I have always loved reptiles and amphibians. Their little faces are so cute. They seem to be tiny dinosaurs. They have personality. Quit running from them and make friends.
My favorite part of my visit to Florida was not the gardens. It was my time spent at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Palm Beach County. Maybe I should be turtlealley.
This organization was started by a Eleanor Fletcher decades ago. She noticed turtle hatchlings heading toward land instead of seaward. She studied sea turtles and started teaching classes.
Now this nonprofit is located at Juno Beach which is considered the most active nesting beach in the world. The dark dots on the map are nests of different species of turtles.
I was surrounded by passionate turtle lovers there. Many were volunteers.
The recovering turtles had names. Each one’s medical history and progress were known by the workers. They stood by the tanks and talked about each patient like it was a friend.
I saw several turtles get shots.
One big guy was loaded onto a stretcher
and taken inside to be treated and given an IV.
I felt like I was in a well-run Emergency Room. It’s a miracle!!!
Many of the patients had been found stranded by an ailment or injury.
One had gorged himself on shells and was bloated with fragments. They showed the bottles of fragments.
Another had a hole clear through its carapace that needed mending.
The saddest one of all was so sick that it stopped swimming, so that barnacles and other epibiota grew on its back and weighed it down.
It is a great place for school children to go visit. They will care more about turtles because they actually know some.
I really did not want to leave, but the bunnies would not like it if I hadn’t come home.
Creatures great and small, the FLOWER loves them all.