What quote am I vibing? "Pride of one's work is not improper, unladylike, or vain. We can all take a lesson from the sea turtle. She does not travel thousands of miles or risk all for her ego. She has an instinct for greatness - one that I believe is found in all living creatures." Mary Alice Monroe
Pounds of Trash Removed from the Wild These Past Two Weeks / All Time: 32 / 320
The week started off productive with a cleanup of Leighton Park in Palm City with Nichol - this is a park very near my house that was in need of a lot of attention due to its proximity to the road/bridge. It was nice to make a visible difference in such a short amount of time.
Thursday I spent a magical evening at Tiger Shores Beach. Wendy booked us on a sea turtle walk via Florida Oceanographic Society. The event begins at 9:00 - we learn about what we can and can't do on the walk, the different sea turtles on our Treasure Coast, and how we can protect them. While that is is happening, there are several volunteers out on the beach searching for a loggerhead mama coming up onto the shore to lay her eggs.
At any moment, we could be called to caravan to the beach because they have located a turtle. Our call didn't come until 10:30 (the latest it can happen is 11:30) - and when it did, we were ready! The Oceanographic Society has a special permit which allows them to conduct these walks, but there are specific rules they have to follow. One is that the group is not allowed to approach the turtle until she lays her first egg. They located the turtle while she was walking up the beach, so we saw most of the process that we could. We waited in a single file line along the shoreline for her to be ready for us, and then we walked up and gathered around.
If you have the chance to witness this, I highly encourage you to do so. You can sign up for walks here if you are in the area - https://www.floridaocean.org/ . I can't fully describe how much it meant to watch this ancient process take place - a mother sea turtle returning to her home beach, emerging from the sea, laying 70-100 eggs, covering them with sand and camouflaging where they were, and then simply returning to sea. The sense of instinct and fulfillment of destiny was so present that it left a group of 25 people completely silent for an hour. No phones. No cameras. Just life. Really super special.
This experience made my trash cleanups more meaningful and more urgent in my heart. For these turtles, I do all that I can. Fill in every hole I see so they don't fall in, pick up every piece of trash so they don't strangle. We all owe this to each other and to the creatures that were here LONG before we were.