Saturday, August 2, 2008

She's Back on the Beach

After letting substitutes patrol her zones during much of the month of July while she dealt with surgeries and whatnot, my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, was back on the beach this morning to see what her turtle nests were up to. She wasn't disappointed. First, she came across a turtle crawl, which means some sea turtle out there was holding eggs for quite a while...

But in even more exciting news, one of the nests hatched last night, which means there was a hatching to report. I've not been a part of a hatching so this was new to me. Turns out it involves multiple Turtle Time volunteers. In the photo above, you can see Lynn and Pat digging out the leathery egg shells that the baby sea turtles leave behind in the nesting chamber. They count these to see how many eggs hatched. In this case, it was 112. Four eggs were left unformed in the nest and those were put back in to decompose naturally. The ghost crab picture at left was the reason the Turtle Time volunteers were "allowed" to get into the nest so soon. Typically, they must wait three days after an emergence, but because this nest-robber had gotten into the chamber and could have posed a threat to any hatchlings still in the chamber, a permit holder, such as Lynn, is allowed to dig in and save the day. The ghost crab is ousted and sent on his merry way, although all the volunteers would rather crush him. Sandy snapped his photo as he hunkered down pretending to be one with the sand.
I'll post some more beach photos another day. For now, Sandy needs to get some rest and I'm keeping her from that with all my questions.

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