Monday, September 01, 2008
Gustav and Mother Nature
After seeing such huge waves in the Gulf this morning, I headed out to our 7/11 nest to check on it as soon as there was a break in the weather and the tornado warnings lifted. I had talked to Kirsten, our Traveling Turtle Girl, this morning and learned she relocated the 7/11 nest back into the edge of the dunes yesterday afternoon. That gave me hope it had survived Hurricane Gustav's assault on the beach.
I was terribly disappointed when I arrived to find water had swept over the nest and a huge piling had washed up, knocked down some of the stakes, and plopped itself right on top of the nest!
The 'Do Not Disturb' sign was knocked over, half covered with sand and obviously washed over at some point.
The waves were high, though not so much as earlier.
Still, the waves were running all the way to the edge of the storm-tossed piling again -- at least they were not flowing past or over it.
Kirsten is on her way to check on all the Pensacola Beach nests - she never rests! Hopefully she will be able to give us an update this evening on her blog and let us know if this nest (and others) can possibly survive or if all the eggs are lost.
If there is a silver lining to the situation, it is that this has been a fantastic year for our sea turtles, 'til now. Many people were able to observe the hatching process or be involved in releases which resulted in a growing passion to help save these amazing little creatures.
With all the new volunteers to help monitor the nests and people like Kirsten who are teaching us more about the turtles and how to increase their odds of survival, perhaps we have made a difference this year. Maybe that 1 in 10,000 sea turtle who makes it back to Pensacola Beach to nest in twenty years or so will be one we helped guide to the Gulf.
"Human judges can show mercy. But against the laws of nature, there is no appeal. "
~~ Arthur C. Clarke