Thanksgiving has come and
gone as I still try to reach the end of Turtle season in my story
writing. Hopefully you will not get impatient with the
dragging of time with my stories. I just can't seem to skip
ahead without covering it all. The Girls were back home in
time to cook Thanksgiving Dinner for the family there. With
Grandchildren, Julie and Jeremy, there to help get it together, Mom got
her months long wish to have her dream Thanksgiving menu prepared.
A few shortcuts with store bought pies and rolls helped.
T-Shirts will be back in a few days to the gallery and will be to you
ASAP afterward so you will have time to mail those for Christmas gifts.
We can even ship them direct to your destination if you tell
us ahead. I will even wrap them up for you. The
delay happened because when it came time to order the local decided I
did not have enough shirts for him to fool with without charging a
price that would have been prohibitive so I had to scramble to find
someone else who could do it silk screen and reasonable. So
what do you do, you call on family. Bruce's cousin up in
Chattanooga is printing them for us.
Turtle Trot painting prints are available in various sizes for purchase
in time for the Holidays. $99.00 price for the large
size inmatted and $325 for it framed.
Where I live Fall has a way of sneaking up
behind you, and you must keep reminding yourself that it is here,
because, it, for all the world, just continues to feel like
summertime. Only the quieter streets, near empty beaches, and
some evenings cool enough to sleep with the windows open, tell
that Summer has indeed slipped away. The threat of hurricanes
nears the end so that is a long, slow sigh of relief.
could say the Fall colors are in the sky with the golden colors that
are there, but then those colors could be there
on any given day, no matter the season.
began to see a good many sunsets from the beach with the
oranges of the Fall skies glowing from the other side of the
island, just peeking over the dunes, but reflecting a much softer hue
the Eastern sky.
of the Moon Jellies have washed in on the beach this time of the year.
This one was
very transparent with the runoff patterns from the receding water
forming around it.
Eastern sky, as soft as the Western sky is brilliant, with pinks,
lavenders, and blues.
Even the wet beach is the reflected pink of the sky.
the breaking wave gives a contrast to the pale colors of a beach side
sunset. I remember from the days of going to the beach as a
youngster that I loved being on the beach when it was the end of the
day. Since we camped on the beach side I never realized the
on the other side of the island. As an adult, staying in a
cottage on the Western side of Cumberland
Island, I began to be torn by the decision of whether to stay on the
beach for my favorite time of the day, or head back to wind up the day
by washing the sand off, putting on clean clothes, and unwinding
with the anticipation of the light show that might be yours
as dinner was prepared with the brilliant riverside
sunset. Where I live now I can have it either way as I can
see the river from the street in front of my house and I can see the
oceanfront condos when I look eastward. Quite a dilemma to
Even the simplest thing like a piece of marsh grass misplaced by the
tides looks like a thing of beauty in this light.
reason for the evening walks on the beach was to check the Green Turtle
nest which was due at anytime. It was of special concern
the dredge pipes crossed in front of it and although the pathway
defined by a black plastic sheeting fence, directing them
underneath the pipe, I
knew from experience, it would be easier for them, since the pipe made
it unnaturally dark from their viewpoint, blocking the
brightness of the moon on the water. I felt if
I could tell when they were hatching, then I could help them find their
without them sapping so much energy wandering around the semi-enclosure
searching for the water.
sunrises also are very pastel. This one especially was and
reflections on the watery sand was a double dose of what was above.
A pair of Ground Doves, smaller and a colored darker with
darker orange legs, than the more common Mourning Doves, seemed to
always be at the end of the boardwalk. The soft light and
their shyness made them a hard target to photograph.
migratory birds are in town, and this one is what I call a
"Yellow Butt", but I think it is supposed to be a "Yellow Rump",
although this angle does not show his very yellow behind. I
see them in my backyard but not usual to see them on the beach.
week the Golden Girls had stayed with my sister, since Bruce had gone
Chattanooga to have a long overdue visit with his Mom, and would not be
home in the daytime with them. I would
join them for dinner, then go home to sleep in my own bed, and
have a bit of respite from the care taking. Dinner at my
sister's put me in the right
place to keep check on the Green
Turtle nest which was a short walk away.
view from the end of the boardwalk which usually framed in the view of
the water was now interrupted with the long rusty pipe which was
carrying tons of sand and water through its innards daily and into the
The other end of the pipe was quite a scene. I
had never seen the dredge process up close and personal like I did this
time. It was both exciting and terrifying to see what was
happening. I thought of all the tiny organisms which live
underneath the surface of the beach sand, and I wondered what fate
awaited them with the tremendous pressure of the torrent of water so
forcefully discharged from the pipe creating a real white water rapid
in front of it. So many of the shore birds
depend on these small
shell fish, horseshoe crab eggs, and sea critters for their food.
How can they survive this? I do believe that
it is possible for the critter to escape and return to the shoreline
but many have to be destroyed. ( Jump ahead to present
time, I know that we found sand fleas just underneath the new
sand weekend before last while fishing right in the spot where
this had happened.)
was a race each morning to get to the beach in time to catch what might
possibly turn out to be a great sunrise. Often the best part
of the show
was before the sun rose.
Some of the best light shows were also on the water especially if you
could catch a breaking wave just right.
the Pelicans in a great pose was also a challenge. Sometimes
could slip right by you while you looked into the lens at the sunshine,
and sometimes they would be too low underneath the sky color to be
visible in a photograph.
But sometimes you were lucky and caught them just right.
Throw in a moving shrimp boat in the background and you have
had a good morning.
beautiful creature was waiting with his master for his mistress who was
beach combing off the other end of the boardwalk. I gave them
an update on her location.
I am sure he was not happy to be excluded from all the beach
as dogs are banned from the beaches in the park, but are welcome
Flocks of migrating birds regularly reminded us it was the season for
Even without clouds the sky could still be spectacular.
very large inflated red orange buoy had washed in, probably a marker
for someone's crab
traps. I hated to see the pink spot among the brown and gray
native barnacles attached to the buoy. Although pink is
pretty, it tells me that these
invasive barnacles from the Pacific Ocean are
themselves at home here on
our side of the world. These barnacles along with so many
other unwelcome invaders are carried attached to the bottom orand in
the hulls of world traveling
ships, and either are released, or fall off into our
waters where they multiply, unchecked by natural predators.
The Sea Oats now have the brown of Fall's mature seed heads instead of
the greens of Spring and Summer.
of the most reliable signs of Fall is the beautiful pink of the Muhley
Grass which is native, but also cultivated varieties are used to
up many of the area homes and commercial landscapes.
is also time for the Homecoming Parade for the local High School as The
Pirates (of course they would be called that) get prepped for all the
festivities for the evening ahead with a ballgame presided over by
Kings and Queens.
Fall higher tides leave deposits of shells on the beach along
with other beach treasures especially fossils which are my
favorites to find.
brings several kinds of Golden Rod. This wasn't one of the
regular ones so a bit of research and exchanging of Facebook opinions
finally decided that it was indeed a variety of Golden Rod, but with
more of a
cluster type of bloom rather than the spiky type. It seems
Golden Rod is often unjustly blamed for allergic reactions due to the
the Ragweed, which blooms at the same time. Actually the
Rod pollen is too heavy to be blown around. It can cause an
allergic reaction, but from handling it, not its pollen in the air.
Thankfully I see very little Ragweed down here.
were now digging the Green Turtle nest because it was laid 76 days ago
and long overdue.
A lone hiker passes and does not even see us as we were
foxhole type of pit behind the dredge pipe in search of the nest and
eggs of our Green
new type of Jelly was found on the beach. Someone else told
they saw a big school of very large flat jellys near the park pier
during the same time as this one washed onshore.
I have tried to research what type of jelly. One
is a "Pink Meanie". An appropriate name for a not so nice
which likes to eat other jellies and is not known to be in our waters,
however they had been spotted in South Florida and could easily ride
the Gulf Stream currents north.
big Ring Billed Gull was in for a bit of an adventure that neither of
us expected. They are very opportunistic and are especially
at stealing meals from humans as well as each other. One
swooped down at the Marina one
day taking a piece of chicken out of my sister-in-law, Denise's' hand.
He was about to ply his skills to the breakfast of a brownish
nearby, who had snagged a Bonnet Head Shark, probably probably left on
beach by a fisherman.
the other gulls hovered above waiting for a chance at it the larger
Ring Billed took off after the brown gull who grabbed his feast and
tried to escape.
He was overtaken by the larger gull and lost his grip
Although the Ring Billed Gull was able to retrieve his booty he
eventually dropped it and also lost his chance at an easy breakfast.
The now food less gull will wait until another
opportunity manifests itself.
surprise, with a late release of a Sea Turtle by the Georgia Sea Turtle
Center. It seems
"Captain" had spent 3 years at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center with the
idea that he would never be able to be released into the wild, but he
had other ideas.
They were in the process of finding an aquarium in which to
him. He had been found in the Mayport Basin where all the
Ships are docked, hence his name, "Captain". He was
badly injured with propeller wounds including some spinal injuries.
He was equipped with weights to assist him to be
able to dive and retrieve food,
like a scuba divers belts helps them dive. Without this
ability they will starve.
luck would have it Captain's weights accidentally fell off.
He had a
bit of an abrasion from wearing the weight, so it was decided to leave
for a few days to heal the boo-boo. The staff soon
discovered that Captain could
dive for his food without the weight, thus the decision was made that
now make it on his own in the wild...and that is the rest of the story
about this unexpected release
of this very lucky Sea Turtle.
was a day with wind, rough surf, and a steep slope to the beach, making
difficult to be able to release him beyond the breakers as is the usual
came the happy
signal that Captain was on his way. Susan and I had taken the
Girls to the release and Helen, especially was really excited to see
it. She did get her dose of big and small turtles while she
here. I hope that her weak memory skills will allow her to
remember some of her fun things while she was here.
had been made, with great misgivings on my part, that they be
returned to their home.
Homesick and calling everyone they knew to "come and get
had made me feel like a jailer. They were quick to tell me
they appreciated all I had done, but this was not "home".
some safety features to be added to the home and some home care it is
hoped that they can safely live by themselves for a while longer.
hope that is the case. I feel very handicapped trying to
micro-manage from such a long distance, with the greatest concerns
for Helen's diet as I knew how hard it was to keep her from eating the
wrong things with her diabetes, and Mom's cooking with her eyesight and
memory lapses. She set a roll of paper towels on fire the
first time she cooked once back in her own kitchen. Last
night after Midnight I was texting
messages back and forth with their caregiver and my brother, the
and my Niece Julie who was there visiting. With Thanksgiving,
probably been eating the wrong food all day. She nor my mom
understand, nor remember, that starches and sugars can be one and the
same. Her blood sugar level was over 400 last night and this
still at 300. When Billy, the next door neighbor and friend,
who is managing her
meds (he also is diabetic), called back to check on her later in the
morning, she was getting ready to eat peanut butter and graham
crackers. He urged her to not do
that, but to go get some green beans instead. Whether she
the warning or not we will never know because she will not remember 10
minutes later if she did or not. And therein lies the cause