Leisure time on the beach, under the scorching sun, the water green, the occasional light breeze rippling the surface, the far sound of cicadas over the dunes. Dozing off to the sound of footsteps on the sand, the light patter of feet, children dashing in and out of the water, splashing. And later on, the stroll down the beach to check for caretta caretta tracks on the sand. Always on the lookout to trace down nests, report them and protect them so they'll be safe from predators, bipeds mostly...
It's a unique experience to watch the amazing primitive mass of a caretta caretta laying eggs in the dark. I've been lucky enough to go on a night shift -nothing like Stephen King's though, :-) only to the extent of unlimited respect to forces unknown- with the volunteers from Archelon
and watched in awe these amazing creatures lugging their incredible masses from the depths of the sea. The memory of helping to measure them, check them out for injuries and tags will stay with me forever. The feel of their ancient skin, the sheer power of them, their purposeful moves, are as vivid now as they were then. And the wonderful sight of baby turtles heading for the water, only weeks later. Every year, it never ceases to amaze me!
But, no turtle tracks today... Well, same drill tomorrow! ("Constant vigilance!" Yo, kids! Trace that quote and have extra credit in English class come September!!!!)