The Snowbirds know when to head
South, as many birds with which I do not have familarity, arrive
some to stay, some to move on down the beach to other destinations.
I have no idea what these were but just know they were not some of our local regulars.
big excitement was a late laying Green Nest laid, protected here from Brer Fox
by the screening. It was high enough to not be washed over by any
of our fall Nor'easters, and safe from the fox, but even that does not
predict its success but that is another story.
Another successful hatching through the wire.
the my Patrol on foot I use the front entry to the park, instead of the shorter drive through the
back gate when I pick up an ATV. This route gives me lots more time time to observe the many deer we have in
a visit to the Marina to take the Golden Girls for a short walk on the
docks I spot an old friend. I have taken many photos of this ship
when it was a tourist attraction. i wondered what had happened to
it. In days gone by it was an exciting ride with full sails and
decks full of tourists to catch the sunset as it sailed oceanward
through the Cumberland Sound on the North end of the island. In
those days I would have as many nests on the river as on the ocean
front and I would be out there at sunset watching for hatching nests.
I didn't count on 10 years making me be too tired at the end of
the day to make going on home at the end of the day more of a draw than
checking turtle nests for potential emerging turtles.
nice fellow offered to take my photos with The Golden Girls as we
checked out this very exclusive yacht. It had its own powerboat
and jet ski's stored on deck in the rear. It was quite the sleek
lady that's for sure.
the stainless steel highly polished Silver Eagle mounted on its side.
We have lots of very fancy boats like this come in but I don't
often take this close a look see.
I am enjoying 3 sunrises a week if not more. By getting up early
enough for the sunrise it also gives me time to have a little bit of
leisure time to fool around on the beach before I have to be back home
to supervise breakfast, and try to intercept the girls habitual
raid on the cereal boxes. Often though, I find I have failed
and find them each with an enormous bowl of cereal already half
eaten. For Mom the cereal was a good
choice but not so much for Helen with her diabetes. I buy Mom her
sugary cereal, but carefully pick a better choice of Cherrios which
are not so high in sugar for Helen, then try writing on each box in big
marker letters whose cereal was whose. That has helped some.
After breaksfast I supervise the checking and recording Blood pressure
and sugar levels, then
administer the morning round of meds, explaining each morning to my
mom what she was taking and why. She prides herself on not taking
medicine and insists she doesn't need anything but her "one a day".
It helped in the
beginning for me to take my daily vitamins and anti-inflamatory and
back pain meds wth her. Helen on the other hand will take as many pills
as you give her in one big swallow and thank you for giving them to
her. She also says I give an easy "shot". Maybe I can add
that to my resume.
few sunsets are in my photographs these days, as I now have other
mouths to feed waiting at home after work. With Helen's diabetes
I feel compelled to make sure she gets a good meal and then her nightly
dose of Meds and her two evening insulin injections all pretty critical stuff.
That along with her high blood pressure problems made the doling
out of the weeks supply of medicines, done on Saturday evening into the
waiting pill boxes a very serious matter requiring a lot of
conscentration. It is quite a feeling of responsibility when it
really could be a matter of life and death to get anything mixed up. And then it is time to
hit the shower and get ready for my day.
there is time to spend a bit of time in my back yar. I think I
loved the background colors of this photograph more than the butterfly.
All that peach and pale yellows along with a dash of lavender was
just a pretty abstract blend of pastel colors.
winged creatures have been busy in my yard too this year. The
other night one was zipping by the porch light in the dusky pre night
light and I realized these delicate looking wings were
the propulsion method for a real killing machine as this dragonfly
the hunt. But for now as it sat with the light casting a shadow
of those very beautiful glosimer wings across the pale aqua of the
faded and burnt sienna colors of the metal fence post was a beautiful
image. It is almost as if those colors are reflected in the very
interesting eyes of these very intersting insects.
very regal looking Monarch sits high atop the green Jasmine privacy
screen beside my patio. I have not had any eggs lately and it
seems most of the "flutterbies" have been of the male sex which could
be the reason. The Gulf Fritillaries and the Zebra Longwinged
Butterflies have remained very active but I have not been able to
successfully bring in their eggs and get them to survive.
nest that hatched was ready to excavate and one very ghost like
hatchling was in the nest. It seemed to be in good health and was
strong and ready to hit the surf.
wet its true colors became apparent and it was indeed a very pale buff
colored turtle. These scutes will become much more pronounced as
it grows in the next year helping to protect it from predators by
appearing to be a very rough spiny surface to tackle. I recently
saw my first photograph of one of these very elusive little guys about
a year or so later.
This is a time when they are seldom see and is called "the lost
years" for that reason. Nature has such interesting ways of
protecting its own.
the near brush with the water, the little one must still crawl through
the wet sand on to a final bout with the surf which it will eventually
win and be off to spend the rest of its life as a sea creature.
surprise encounter with a young but larger Green Sea Turtle was when my
friend Amy caught me just after the excavation with a cell call just as I
reached my car to leave the park. Sister Susan was with me at the
time. Amy said come quick a Turtle was stuck behind the jetty in
a tidal pool. I wadded in and grabbing
it on either side of its mid section only to be surprised by its
strength as it quickly surged forward and crossing the length of the pool in a single bound.
being younger and a more adgile got into the pool to shoo it
back my way but instead saw an opportunity to catch it and although the
power of the turtle knocked her off balance backward, she ended up in the water but managed to hold onto it.
was able to scrape off the several barnacles which had attached
themselves to its head and shell before we released it on the right
side of the jetty. Green Sea Turtles are so beautiful and it
seems like we are getting more and more of these little ones hanging
out around the jetty and pier as well as the Marina in town.
Maybe it is because of the ones the Georgia Sea Turtle Center is
morning I thought this was a very intersting shot of what appeared to
be three sets of footprints to precede me on the boardwalk to the
beach. I knew the barefooted one was Amy.
I made it in time to see a beautiful sunrise.
back in the old backyard I encountered a reptile baby of a different
species as this very tiny little Green Anole looked a bit shaggy as it was
busy shedding a layer of skin as it expanded out of it, growning
quickly in those early days.
trip to Burny Park for an easier walk to the beach for the Golden Girls
found a very strong wind was beginning to blow. A couple of
blocks inland and I had not realized the strentgh of it. The
birds all sit facing into the wind as it blew out of the Northeast.
The Blues Sister is a better name for them today. The dunes of
Nana sit patiently behind them at American Beach, one of the first
places that Black citizens could attend a public beach in the South.
A. L Lewis, the first black millionaire had bought this piece of
property so that could be a possibility. When Mayvene, his
granddaughter, was questioned about why she was so adamant about trying
to get it turned into a national park, she said, "Leave it alone
Buster, half of us were concieved behind those dunes". I'm sure
the reporter was left with his mouth hanging open on that one.
Mayvene was quite a character, and I am glad I was able to get to
know her a little bit before she passed.
wind increased and with the higher tides of Fall and moon phases it
presented a lethal combination for late laid turtle nests on the
beach. This is a nest already small after two raids by the fox
and it would prove to be disasterious for it with only a very few able
to make it out. We are hopeful that this water coverage and the
ones to follow will not harm the eggs. It just depends on how
long under water, how deep the wet sand deposited on the nest is, and
the critical timing of what stage of development the eggs have reached
as to and how sever the damage.
this nest, number 23 and our very last laid nest, may be all right as
it was early in its development when getting sand washed over it will
not be quite as critical.
There was hardly any beach left on which to walk that morning.
river side was no better with one nest in particular still on this
beach and it would be almost a total loss just because of the water.
We think that 10 of the babies may have gotten out of that nest
because we counted 10 more eggs shells than dead babies. The
babies were already hatched out when they were washed over and they
could not breath. Almost a hundred dead babies were in the nest
when we were finally able to excavate it.
But in the distance the
wind and high tides did not slow down the parade on the river as the
motorcade escorting the submarine into port were not deterred.
enjoy seeing the force that is a stormy sea. I walk out onto the
pier for a higher vantage point and a more up close and personal
encounter with the sea as I can actually walk over the churning mass of
energy below me.
is especially intersting to walk alongside the water as it crashes over
the jetty separating the river from the big pond beyond call the
But overcast and stormy skies do break away and the sun will shine again.
Friday it was both beautiful blue sky mixed with fast moving fluffy
drier clouds coupled with still a pretty strong wind.
closer look at the beach shows that each tiny shell has become a
barrier to the wind sculpting the shape pointing away from the
direction of the wind on its surface.
was the weekend of the wedding we had used as an excuse to bring the
girls down with the promise of a big family get-together.
Brother Mike and wife Denice enjoy the walk on a nice sandy beach
so different from their rocky Northwestern Pacific shoreline.
sun was low as we had slipped out the door while sis was preparing a
low country boil, one of the easiest meals to feed a crowd here, as whole family on the local scene did
gather to enjoy it. The very low sun hitting the waves as they
break make them glow in its light.
Even the sea foam on a beached Moon Jelly shows the winds direction.
of Sea Foam skitters across the smooth sand like scurrying mice finally
dissolving themselves with the friction of the sand against their
fragile surface. The waves seem to have a glow from within.
get ahead of them and head back to help in the kitchen as Bro Mike
enjoys a more leisurely pace. The tiny red string around a small
steel post in the sand is a sign of things to come. Soon the
dredge machines will start with a beach renourishment project that will
change this view for quite a while as the huge rusty pipe is laid its
length. By that time there will only be two nests left on this
beach. There will have to be special provisions for them since we
had not planned on a project and already had nests in place when we
found out. It was an emergency order from the Navy to dredge the
channel to make it safe for the subs to navigate the river.
what it is as powers from the sky in the form of wind and the tides
cannot be held back and neither can the will of the need of the Navy,
so we learn to accept what hand we are dealth and
make the best of it. As I heard from the head of the Amelia
Island Sea Turtle Watch, Mary Duffy, the other day, "Saving Sea Turtles
is a Marathon not a Sprint", and so it is. I have learned to
accept what is and not dwell on what isn't or as my sister adds to
neice Julie's saying "it is what it is" and Sis's addition "it
ain't what it ain't."