Mark and I (and Magnolia the Magnificent, our Shih-tzu) were privileged to witness a miracle of nature this past weekend--newly hatched baby sea turtles scurrying to the ocean. Since I seldom go to the beach without a camera, usually for taking painting reference photos, I was able to snap a few pictures, including my size seven, medium foot in some to show how small these babies are. After a few photos, I was happier to simply watch in awe as the turtles scampered by.
Sea turtles often hatch at night, when it is safer from most predators, but these emerged before 8 p.m. We are thankful they did, because being present was a once-in-a-lifetime thrill. Onlookers waved birds away as dozens--perhaps almost 100--little turtles headed straight for the ocean. They were quite fast, and overcame most obstacles. Even a footprint in the sand can create a mound more like a huge dune for these little ones, but they steadfastly kept on going--over, around, whatever it took. If they flipped over, they waved their legs awhile, but usually needed to extend their long necks and flip themselves right side up with their heads. Although we are not supposed to touch them, some onlookers couldn't resist "helping" the turtles who seemed to be in trouble. It is particularly amazing that they knew which way to go from their nest well above the high tide line because it was still light enough out that their usual guidance system of going toward to lightest area (at night, the glow of the water) would have been weak.
If you would like to know more about these amazing animals, now a protected species given the steep drop in their numbers, here is one interesting web site. I am awed and thankful to have been present to see in person what we had only watched on TV before. That Saturday evening is now in my memory bank along with other remarkable scenes I can call to mind when I need a lift--or anytime I begin to recall the multitude of experiences of nature I am thankful for.
Question of the day: What unique, remarkable experiences of nature live in your thankfulness memory bank?