Beach Sunrise with the Green Sea Turtles

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Rich and I stepped onto the beach in the early dawn in mid-July and immediately spotted a turtle returning to the ocean right in front of us. It was so dark that I didn’t even try to take pictures. Just being there was enough. The beach hit me like a breath of fresh air as we set out on our walk.

Turtle Tracks at Sunrise
Turtle Tracks at Sunrise

It was low tide and wow, there were so many turtle tracks! Green turtle nesting season had definitely kicked into high gear. The beach was fairly devoid of footprints near the water, which made for good opportunities for turtle track photos with the rising sun in the background.

Turtle Tracks at Sunrise
Turtle Tracks at Sunrise

See what I mean about all the turtle tracks? This beach is beautiful at sunrise. The waves mist in the background and the whole world feels fresh and new.

Turtle Returning to Ocean After Nesting
Turtle Returning to Ocean After Nesting

We spotted this turtle in the distance, but she was almost to the water by the time I got to it. I just got a few quick shots as she enjoyed that first splash of the waves, then silently disappeared into the waves. Her head popped up offshore one last time, then she was gone.

Green Sea Turtle Nests
Green Sea Turtle Nests

A green turtle had nested at the foot of the steps where Rich and I found our first nesting mother two years ago. This photo shows just how much the green turtles throw sand around when they nest. The tracks in the foreground are from the ATVs driven by the UCF students that monitor the sea turtle nesting every morning.

Sunburst
Sunburst

Rich and I enjoyed a nice long walk. As we returned, the sun went behind the clouds and created a beautiful sunburst. One of the many pelicans posed in front of the cloud. What a fun end to a beautiful morning!

Want to learn more about nature photography at Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge?

Check out my Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!

Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!

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