It’s that time of year again, when the mama Loggerhead Sea Turtles make their way up the beach to lay their many little eggs in the dunes of our precious beaches here in super sunny (and not very rainy these days) Florida.
The gestation of a baby loggerhead sea turtle is about 60 days (give or take five days). So, we’ve been tracking which nests are going to hatch when. The nests are marked and on the markers the date is noted as to when the eggs were laid. Our favorite beach is just about ready to hatch several nests and I can’t wait!
Recently, we visited the beach to check on our nesting friends. If you remember, last year we visited one morning in September to find two babies stuck inside of their nest. It had been attacked by a predator and most of the babies didn’t make it. These little guys were still alive! We got to walk the beach with them as they made their way to the water for the first time. So amazing!
On our most recent trip, we found a predated nest, but unfortunately, the eggs had been laid so recently that the volunteers hadn’t even marked the nest yet! I’m pretty sure they mark them daily so that crazy raccoon was probably just waiting until that big ol’ mama turtle laid all those little eggs and then slowly made her way back into the water before he dug those little guys up to feast on them. He didn’t eat them all though! There were still at least a dozen eggs that we could see buried down in the sand.
We have a turtle book that we found in a local bookstore that tells all about sea turtles and their eggs. It talks about birds, sea shells, and has some fantastic pictures and facts about sea turtles. It even has information on sea turtle hospitals, which we will hopefully be visiting soon (there’s one pretty close to us).
Turtle Summer: A Journal for my Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe is a sweet book written by a mother for her daughter. She journaled their experiences watching the turtles together and made it into a book for her little lady to remember later on. Very cute! We just love it. My favorite part about this book is the amazing pictures of the turtles–the mama laying her eggs, the babies hatching and finding their new ocean home, and even the hospitalized turtles. It’s a great book for the kiddos.
While we might not get to see baby turtles this year, we will of course be visiting the beach again and again. There is always something new–something fun for the girlies to explore and learn about at our ever changing beach.