Along the eastern Florida coast from April to September, huge sea turtles make their way onto the beach late at night to lay their eggs, cover the nest, and then return to the ocean waves before the sun rises in the east. When this season begins, the beaches come alive at night, busily walked by families and folks of all ages, watching for the sea turtles to wash up in the waves and head for the beach for a night of egg laying. When we lived on the Space Coast, this became a fun evening adventure for our crew, and we learned so much about these gorgeous animals.
Armed with things that varied from insect repellent to flashlights, we packed up and headed for the beach. And we were never disappointed, even if the sea turtles took the night off! We learned important things, such as how beautiful the water was at night as the moon rose, and how the waves would absolutely glow when a bottle rocket was fired into the surf. You’ll just have to trust me on that one.
When the turtles did show up, we had great lessons in patience and turtle anatomy, along with lessons on leaving the turtles and their nests alone. Later in the summer, we would return to these places and watch newly hatched baby turtles struggle for the surf to begin the cycle all over again. These were priceless lessons on just how fragile life is and what it means to be stewards of this earth.