplehouse said...

Fellow Teaching Company addicts can now view Yahoo groups and phpbb forums:

My new Teaching Company forum:

Robert Hazen's "Origins of Life" forum:

Some of my new Yahoo groups:

Doug van Orsow