Monday, May 2, 2016

Shady Palm & Sea Turtle Rescue

Shady Palm
plein air oil  8" x 6"
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$100.00 + $10. s/h
Paintings From Mexico

This is another palm tree from the garden of our hotel in Barra de Potosi, Mexico.  It provided just a little bit of shade where I was able to stand and paint.

Down the beach and road from Barra was the area called Playa Blanca.  Late one afternoon/early evening we went to the Ayoticalli Turtle Rescue Center.  It's run by volunteers who comb the 6 mile stretch of beach at night looking for turtle eggs.  They protect the eggs until they hatch.  Almost every day from 5 - 6 they give a lecture on the preservation of turtles, the plight of the baby turtles and why conservation is important.  Then, everyone at the lecture participates in the release of that day's baby turtles who have recently hatched and are ready for their journey into the ocean.  Of 2,500 babies released, maybe 5 will live to come back to lay eggs on this same beach where they were born.  On average, 1 in 1,000 of the babies that make it to the water survive.

Here are some of the photos we took of our release:

Eggs are carefully collected by volunteers at night preventing them from being eaten by birds and crabs.  They are then buried in this protected, fenced environment until they hatch.  A female turtle lays about 80 - 100 eggs which she buries in the sand before returning to the sea.  Turtles have an incubation period of about 2 months.

New born babies are carefully removed from under the inverted and cut plastic bottles (seen in the sand in the first picture) where they were buried.  That days' new borns are put into a bucket, then each visitor is given one baby which we carried to the shore in a tiny plastic bowl.

Once at the shore, we released all of the babies and watched as they made their way to the ocean.  Sea turtles are born with the instinct to move toward the brightest direction.  On a natural beach, this direction is the light of the open horizon.  Sea turtles (those few who survive) can live 40 - 60 years.

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