I adopted a turtle nest last month in the hopes of being a part of the amazing journey that is the sea turtle’s. Huge Loggerhead, Leatherneck and Green turtles come ashore every year beginning in May, nearly 500 pounds of mother love, to lumber their way up the beaches and into the dunes along the Atlantic Ocean to dig a nearly three-foot deep nest into the sand, lay and bury over a hundred eggs, only to make her way back to the salt waters never to see the fruits of her labor.
Last Saturday night/early Sunday morning, her babies hatched. Out of sight of the rest of the world, 118 little
Loggerhead turtles dug their way out of two feet of sand, climbing on top of one another to reach the surface. I wish I could have been there to see them emerge, spread out and scurry down the beach, imprinting the area in their brains with every fin movement to the water, dodging pesky ghost crabs, their deadliest predators along with fire ants. These little guys and gals are between 2 and 3 inches long, just a feather’s touch of the massive creatures they’ll become. They follow instinct to the ocean to begin an amazing journey that will eventually lead back to this place.
We were there when they cleaned the nest. Over a hundred babies made it out. There were also seven unhatched eggs that were reburied to hopefully hatch at a later date. But no little dead ones. That’s unusual. This was a good nest, what they call a successful nest. All of momma’s hard work paid off. Hopefully she’ll meet up somewhere in the deep blue with one of her babies. She probably won’t recognize them, but I still like the idea.
UPDATE: A few days later we were present at another nest clearing where they found 8 little hatchlings trapped beneath a root. Check out the video on the video page! Wow!