be sure to check out Joan's latest on her website:

be sure to check out Joan's latest on her website: http://www.joanhilty.net/ (usually she updates her blog every Sunday evening but she can and will surprise you) **Special Note: all of Joan's archives are now up--almost ten years of 'bitter girl.' As Joan says, go wild!**

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The First Blog

As you can see by my picture, I like to walk on the beach. This is my thing. I have other things that I do, but this is the primary one. I also have a camera and a tripod and I know how to use both, so I am armed and dangerous.
Why am I doing this? I'm glad I asked me that. I asked a question on a website of a literary agency where I am trying to solicit a reading of my latest completed novel, and to do that, I had to sign up here. I don't really expect anything to come of this, and even if nobody ever reads this but me, it'll be all right. Because right now I don't have much else to do but wait.
And go to the beach, of course. I just returned and I got some sun but no video of baby sea turtles. This is my latest chimera--the elusive baby sea turtle hatchlings as they make their way from the nest into the ocean.
I saw two baby sea turtles on Sunday morning but didn't have the camera with me. This is because I took the camera into the water with me on Saturday and I got knocked over by a large wave that threw me down into the surf. The force of this shock sent tiny grains of sand into the lens cover of my waterproof camera where they remained jammed, until I figured out on Monday how to get them out of there. Murphy's law again, but at least I figured this out on my own so I didn't have to send the camera back to Olympus for however long they would have taken to figure out what I did. Problem solved.
But back to the baby sea turtles on Sunday--even though I have no video to share, I did save one little sea turtle's life. He or she was being pecked by seagulls who had decided that this baby sea turtle constituted breakfast, or a reasonable equivalent thereof. I duly informed such seagulls that not only wasn't this little guy breakfast--all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding--neither was he brunch. The seagulls were not pleased at all, but this is by the way, life must go on and all that happy kind of malarkey. I report with pride that this baby sea turtle made it into the wide blue Atlantic Ocean in one piece and swimming like a champ.
But sadly I am forced to report that baby sea turtles that get into the water all by themselves have the odds stacked against them. Allow me by way of anecdotal illustration to explain why. The one video that I do have of a single baby sea turtle swimming out into the water was shot by me risking limb, if not life itself, to get it. After I followed the sea turtle out as far as I thought safe or prudent, I started swimming back into shore, as by this time, I was in water over my head. Since I can tread water with just my legs, this wasn't a problem.
The problem manifested itself in a fairly large manta ray that swam by me on my way out of the water. I did not panic as I am aware such predators will usually leave you alone as long as you leave them alone. But once on dry land, a three-foot shark appeared in the water, followed by another. Soon it became obvious that in calm, relatively clear water, even a single baby sea turtle can attract all types of attention. Which is why sea turtle nests have a tendency to hatch out all at once--which gives at least some of the little guys a fighting chance to get past all the dangers that lie in wait for them in the water--once they've gotten past all the predators that seek to eat them before they even make it into the ocean.
All of which goes to show you that life for sea turtles can be dangerous, as it can for human beings. There will be more on this and other subjects in the future, but right now some Parmesan steak fries are calling my name from the kitchen, and this is a siren song I cannot ignore. I have finally figured out how to post the sea turtle video taken on the morning with the sharks and rays that I mentioned--this was taken just before I saw the manta ray upon my exit from the ocean.
video

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