So, I am guest blogging at Latina.com from now until Earth Day about my efforts to be more green. There will be new posts every Wednesday and Monday about my successes and failures along the way to walking a little more lightly on the earth. I hope you’ll go check it out and leave your thoughts and suggestions!
** The pictures are from a trip to Trinidad that I took with students a few years ago where we were working on protecting the endangered Leatherback Sea Turtle population. Leatherbacks are absolutely beautiful– and an incredibly old species. They lay eggs from May to August and those eggs are born 90 days later. Our job was to patrol the beach at night (from 7:30 pm until as late as 3 am) looking for nesting turtles and scurrying babies (and as a deterrent to poachers who hunted Leatherbacks for years and are a large reason the population so drastically declined). We would check the nesters for any injuries and tag and microchip them (If they hadn’t already been tagged and microchipped) so that researchers could keep up with them and measure the growth or decline of the population. We counted the babies and then made sure they made it to water (it’s important for them to take themselves to water as they imprint, if you will, their location as they do. Leatherbacks largely return to the beaches of their birth to nest). And Leatherbacks can nest as many as six or so times each season. When they lay their eggs (which are the size of billiard balls), they go into a trance-like state. Their eyes cover over with tear-like matter to protect their eyes from sand while they dig. It’s really a very powerful and humbling thing to watch.