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Happy Monday! One of the joys of moving to a new place is exploring and learning new things. Here in coastal North Carolina there are so many awesome opportunities for exploring (check out our carnivorous plant tour I blogged about the other week). It’s cool because even though we’re only 7 hours from PA this area is totally different.

Check out who decided to chill out on our patio chairs the other day:

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He’s the only tree frog I’ve seen so far. But I have see a ton of lizards around. Usually when I walk Bodhi I see tiny lizards darting about. There’s one lizard in particular that lives in a nearby tree and he is a bright green – almost like the frog above. I see him all the time but Mike has yet to see him (so I nicknamed him Houdini). I’ll try to get a picture of him one of these days.

Another cool thing about our new area is that the local beaches are where many sea turtles come to lay eggs and nest. We even have a sea turtle hospital here, The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.

Karen Beasley Sea Turtle HospitalOne of my goals this year is to go and take a tour of the hospital. On a tour you’re able to see the turtles in rehab – and I think you can even see baby turtles!

So for the past week or two we have been making a nightly trek out to the beach in order to keep watch on a sea turtle nest that is about to hatch any day. Here is a picture of a sea turtle nest during the day:

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The wire mesh lays overtop where the eggs are buried to deter predators from digging and eating the eggs. There are volunteers who monitor and help protect all the nests along the beach.

Once they are laid sea turtle eggs take about 60 days to mature and hatch. The eggs typically hatch in the evening (8:00pm – 11:00pm) when the sand has cooled and the birds (aka predators) are roosting. Each nest holds about 120 eggs. Word spreads when a nest is getting close to the 60 day mark so people start to congregate around the nest in the evening in hopes of spotting baby sea turtles! For the past week or so we’ve gone to check up on one nest and learn about the process. Here’s one evening when we went early enough to take a picture:

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The volunteers are in the tan shirts and stand guard making sure people don’t disturb the hatching process (and they also answer a billion questions from folks like me who don’t know anything about sea turtles!). The volunteers also create a ramp-like path in order to direct the sea turtles, once they hatch, towards the ocean. Unfortunately the baby turtles didn’t hatch the night I took this picture, but we’re hoping to be there when they do!

I wish I had a better picture but this is the best one – you are not allowed to have any type of light on when you are awaiting the hatching. Sea turtles can easily become disoriented by the light which can lead them away from the sea. So that means no flashlights, no phones, and especially no flash cameras.

We’re really hoping to see a nest hatch this season not only because it’s such a cool thing to witness but also because baby sea turtles are beyond adorable! Look how cute they are in this photo—–>

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From the Karen Beasley Center

There are a total of 41 nests along our local beach so even if we end up missing this hatching we are hoping to catch another one this summer/fall!

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