Sea Turtle Sunrise

Today is our family’s last day on Kiawah Island.  We rose early to see the sunrise and search for shells but what we discovered was much more thrilling.  A group of Loggerhead sea turtles had just hatched and were emerging from their nest.  No bigger than a half-dollar, these tiny creatures were making their way to the ocean to begin what could be a 50-65 year life span.

Kiawah Island volunteers protect and carefully monitor the nests of the Loggerheads which have been on the threatened species list since 1978.  As a group of us gathered around the nest, the turtle patrol asked us to make a human path to the ocean so the babies would stay on track and not be snatched by hovering seagulls.  What a joy it was to see them make the first leg of their journey!  If they make it to adulthood, these sea turtles will grow to 3 feet, weigh an astounding 250-350 pounds and travel (sometimes thousands of miles!) back to this site to lay their own eggs.

Off he goes into the wide, wide world!

all photos via the aesthete and the dilettante

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