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.
all photos via the aesthete and the dilettante