We've never seen the hatching because we are never here in the heat of summer. They hatch 60 days after being laid, which would be in July. Not good weather for people! This one anyway.
The Turtle Patrol people return to each nest at its expected time of hatching, however, to make sure the little ones are able to dig their way to the surface (and help them if they are not able), and to get them headed toward the sea.
Sanibel is a special place. I grew up spending summers at Englewood and Longboat Key, just up the road from you a bit. There were miles and miles of white beach back then with hardly another human in sight. Lots of great family memories!
Why do you say that, htmb? Sanibel, thanks to the foresight of its citizens and local government, has remained almost 70% nature preserves, and there are no high rises above 4 or 5 stories. Many neighborhoods maintain natural vegetation, though there certainly are exotic tropical gardens as well.
There is NOT ONE SINGLE STOPLIGHT on the island, and the widest road is 2 lanes. (Sometimes during "rush hour" a traffic cop is posted at the four way stop near the end of the causeway to keep things moving smoothly.)
Yes, during high season, mainly February and March, it can get kind of crowded, but there are fewer than 4000 homes on the whole island. (More accommodations in condos and motels and cottage resorts for the transient visitors.)
The island is essentially "built out" except for the preserved land which cannot be developed. So it will stay more or less the same as it is now.
The vegetation has largely recovered since Hurricane Charley on August 13, 2004, though the Casuarinas = Australian Pines that fell in the storm have not been replanted, and those that remain are gradually being removed because of the hazard this shallow-rooted species presents during tropical storms. So if you remember the tunnel-like Periwinkle Way from your last visit, you might not recognize the place.
Sounds like it's time for a return visit, htmb. Just come during a shoulder-season month (Nov, Dec, April, May) to experience the island at it's finest.
Kimby, I'm glad to hear the island has been protected. It sounds like it still retains a beautiful, natural "old Florida" landscape. With 70% of the island protected, how lucky for you to live there.
I was born and raised in Tampa. The last time I was in Sanibel was 1974, and there was hardly anyone there. The Fort Myers area was small and undeveloped, also. To a kid just out of college, it looked like the back side of nowhere. Interstate 75 didn't even go that far. Now, as a mature adult, I'd give anything to be able to enjoy more undeveloped areas in Florida like Sanibel.
I spent much of my adult life on Longboat Key until I just couldn't stand the development or high rises anymore and we sold our old Florida cottage. So, you are right. Maybe I do need to make a trip to Sanibel, but with the publicity you have just received many more folks may also want to visit, too.
Kimby, this morning I read an article in our north Florida newspaper about a young, male bear captured June 20, on Sanibel Island. Are you familiar with the story?
It seems the bear swam across from Ft. Myers and, after it began appearing in more populated areas of Sanibel, it was captured and relocated 200 miles north to Hernando County (north of Tampa).
The bear then worked his way down to north Tampa where he was spotted on the University of South Florida campus, and later captured INSIDE Busch Gardens. Wildlife officers captured him again and have transported the bear to the Apalachicola area where there are over a million acres of bear habitat.
In all seriousness Kimby, this is such a wonderful place. I've not had occasion to go there but have heard from many people just how beautiful a place it is. Your photos chronicling this are gorgeous and makes me so homesick for a seaside retreat. Thanks for sharing this wonderful place with us.