If you are following me on instagram, you know I post a lot of sunrise pictures. (If you are not following me, please check out my page https://www.instagram.com/eric_larkin/ This time of year; the Loggerhead turtles and Greenback turtles visit our coastline every year to lay their eggs. I have yet to see one of these turtles come ashore, but I do see their tracks quite often. (Yes, the pictures are on my IG page). Another thing I have yet to see are the baby turtles hatching and racing to the water…until today…
It seemed like a normal Monday. Alarm went off at 445. Took the dogs out, ate my banana, drank my glass of water and laced up for a 3’ish mile run. I come home, kick off the running shoes, grab my flip flops to do a little walk on the beach to cool down from the run, get my toes in the sand, and of course catch the sunrise. Today’s sunrise was a beauty (of course I say that most mornings). There was the added bonus of a set of turtle tracks. I do get excited every time I come across the tracks. I try to imagine seeing this gentle giant come from the sea, working her way up the shoreline to find the perfect place for her nest and eggs. The turtles do get spooked easily and turn around often without laying their eggs. It has to be just right.
As I was approaching 14th St, I noticed the sand was moving. There were these tiny dark spots coming from the soft sand and heading into the water. There were dozens of baby turtles racing to the ocean. It was amazing. Yes, I got goosebumps actually seeing these tiny little turtles taking their first steps in life. They were stumbling. They were walking over each other. Some were even heading in the wrong direction (turn around little buddy, the ocean is EAST) Some of these little creatures also discovered the harshness of life too. The seagulls starting swooping in, picking up the helpless turtles for their morning breakfast. The unfortunate circle of life.
Members of the Sea Turtle Preservation Society were walking up the beach doing their daily ritual of marking nests, handing out literature and helping the baby turtles make it to the ocean. They were able to help shoo away the birds and clear a path through the seaweed to give these turtles a chance. They did let us know they were baby loggerhead turtles and it was kind of rare to see them leave the nest so late (it was after sunrise about 7am). Normally the break from their eggs and nest much earlier (2, 3, 4 in the morning) to use the cover of night to allow safe passage from the birds and crabs that are looking for the easy prey of a baby turtle. If you would like to learn more about the Sea Turtle Preservation Society, please visit their website
I am a huge fan of catching the sunrise (It is the best way to start the day) you need to try and work this into your schedule. This time of year, I almost recommend starting an hour before sunrise to give yourself a chance of seeing a Momma Turtle heading back to sea. At the very least; you should see some of the tracks she leaves behind. If you are really lucky; you will get to see some of the baby turtles take their first steps towards the ocean. If you do any of the above; take some pictures and post them on instagram! It would be great if you tagged me in the picture too @Eric_Larkin is my username. #ToesInTheSand #BestWayToStartTheDay #TurtleSeason2017 are some of my favorite hashtags for my morning pics.
Here is a link to the video from this morning: https://youtu.be/2rDjF2IIXHY