It felt amazing to sneak away to the beach this morning for a sunrise walk with the nesting sea turtles. The clouds on the horizon hinted of Hurricane Isaias lurking by the Bahamas, ready to visit Florida this weekend. But for a few quiet moments, we forgot about coronavirus and political craziness and hurricanes and said hello to an ancient species who was oblivious to all the human disruptions of 2020.
According to the UCF Turtle Research Group, it’s been a good year for nesting Loggerheads, who are reaching the end of their nesting season. This year is a low year for the Green turtles, who typically have high nest counts every other year. So we weren’t really expecting to see a mother turtle this morning, but we did. :)
I kept an eye out for vagrant birds blown north by the hurricane. It was probably a day too early for that. We did see this flock of White Ibises fly overhead.
We had a good walk on the beach before the sun finally made its appearance. It slipped out from under the horizon and bathed the beach in beautiful morning light. The waves tickled my toes and the Sanderlings darted at the shoreline, searching for tiny bugs for breakfast.
Even before Hurricane Isaias, the beach shows signs of being shaped by nature. The winds erode the sand, creating small “cliffs” between the waves and the dunes. We saw many false crawls from turtles who crawled up the beach only to hit the wall and turn around. Turtle eggs were exposed by the sand erosion. As we chucked at the thought of baby turtles throwing themselves down the “sand slide,” we realized that the weekend will be a tough one as the hurricane makes its way up Florida’s East Coast.
Rich left our initials in the sand before we headed back to reality, our own small tracks mixed with the tracks of the turtles. 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!
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