Beach Report - Friday

Today was a short day at the beach - only time for an hour's walk before heading back home. But it was a great walk. I saw a sea turtle swimming in the surf. Despite all my beach time over the years, including two trips to St Croix, I've never seen a sea turtle actually swimming in the water. Well, maybe when we were in a boat once we may have passed one. But this felt like a real first, and very special.

It was an adolescent, I guess - only about two feet long, and I think a loggerhead, although I didn't get to watch it long enough to be sure. It was swimming in the surf headed toward the shore, and at first I thought it might be another ray, except the shape was wrong - the rays are triangles, and this was an oval. With arms. A turtle!

At just about 8 feet from me, it stuck it's head out of the water to breathe. It had a beaky nose. Then it went back under and swam parallel to the shore before heading back out to sea - coming up for air a few more times. There had been storms during the night and conditions were not too rough but rolling waves close together - which might have pushed the turtle toward the shore. Normally they land at night, and then to lay eggs. So I don't think it meant to be where it was, and it moved on fairly soon. The whole episode, from the time I noticed it until I couldn't see it any more, took about ten minutes.

I think what I like best about the whole wildlife at the beach experience is that I am reminded again and again that there is a whole world out there that I (we) don't know about. We're not experiencing it, that world doesn't show up on our newsfeeds or CNN (the oil gusher notwithstanding). Every day all sorts of creatures are living and doing their thing and we're not part of it. It happens without us, and even in spite of us sometimes. I think that's good.

I am back home now. And glad to be with my family and my cat and my rabbit and to sleep in my bed and all that. It's good to get away and it's good to be home.