We had another great day in the turtle neighborhood July 8th. Veteran turtler Susanna Lax was busy finding two crawls on her beach patrol. Patrolling eastbound she snapped a picture of the first crawl and alerted me. Continuing her patrol, she got to the second crawl and sent me a picture before I could get out to the first one. I met her at the second crawl. Momma turtle was westbound during the night and didn’t seem to like the first area she came ashore. After we looked at the crawl and determined it was a false crawl we headed back to the first one. When we got there it was easy to see momma found the right spot just out of the water the second attempt. It looked like she got to the shore bird nesting area boundary, saw the marker and made an abrupt turn. I didn’t know they could read? Or maybe she was respecting the other mother’s nest area! Anyway, right out of the turn she began her nest and laid 95 eggs for us to find. She made a dash for the water back over her inbound tracks and was on her merry way.
The call for team help went out and soon Cathy Bell, Doug Caudil and co-team leaders Fran and Neal Shults arrived. Cathy found the eggs after a short search, and Susanna and Neal helped move the eggs safely away from the tide. Everyone assisted with processing the nest, collecting and recording the data. We did have Lauren from Houston visit us and thank us for all that we were doing to help the turtles. It makes you feel good hearing comments like that.
These are some pictures of the activities. I need to go now and get some more supplies; we still have a lot of season left. Thank goodness Denise is taking over nest sitting. I think I heard her talking with our daughter about borrowing some night vision goggles so she could look for turtles at night while nest sitting. Where does she get her energy? Anyway, I look forward to seeing you all when we tarp our first nest. Great job Gulf State Park Turtle Team!!!
GSP Team Leader