Sunday, April 10, 2011

Summer at the Reserve...already?

At about 90 degrees on the beach this afternoon, it sure FELT like summer, though some of those crisp blue April days may still be ahead of us. The surf was relatively flat today but the ever-optimistic surfers waited for the occasional gift the ocean and wind might combine to deliver...and there were a few.

On Friday afternoon, we watched a big gopher tortoise sunning herself (himself?) just to the north of the North Lot walkover. Today, Sunday, we watched an unusually large crowd of beachgoers and perhaps even a few porpoises, catching waves with the surfers. The North Atlantic Right Whale season is coming to an end and the Reserve prepares for the nesting season of several amazing kinds of sea turtles, who generally begin to arrive in May.
As we all get ready for the turtle season, visitors are reminded to fill in any holes they dig. We make sand castles and walls of sand and dig into the coquina for shark teeth and metal, and it's FUN. But the holes we leave behind may not be evenly filled in by the changing tides, and when they're not they may become obstacles or even death traps for turtles, especially babies, on their hard-wired, hazardous and determined trip from sand to sea. Something to keep in mind.

Couple of other things:
GTM Resarch Reserve and Anastastia Mosquito Control are conducting an interactive program about Florida mosquitos: life cycles, habitats, diseases and methods of control and protection, on April 30, from 9 am to 1 pm at the Reserve's Education Center. For more info, contact the Reserve at 904.823.4500.

And one more note about Turtle Season: an opportunity to make a real difference for these precious local denizens: GTM Research Reserve is having a beach clean-up as a welcome home party. This is also scheduled for April 30 from 8 - 11 am, and registration is requested. For more info, please call the Reserve's Environmental Education Center at 904.823.4500.

Ready, everybody?

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