Friday, August 23, 2019

Turtles For All

My wife mentioned to me they were releasing a turtle on Higgs Beach and as I was in town off I went. To join several milling dozens of my closest neighbors who also had the same idea.
I saw the turtle en route to the event meandering along back streets. In the event they started the show precisely on time.
To give you an idea of how many people were there I never even noticed my friend Robert in his usual public garb  (he has been noticed at city commission meetings too) but according to an Instagram account I follow he was there:
You had to pick your section of beach with care if you were there  just to catch a few rays:
I put myself in ...a strategic position with the sun at my back and waited
....and watched, noting the purpose built t-shirt, ready for the event scheduled for kick off at 9:30 yesterday:
And at 9:33 there was a frisson in the crowd as word rippled through the assembled masses that the star of the show had appeared.
And equally promptly recording devices of all kinds also popped up, including my FZ1000:
This was no iPhone Fest, this was an event that called out the pros who got ringside seats, as they should:
The able volunteers in lime green shorts  lined the route to the sea:
We were addressed, somewhat inaudibly by a representative of the Turtle Hospital, and as WS Gilbert described the Lord High Executioner in a very different stirring tale, was:
A personage of noble rank and title —
A dignified and potent officer
Whose functions are particularly vital!
She was surrounded by young people pushed forward by their parents to see a turtle before it was released. As far as I could tell they were the only ones that could see it as it waited for some peace and quiet at their feet.
It was hot work standing in the sun in one million degrees. On Wednesday the surgeon pronounced me 100 percent fit once again was very nice but I took my cane onto the sand a s a precaution. I was happy to note I could stand and walk on the treacherous surface with no problem.
On and on it went:
Public radio/media was there a callow  youth in button down shirt and long pants looking like he'd lost his business meeting:
And off they went down the beach hauling the rehabbed turtle. I learned on my recent visit to the turtle hospital just how rough it is for them. One in one thousand turtles lives a full adult life. 
I have no idea what happened here, I just spotted the detritus neatly laid out as the masses swarmed to the tide line:
Yup, there's a turtle out there. It popped up and down at random for a while a while and each time they clapped.
I saw the creature with a radio transponder strapped to ts back like a lunch box  for the new pupil on a field trip. But I failed miserably at this wildlife photography test.
We stared at the water for a while...
... and it occurred to me there was a better place to watch from next time, if there is a next time.
Or you could perch like the disinterested  seagulls on the remains of the seawall off Higgs Beach:
To actually see a turtle: