After picking out an adorable turtle lagoon online and a suitable name [Tangent: Male or female, Lisa Turtle was a no brainer.], I learned that my dream pet was not to be. Apparently, they are carriers for salmonella and illegal in the state of Tennessee. You can only buy them if you are doing so for educational purposes and you basically have to smuggle them from another state or buy them online. Before I could procure a black market amphibian, something else, a shiny object perhaps, distracted me...and I never did make my turtle dream a reality.
Prior to this, when I was maybe 8, I did have two turtle friends I met in the wilds of my neighborhood creek that were my pets for like 2 days [Tangent: Ya know...long enough so I could take them to show and tell, but not long enough that I killed them!]. One was Michaelangelo and the other was Garth. [Tangent: How's that for consistant naming?] In retrospect, I am 99% sure Garth was a terrapin and not a turtle, because his ugly mug was really creepy and prehistoric looking, so clearly he was not my favorite of the two!
Now that you have seen my lengthy history with having turtle fever, you will understand why I was so excited to hear that last week, while beachin' it in Holden Beach, North Carolina, I was going to get to see baby sea turtles hatching! [Tangent: Yes, you heard correctly. BABY SEA TURTLES HATCHING, YA'LL! My family vacationed at Holden for the entirity of my childhood, and I have always heard of their sea turtle rescue programs they do on the island and how they dig up the remaining eggs/turtles every fall and help them get to the ocean safely. It is something that I have always wanted to witness, but never have. ] After a tip from an oceanfront neighbor, we learned they were going to be unearthing the babies about 500 feet from our walkway! This was beyond exciting...like Christmas x 10000!
The Holden Beach Turtle Patrol doesn't mess around...they have hoodies emblazoned with their logo and a website and an emergency pager! This group of dedicated and turtle obsessed retirees are legit! Since 1989, they have helped protect the baby turtles and keep count of how many eggs are hatched vs how many turtles are born every year. It's a science really...even though they may have some not so scientific techniques like sticking the baby turtles in the front pockets of their hoodies to warm them or keeping them in tupperware before setting them onto their little track to the sea. It was so fun to watch them being unearthed cheer them on as they marched to freedom!
|look at this proud turtle mama!|