Saturday, July 24, 2010

Welcome to the sea turtle nursery at GTMMER

So I return from my long sojourn in the French countryside of my TV screen, and immediately annoy everyone with yet another sea turtle lecture, but this is BIG, people. Although you probably can't see it in my bad photos, this nest is labeled "N (north) 112", meaning it's the 112th sea turtle nest marked in the northern half of Guana Tolomato Matanzas Marine Estuarine Reserve in 2010. There are an additional 85 nests in the southern section of the park, meaning that so far there are nearly 200 sea turtle nests along this 8-mile stretch of Atlantic beach. An average year sees a total of around 90 nests in the whole season, which runs from May to October. And, as one of the turtle volunteers told us this morning, no one really knows why.

I'm sure there are theories, and certainly there's interest. As we walked along the beach last weekend, we encountered a 6-man golf cart filled to capacity with turtle volunteers and, we discovered, turtle experts. We asked about the numbers, since we've noticed what seemed like an unusually high number of nests this year. They confirmed what we suspected but had no real evidence for: an unusually busy turtle nesting season. So here are the plain, rather dull photos, without glamour or fast-moving drama; just the awareness of this simple, prolific goodness to warm your hearts. Whatever bad or sad or uninspiring news you saw or read or heard today, this is its happy counterbalance. Enjoy, my dears.


  1. Pardon my geographic ignorance but are there more nesting turtles by you because of the spill?

  2. Not ignorance, but an excellent question. We're on the Atlantic, and with the spill happening to the far west of us, over in the Gulf, people are wondering whether that has something to do with it. Could there be some innate sense driving them to nest in a safer place, or is it a peak in one of those VERY long natural cycles that exceed human ability to live through, like ice ages or whatever...ask Ty what he thinks. I'd love to know. xoxoxo


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