July 6: From Joe & Denise Spafford (GSP Team Leaders)
Well today sure was a magical day for the Gulf State Park turtle team! Team Disney has nothing on us when it comes to dreams coming true. I guess I need to explain how finding our 8th nest of the season was just that for Cathy Bell and Darla Rice. Some have heard me droll on about the odds of finding a nest on your patrol and how lucky you are to do so, but it still doesn’t dampen the dream. Veterans Cathy and Darla have kept the faith and dutifully patrolled each week waiting on today’s fulfillment of their (or more specifically Darla’s) dream. It seems last night she had a dream that momma turtle nested under her bed. I’m not sure about the symbolism here but it sure seems the dream came true this morning. Shortly after starting their patrol they came upon the tracks and were in disbelief following them to the nest. They were anxious to text their findings and quickly called to confirm the nest. They then continued on finding a false crawl by another turtle and completed their patrol. They returned to the nest to await the team and finish processing their first nest. Carolyn Schupp found the eggs after a short search about right where Denise marked them to be. The nest was safely above the high tide line, in the intermediate dunes, so we finished processing it and took team pictures. I’m not sure but I think there was a special gleam in Cathy and Darla’s eyes for the picture. Bob Parris, Lynn Doerr, Carolyn Schupp, and Susanna Lax joined Denise and me in celebrating Cathy and Darla first nest. […clip…] Bob is overwhelmed with counting the number of nests this year. Fran and Neal were there too just following up on the 2 false crawls Susanna found on her patrol. Judging by the crawl width, there were 4 separate turtles on our beach today. Wow what a day!
Fran and Neal are special, taking care of all the details behind the scene; they really do so much for the team. You are the best team and we are so happy you allow us to guide you in helping the turtles that visit our beach.
Denise and Joe Spafford, GSP Team Leaders
Fran and Neal Shults, GSP Co-Team Leaders