Colors of Summer
“In every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.”
This week my husband and I had a beautiful stroll along Kiawah’s beach and were surprised to find that many of the island’s summer visitors had already arrived. Our beach is never very crowded but we had plenty of company on our walk. There were swimmers, surfers, bicyclists, sun-worshippers and families with children all along the way. The thing that most got my attention though, was the myriad of colors everywhere I looked – especially after the drab browns and grays of winter.
“The month of June trembled like a butterfly.”
We passed many a colorful scene like the one above. I found myself wondering whether the holes were meant to lead one to the water, or to dig to some foreign part of the world! (I don’t know about you but I remember as a child being told that if you dug deep enough you’d reach China 😊).
“The island is ours. Here, in some way, we are young forever.”
We came upon a group of children gathered around a net filled with sea creatures. It turned out they were all being home-schooled and as part of their curriculum they’d been brought to the beach to learn about the various animals within the sea, the importance of the tides, the ecology of the dunes and many other of the important aspects of our oceans and beaches. They had a teacher with them as well as many of the moms. One of them told us that in addition to the lessons they were learning, it was a great way to add socialization to a group of individuals that normally study alone at home.
“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”
I would be remiss if I didn’t include the bright orange of our Loggerhead Turtle nesting signs. Each summer, Kiawah’s beach serves as a nesting area for the huge (up to 350 lbs) mama loggerheads who come ashore to lay their eggs. Each nest typically holds 100-150 eggs, which incubate in the warm sand for about 2 months. Once the eggs are buried the mothers return to the sea. Their tiny offspring will most often hatch in the pre-dawn hours. In addition to keeping meticulous records, Kiawah’s Turtle patrols protect the nests from predators like birds, coyotes and foxes. Once nest activity is observed, they are there with flashlights in the pre-dawn hours to guide the little ones to the water. Loggerheads are an endangered species and the patrol’s incredible commitment has increased the ratio of successful hatchings from 2% per nest to an average of 70%. In 2017 there were a total of 354 nests so clearly the results are well worth their efforts.
For those of us in the US, welcome to summer. Here’s to warm sun, cool breezes and no big storms!
All photos created with iPhone 8+