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"America's future is not written by our enemies... America's future is written by our heroes."
~9/11/2018 * Patriots' Day



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 reason...so 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 born...it'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....


39 comments :

  1. What a wonderful memorable experience. Thanx for sharing.

    God bless.

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  2. How fun to watch. I can't imagine all the dangers these little creatures will face over the next year. I wonder what the percentage is of how many will survive and return

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  3. I've always read about this event. How exciting you were able to be there.

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    1. It's been a long time since I've gone ... it's good for the soul to see such eager little ones like this!

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  4. I am amazed at how many people showed up. What a wonderful thing to see, Anni. Thank you for this positive story to begin my day. Sending you a virtual hug. :-)

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    1. It is positive. Yet, I can't help but feel the bitter-sweetness knowing so many won't survive the day.

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  5. I've seen the march to the sea once near Myrtle Beach state park. It was sooo impressive! I also saw a hatch without supervision and the seagulls had a feast. Made me very upset.

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    1. Ohhhh, that would upset me too. And the sight of it would forever be etched in my mind.

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  6. 60 seconds of precious, watching the little guy/gal find the way to the gulf. what a fun outing. I would have loved it...

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    1. It's a good time enjoying their determination & vigor

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  7. The amazing thing is they find their way "home." I don't think anyone really totally understands what it is that gives so many creatures a "homing" device.. Supposedly a magnetic field for some..but what about these little fellows?

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  8. What great fun! I think they lay so many eggs because so many do not live long enough to grow, being as they are so defenseless in the water. I also think that letting them crawl by themselves to the water builds up their strength. If we lived nearby, I would have loved to go with you! Then we would go for lunch and ice-cream!

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    1. Sounds like a good plan Ginny...if you're ever down my way in the Summer months!

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  9. I'm clapping...I've never seen the sea turtle release here in NC either but I truly applaud the caregivers at all the facilities who guard the nest and watch as the hatchlings make their way to the might sea where they belong.
    Hugs Madi and mom

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    1. As I've said many times...this whole concept is bitter-sweet for me. Cheering on one hand, remorse on the other...of the too short life span outcome.

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  10. Isn't it wonderful to watch a release? Love the little turtles!

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  11. This looks like such an amazing thing to see in real life! I love the video!

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  12. Hello to my new blogging friend!
    I left a reply to your comment over on my blog, but it just wouldn’t be “neighborly” to leave it there and not visit you over here.
    I have to admit that I’ve never seen the li’l sea turtles make their trek to the ocean. I’ve watched the procession on videos, and I’m amazed at their persistence and their innate abilities. What a delight it must be to see them in person!
    Sending a hug and a smile from warm South Georgia to you!

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    1. It was nice of you to stop by...hope your father is now well on his way to recovering!

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  13. Annie, oh my goodness, did this bring back some wonderful memories I think if I recall right, the numbers of survivability is very small with the large amount of hatchlings thank you so much for sharing this with us!!!

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    1. I'm sure the numbers ARE small.

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  14. What a thrill to see wildlife up close like. A special memory for sure.

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  15. What a fun and exciting thing to see!
    Have a wonderful week!

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    1. It is! Thanks Lea (& have a great week too!)

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  16. How brilliant. I hope all those little fellas make it

    Mollyx

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  17. Aaaah, thank you Anni, it's such a big thing, these little critters need help getting into the water....

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    1. ...and hopefully some will survive.

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  18. Pretty Neat!! And bittersweet also! Thank you for sharing it with us! I'm going to see if they do it around here... :)

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