Saturday, April 7, 2012

Turtle Tracks

Okay, it's a little hard to see, but I'll tell you what to look for.  Coming up from the water to the beach (in the white sand) are tire-like tracks in the shape of a "U." 
Farther up toward the dune, directly up from the tracks in a large mound in the shadows.  It is a mound of sand in the lower left corner of the picture.  That, my friend, is a turtle nest.  And if I identified it correctly by the tracks, it is a Loggerhead Turtle nest.  So neat!

Turtles in this area make their way up out of the water to the edge of the dunes (tracks one way), dig a hole in the sand and lay their eggs.  Then they mound up the sand and make their way back to the sea (the return arc of tracks).  When the baby turtles hatch (after 55 to 70 days) they climb out of the hole under the mound and work their way to the ocean to swim and live their lives. 
I've never seen a turtle nest before and was happy that I could take a picture to show you.  We even called the Marine Center up the beach to notify them of the nest.  Apparently they log the location of nests and use it to monitor turtle statistics etc.  Just days later all signs of this nest were gone to the naked eye.  The tide washes away the tracks and makes the mound less visible.  But that's okay, the turtle eggs are buried far below in a hole.  Science! 

Do you remember when I visited the Loggerhead Marine Center last year and meet Ryker

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