Saturday, June 7, 2008

She Was So Excited She Could Hardly Breathe

No, it wasn't another "brush with Duran Duran." This morning while on sea turtle patrol, my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, found three sea turtle crawls in her zones. She was ecstatic. Now, one of the crawls looked as if the turtle was just up on the beach checking things out, perhaps getting frustrated by a particularly difficult dune where digging activity was evident. At that crawl, the turtle did quite a bit of crawling around on the sand, as if she'd been disturbed by something.

Sandy felt sorry for her. As she puts it, "Dragging your body around the beach can't be easy when you're a turtle full of eggs."

Anyway, I'll post some pictures here. The one with "holes" that look like eyes is a nest with obvious ghost crab activity. Sandy was miffed (and concerned) to see ghost crabs were already messing around her turtle nest. You can see by the first picture that the crab has a sizeable entry and exit chamber. In the second picture, you see the shells Sandy has poked in the holes to aggravate the crab if it should be continuing to use the burrow. This is the practice the members of Turtle Time use to discourage the crabs from sticking around. (Oh, Sandy informs me she'd rather skewer the blasted little beasts, but that's not fair to the crabs who are just doing what crabs do.) Instead, the volunteers put shells, sticks and sand down the holes to irritate the crabs into moving elsewhere.
I was moderately concerned for her throughout the process because she gets winded easily these days. Because this is the "writer's life" blog I'm allowed to announce that she's got an obnoxious battle to fight over the next couple of months. She's been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease and all the enlarged lymph nodes and whatnot are in her chest around her breathing tube, so when she gets all excited about sea turtle nests, she starts coughing and wheezing as if I need to cart her away on some sort of stretcher. Combine that with the "oh my God, the stupid ghost crabs have been here already!" and getting her to breathe became my focus. You know, there are books to finish...I can't have her collapsing on the sand somewhere waiting for the tide to carry her out.

She's happily planting flowers now. The dead plant that she couldn't bring back to life finally irritated her enough that she had to replace it. So she went all out and put violets in the planter box in front of the lanai. This is something her landlord should be responsible for, but...we won't get into all that. But here's the odd thing she's done so far. She left the lanai door open so going back and forth with potting soil and plants would be easier. Of course, a lizard darted in. This sort of thing worries her because lizards that get trapped on the lanai usually starve to death. So she cornered the lizard, grabbed it without causing it to drop its tail, and took it back outside to release it. While she had it in her hands, it, naturally, opened its mouth and grabbed her thumb. Small lizard=no pain. But when she placed it on a tree outside, it didn't let go. In fact, it clamped down harder on her thumb. And there she stood. Next to a tree. With a lizard hanging from her thumb. For at least a solid minute.

The end of the story is she convinced the lizard to grab onto the tree instead and she finished planting all the flowers (they look lovely, by the way; Kora would be pleased with the scene) in the planter box. I'll go inspect the rest of what she's doing...

All my best,


Laura M. Crawford said...

Ok, these pictures I like! :)
Just kidding about the post on the Dragon blog, pumpkin. I'm just pissed because I wasn't right there with you, that's all.

Cool news about the turtles though! I hope they all hatch well.

Ironically, I planted some flowers today. So much to do with Alex's party next week, and QH and I went to the cruise night in Anoka with the pink ride (1956 Chevy). It finally stopped raining here long enough for everyone to have a nice day.

I'm in awe you shared the news of your diagnosis. I'm still willing to write that letter to Mr. John Taylor for you in my offlist post...just think about it!! he, he.

Laura ;)

Nigel said...

Good morning, Laura,
You should post pictures of your flowers at your blog so folks can see what decorating you're doing as you prepare for the big send-off party.

She let me post about the "diagnosis" because she figures there are people who might have information to share. It's surprising how many wonderful success stories have popped up since she sent out word to a group of friends and family that this is going on.

We'll certainly be posting about the nest hatchings. I can only imagine how insane she'll be...

All my best,

Add to Technorati Favorites