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The Circle of Life

I haven't been to this event in years!!!!  Before sunrise, I left home to drive to the Malaquite Visitor's Center on North Padre Island. Friday the 13th was a lucky day for 50-60 baby Kemp Ridley Turtles!! They were scheduled to be released into the wild ... the Gulf of Mexico.

Of those numbers, I ask..."Just how many will survive and return to their nesting area for the following years to come?"

Anyway, when I arrived just two minutes before the release time, the parking lot was filled! It took a while to find a place to park! I was totally surprised at those others that came to see them off and wish them luck for a lifetime! The game warden, who was giving the last few words of his lecture as I walked up to the center's pavilion, was just opening the barricade to escort us to the beach...

At the designated area, roped off and protected above with netting [to keep the gulls and terns from attacking them on their first journey to the shoreline]....we stood around the cordoned area, waiting patiently for the little boogers to be shown. And the race was on!! Tho a slow process, it's well worth the show of shows! The superior warden, with a degree in biology, explains that they are released at a distance from the shore for a the hatchlings can get the scent of and the landscape of their surroundings etched into their memory for a return to lay eggs where THEY were's a fact of nature!!

After several minutes' time, the first of the released makes it to the water!! And the early morning hours are over, the excitement, the wonder of it all once again trickles through the veins of those that love watching nature, and hoping the survival of the fittest will return home in a year's time!!! The Circle of Life!!

...I recorded a video of the first journey to the sea of one turtle.  I apologize for the 'bumpy ride along the way'...several people kept hitting my arm as I followed the turtle.  And the sounds were eliminated as I processed it for YouTube....