Thursday, September 03, 2009


Tonight Linus decided to test Darwin's theories on evolution on a bunch of newly hatched Loggerhead turtles, and I couldn't have been more mortified.

If you've never been to a beach during turtle hatching season, then you don't know that turtle watching and aiding is a BIG deal. They rope off the area surrounding the nest, regularly monitor it against predators and curious beach goers, and even provide a perfectly smooth, easily traversed path for the turtles to assure their successful arrival into the ocean.

Upon arriving at our beach house this week, we were excited to discover a nest off in the dunes right near the end of our beach access walkway. We were excited not only to see the turtles hatch ourselves but also to expose our little guy to such an enriching experience. (I mean, talk about the perfect topic for his soon-to-be written preschool entrance application essay. Seriously, there are preschools that require applications and proficiency tests. Of course, not any Linus would be attending.) Anyway...

It turns out that tonight was the night that our nest was scheduled for it's c-section (yes they do call it that) so we deferred bedtime and headed down to the beach. Unlike a human c-section however the process actually takes quite a while as the turtles have to wake-up, orient themselves, and then head on down the trail. For many adults, this long wait time can be daunting. For a two year old, it's nearly impossible.

After waiting for what seemed like an hour (but was probably only 20 minutes), I couldn't stand wrestling Linus any longer and decided he could run off some energy on the beach. I was very careful to move Linus far, far away from the turtle zone and we began "flying" around complete with outstretched arms and whooshing sounds. I guess I got into my flying a bit much because I journeyed a bit far from Linus. Ever the opportunist, Linus made his move and headed straight for the roped off area. Seeing the inevitable, I shouted to my husband who was near to grab the streaking toddler. Instead of grabbing Linus though he turned around to see what I was shouting about. Mere inches away from my grasp, Linus having paused for just a second, beamed me a smile and promptly fell into the specially made turtle to ocean delivery trench.

Luckily, the turtles were still safely in their nest and I was able to whisk Linus out of the trench while the darkness concealed my scarlet face from onlookers.

As I settled Linus back down, I asked him why he went under the orange ribbon he'd been instructed to stay away from. His response, "Whoosh."

I guess, crash landings can't be predicted not even by the most diligent turtle protectors.


Courtney said...

What a great experience! We were at Tybee Beach in Savannah back in April when they were releasing adult turtles (who would eventually make there way back to that same beach to lay their eggs). Unfortunatly my kids (being there first time at a beach) didnt have the patience to wait and see the turtles be released so we missed it. But we did catch the turtle races they did as a lead up.

Hope you are having a blast!

Marty, a.k.a. canape said...

Woosh, indeed.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Ah, kids. They sure know how to mortify their parents;)

Chelsea + Jonathan said...

Sooo cool that you got to see the turtles!

Miche said...

Were you doing the Topsail Turtle Project with Jean Beasley? She and my Granny are best friends, so my parents go down most summers and help out Mrs. Beasley and my Granny with some of the nests. I cant wait until the boys are a little older so they can start helping! And don't worry, other kids have fallen in the trenches before :)