Thursday, May 28, 2009

frogs, turtles and NC shells

I wasn't scheduled for patrol last night, so instead I went with Maureen and a few other interns on an amphibian survey. We stopped at a series of 8 locations around the island and sat for five minutes at each spot to listen to and identify any calls. According to Maureen it was a quiet night, but we heard at least three different species of frogs and toads. All of us enjoyed the ride and we got to check out a few new spots, like the pond behind the village's community garden. But of the eight my favorite was the Gator Overlook because we saw Bob, a six foot gator, and a ton of yellow bellied sliders.

This morning I woke up for 7am patrol (barely...) and headed out with Eric in order to give Brett, the sea turtle biologist, a morning off. While we didn't find any real turtles it was a pleasant and fruitful patrol in its own way.

Some kiddo left this turtle for us to find and while it's not quite the same as a nesting female it was fun to find. We also found a couple beautiful whelk shells.

Later this afternoon someone called the conservancy from the marina to say there was a small green sea turtle floating around. All the interns were in a short training session, but we were so excited about finally seeing a live sea turtle that we were let out long enough to take a trip to pick the little guy up. It was exciting to see a little juvenile green and even though the poor thing was covered with barnacles and tons of tiny shrimp he kicked when picked up and I think with rehab will be fine.

Since Maureen had to make an impromptu run to the mainland with the green in order to pass him off to another biologist the rest of our afternoon training schedule was thrown off (another kayaking trip, I know, rough), so we have had the night off. Today was a beautiful day so I took a long bike ride and walked on the beach to look for shells. There are so many species of bivalves and crabs native to North Carolina that are new to me, so I really enjoy picking up new shells like the olives, mermaid's toenails, augers and angelwings.

Today the interns also had pie eating contest try-outs take one. As it turns out, at the 4th of July there is a pie eating contest and last year the BHIC intern team beat out the island's fire department team. Needless to say there has been a lot of talk between teams since and the BHIC staff is already encouraging us to form a team. So, the BHIC executive director Dr. Dorsey bought a couple pies and today the bravest of the interns tried their hand (or belly) at eating pie. Fast. Really fast. This was the before picture.

The after was way messy.

More tomorrow.

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