Folly’s 2013 sea turtle season has been over for about 60 days and we’re finally slowing the celebration down, getting the final numbers posted, and beginning to think about next year, which, with a new sand nourishment project taking place, will be quite different from this year.
Our final 2013 inventories (pictured) added a few more successes to the nest and hatchling counts. Loggerhead sea turtles laid 108 nests on Folly Beach — a significant record-breaking total. 105 of the nests produced over 9,000 hatchlings; eggs in the other 3 nests didn’t develop. We lost no nests to tidal or storm inundation, or predation. Quite amazing.
Thank you all for your support on the beach and from afar. We truly appreciate your interest, your donations, and your sharing of the very compelling spirit of the natural world that the turtles bring to us all.
While we human critters usually think of solid ground as home, Folly’s turtles only visit land briefly to nest, become hatchlings, and race to their primary home — the ocean. Seems a bit foreign and scary to us, but oh, so natural to a tiny sea turtle.
The ocean never looks quite so HUGE as it does when we watch the strong, deliberate crawls that these two-inch wonders take as they face their first swim and head home.
“extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear.”
We’re sad that Gene passed away today, but his “mark” on Folly Beach in support of nesting sea turtles will be forever in our hearts as his story is shared with a smile and deep gratitude.
In Judi’s words …
Gene lived on the west side and prior to his illness, walked the beach every morning. When West End volunteers arrived at the beach at the crack of dawn, Gene had already walked to the end of the beach and was on his way home, always waving with a smile on his face and stopping to talk about the season or new nests he had seen. When we arrived at a fresh nest, there would often be large arrows in the sand pointing toward the tracks … just to make sure we didn’t miss them … and frequently the tracks would be labeled “in” and “out.”
Link to Post&Courier obituary published 08/27/13
Maybe the last of 2013? That’s what we keep thinking with each new arrival. Nesting USUALLY ends around mid-August and calendar-wise, we’re there.
But this season has been FULL of surprises.
Juanita’s discovery of Nest 108 was a very nice surprise for sure! With the help of Linda B, 91 eggs were moved from its beautifully shaped, flat beach position to a higher spot on a well-protected rise. Even the “weeble” egg (oval) should be safe in its new home.
Thanks to Teri and Juanita for the great photos of what MAY BE the last nest of 2013.
A “tracks alert” from CC sent Becky to the rescue of Nest 106 just before the high tide. Becky quickly found and relocated 88 eggs from the way-too-wet-and-low site to a much better one about a half mile away. Nest 106 should do very well in its new home.
Happily, Charlotte and Tim found Nest 107 in a great location — no relocation necessary. That’s the best situation, but one we don’t get to enjoy very often.
First thought to be a false crawl, this “classic dune nest” put the Crew to the test. Susie’s watchfulness and Sherry and Linda G’s efforts enabled Shannon to find the eggs in the center of a walkover between buried steps. How these turtles manage to find these spots and accomplish their mission is a continuing marvel.
Allowing the nest to remain in situ in the walking path will put the house guests to the test, but the Avocet company supported the Momma Turtle’s claim and is advising the renters to use an alternate beach access. Fantastic! Thank you, Shannon and Amanda, for helping that to happen, and thank you, Avocet, for your good example!
Allison joyfully gave all the credit to Carrie for finding and relocating the 109 eggs laid in Folly’s 104th nest of the season. Great job, Carrie!
Susan’s discovery of Nest 103 resulted in the relocation of its 96 eggs to a better site for successful hatchling development.
Hatchings are occurring everywhere it seems. If you encounter a hatchling in the daytime (any time really), we’d like to know about it. Please call Public Safety to report it — 843-588-2433. Thanks for your help!
If you’re waiting for inventories to be scheduled, please bear with us. We’re having to do some “behind the scenes” just to stay caught up. We’ll have another announced gathering soon. Thanks for your patience.
Three inventories are scheduled for Wednesday, August 7th. We’ll begin at 7 p.m. in the following order:
Nest 12 at 503 East Arctic
Nest 29 at 710 East Arctic
Nest 15 at 1115 East Arctic
Hope to see you on the beach!