Thursday, July 22, 2010

Turtle Walk Thursday

Today was walk number twelve for this season. We arrived at Buttonwood Lane beach access before daylight, to start our walk.

It was really nice out this morning, there was a cool wind and it wasn't too hot, actually the coolest morning we've had for a walk since the season started.

For a little way, there didn't appear to be many shells. Gradually there were more and more. Most of them looked to be Ark shells, at a glance. I didn't look in that direction much, because I was looking for turtle tracks, of course! :) But, the only thing I was seeing was trash! There were also several things left out on the beach overnight, that we had to tag, like several different beach chairs, a beach ball, a canopy frame and pile of chairs under it. After they're tagged and reported, the turtle walker the next day will report they are still there and those things are supposed to be removed. Sometimes the resort is notified, if that doesn't work, then a city employee will pick them up or the next turtle walker.

There were several big holes left too. This one was a foot deep, glad it was light enough out to see it in time.

This fella looked to be totally relaxed with a coffee mug in his hand. But, he could have expired, because I said good morning, as I walked beside his chair. He didn't even look over or say anything, just stared straight ahead. Maybe I should have gone back to take his pulse???

Hi Anne, how are you?

somewhere there's a poor baby with no pacifier. :(

A feeble attempt at making an alligator, and leaving a deep hole in the sand.

This turtle didn't leave any tracks.

In the distance you can see the canopy frame and piles of chairs we had to tag, all left right in turtle nesting area of the beach.

In our zone, the worst problem area is in front of the Sanibel Arms complexes. I don't know what is the cause; lower rent, able to rent condos by the night, it's a mystery! But it is the worst trashy area on the beach, more holes, and almost always chairs left out overnight. The only area we've had that can compare, is Lighthouse Beach and it's large amount of trash left behind there, but that is a public beach area with many more people coming and going in a days time. Doubt it would do much good, but I think it would be a step in the right direction if the Sanibel Arms would put up signs and place information in condos about the beach rules, especially those that apply during sea turtle nesting season, if they haven't already. God only knows what these kinds of people do to the condos they are staying in. Most owners of condos in other places, that I know personally, actually tell their renters about the special rules during nesting season and it seems to help. Ok I'm done now.....moving on.......

A portion of the mine field in front of Sanibel Arms West.

This hole was hollowed out way under the edge of the sand and almost 2' deep. If you stepped anywhere near it, your feet would go through.

There was so much cloud cover down low, that the sun couldn't shine through.

Today we also looked at the shore birds to see if they had bands on their legs. If we see any that do, we are supposed to report them. The purpose is to track birds that were cleaned of oil in the spill area, and then released. We saw none.

This was a whole group of sand sculptures, without leaving any holes! Yay! They were all very cute and near the front of Sanibel Inn.

A really cool alligator covered with pieces of pen shells.

A beautiful mermaid.

A sea turtle. It was neat how they used mangrove seed pods in their art.

A sea horse? :) I love this!

Finally the sun found a small hole to peek through.

The water was pretty and clear today. These two were having a good breakfast.

We have a ghost crab living in our sea turtle nest. Look at the crabby little tracks it left. :( Also a whole string of ants were going in and out.

There was no new turtle activity in our zone. It's really a no brainer to me, why we only have one nest in this zone and it's at the end, where the beach is in better shape. If I were a turtle, I wouldn't think of going onto a beach that had all those obstacles in my path. :( Pretty sad. The most concerning thought, is that one person who was not taught to care about the consequences of their actions, has now multiplied and there are at least one to three more that will not be taught, and each of those will multiply..... Can you even imagine what our world will be like when they all grow up? Where and why did it begin, and how and where do we start to change it?

It was right about here, that I broke into a cold sweat and got so weak, I could hardly stand up, let alone walk.

We were at the end of our zone, and I made my way up the Sanibel Inn path.

After throwing away the bag of trash we picked up, my partner took me to the pool area to sit down, while he made the mile walk back to get the car.

By the way, the cool tree below, is a Madagascar Screwpine. I learned my lesson on this tree a while back. :)

So......this is where I ended my walk, and this......

and this.......

was my view for a while, until I was picked up for the ride home.

No, don't know what happened. I think I may have been dehydrated. I'm bad about not drinking enough water. But, I'll do better next time! :)


Cheryl said...

We have stayed at Tarpon Bay a few times in the past, which I think is right next to Sanibel Arms West - not completely sure though. I know that place has a lot of units; there are always a ton of people on the beach out there. We have moved on now because Tarpon bay has the public beach on one side and Arms West on the other and we are over it! I have to say the units and pool are very nice at Tarpon...but we require more privacy ;)

gpc said...

Thank goodness he was with you -- it wouldn't hurt to get things checked out, huh? Take care of yourself, Tootie!

Gayle said...

Sorry, you had a woozie spell, but the view from your resting spot wasn't so bad. Take care of yourself. The turtles appreciate you!

Colleen said...

There are many of us who appreciate your turtle walks/cleaning the beaches. When my family & I go to the sanibel beaches, we bring our shelling tote, for our sea treasures and a garbage bag,to pick up the trash that has been left, or floating in the water.
BTW, last week when I was at Donax Beach, by the Holiday Inn, there were 2 or 3 turtle nests. Are they still there?
How about bring the water bottle with you when on patrol?

sue in mexico mo said...

Tootie! That is scary! I sometimes think about things like that when I go for my solo early morning beach walks. I'm glad Gary was able to go with you.

Ref: Trash

I noticed this visit that there was not as much litter as usual in front of Ocean's Reach or next door at Gulfside Park. However, there was much more abandoned items! How can anyone not notice that they don't have their tent, shoes, cooler, chair, etc.? And I could open a beach toy store with all the left behind plastic toys.

Drink water and be safe. . . :-)

George said...

I hope you are feeling much better now. It's amazing that so much junk is left on such a beautiful beach. What are people thinking? -- oh, I forget, they aren't thinking.

Tootie said...

Cheryl, where you stayed was next the a public beach area and it was Pointe Santo that was on the other side of the place where you stayed. That area usually doesn't acquire much litter. Sanibel Arms is on the East end of the island. Even with a public beach area on one side, that part of the beach isn't crowded at all compared to the East end. The further West you go, the more quiet.

Sue, the area where you stay, also has the City Park on one side, but usually isn't littered too much either. It helps the beaches stay a lot cleaner with the volunteers for the sea turtle program, picking up the trash, each morning. And, thanks to all of you who take time to pick up trash! :) I wish there were more people like you.

Colleen, the last time I was over there, the nests were there. :)

Thanks everyone, I am feeling better.