Wild Weekly Photo Challenge – New Beginnings / Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge
“Nourish Beginnings, let us nourish beginnings.”
Let’s Be Wild’s Weekly Photo Challenge this week is “New Beginnings”, which reminded me of a very special memory. Each spring, on the beach at Kiawah, we are home to hundreds of loggerhead turtle nests. Mature turtles, who can live up to 60 years and weigh up to 300 pounds, crawl onto our shores to lay and bury their eggs. They are guided only by the moonlight and an amazing sense of navigation. Every morning before dawn our Turtle Patrol checks the nests to keep the eggs safe from predators, and to help any stray hatchlings make their way to the water, leading them by flashlight when necessary.
One early spring morning, I was privileged to see a single tiny creature beginning her journey. After breaking free of her egg, she struggled to the nearest clump of grass for a short rest.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Once she had regained some strength, she began the long crawl across the sand to the ocean, where she would spend the rest of her life. As soon as she started out, it became apparent that she had one misshapen flipper, and her journey would be arduous at best. Because we are not allowed to interfere with or touch the newborn turtles, we could only watch and hope.
“It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.”
Although it took her far longer than her brothers and sisters, she eventually found her way to the sea, offering us one final, backward glance before the waves swept her away. We could only hope she would someday return to build her own nest, full of tiny hatchlings beginning the next generation of lives on our welcoming shores.