Ailsa’s theme for this week is beaches, and I am blessed to have spent a large part of the past dozen years along the beaches of Central and South America. This post reflects the rewards of visiting the beach in the magical hours at the beginning and end of each day.
The ocean often tosses more than driftwood on the beaches.
During one rainy season at Playa San Miguel Costa Rica, the resident marine biologist flagged me down about an hour before sunset, “Lisa! There’s a turtle nesting!”
Jeff gave me directions and immediately dashed away. I abandoned my task, grabbed my camera and dashed after him! I had been patrolling the beach at night with the ‘turtle patrol’ and had captured a few sea turtles at dawn, but had yet to catch one in good light.
Most sea turtles nest beneath the cloak of darkness, but this lady was anxious to play her role in propagating her species! A small crowd gathered and watched in hushed silence as she operated in trance mode, dug her nest, laid her eggs, covered them, camouflaged the nest, then returned to the sea.
Wanting to catch that egg-dropping moment, I sprawled out at sand level and focused on the dark pit beneath the turtle.
“Lisa….” he warned.
“I know,” I smiled, “It will be worth it..”
About that time the turtle’s flipper slung a cloud of sand in my face – and in the camera’s.
We all laughed, and yes, I got some great photos!
Every so often the camera goes into an in/out/in/out/in/out mode and then says, ‘Remove lens cap and push any button.”
The years are magically wiped away, and I am again at Playa San Miguel and witnessing a primal event so sacred that it was worth risking my camera!
At times a camera shop corrects the problem, and all is fine until Life decides to remind me of that mystical evening when I had the honor of being baptized with beach sand by an olive ridley sea turtle!
After the turtle returned to her rightful place in the sea, and the sun sank beyond the horizon, an explosion of color ignited the sky. There was no doubt that I was exactly where I was meant to be at that hour!
Thank you, Mother Nature!
For more information about the decline of the olive ridleys, see The Red-Light District and A Fragile Balance.
See more beach scenes at Alisa’s Travel Theme Beaches.
Have a good weekend, amigos!
PS.. Dear Doris just posted one about baby turtles as well! http://miartedoris.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/sea-turtle-release-south-padre-island/