Happy Earth Day one and all.
On a somewhat related note, Em and I decided to check out a state park this past weekend that’s just a few miles up the road, MacArthur Park. We had been tossing the idea around for a handful of weeks, as we had heard that the beaches there were supposed to be incredible and we were also interested in doing some kayaking. So we took some time on Sunday afternoon and signed up to be “patrons” – basically a year long membership that includes entrance to the park and free kayak rental (get there early, they get checked out fast!).
I never feel bad about doing stuff like that…even if it’s a little bit of an investment up front (and honestly it’s not even much), you know that the money is going towards a good cause. I’ll certainly throw in my membership money to help maintain a state park and really neat area. And plus, we really only have to kayak about 5 times over the next year in order to have our membership pay for itself – so beyond doing the right thing, it really does make sense financially!
While there, we ended up seeing one of the park rangers feed her fish….and a baby loggerhead sea turtle! She was extremely knowledgeable about all of the fish, and it was pretty neat to see how she had created environments for them using pumps to bring in water from the actual estuary in order to maintain the integrity of the system. (Although even with her paying such careful attention to detail with the environment, it is still illegal for her to release them back into the wild because of possible bacteria and other problems that could be introduced in the natural habitat….a lot of areas are having trouble exactly because people are releasing their fish that they no longer want back into the wild.)
But for whatever reason, Em and I really enjoy sea turtles and seeing the feeding of the loggerhead turtle that was the highlight for us. The little guy that she had was part of a gender experiment, but he didn’t make it out to sea like some of his other little buddies. So he was rescued and will be tagged and released when he reaches an appropriate size (about 45 centimeters in shell length). We asked if he would make it in the wild after being in captivity, and she said that they have been doing this for a fairly long time now, and the turtles seem to do just fine after being released in the wild. She also told us that even after being raised in captivity and then released in the wild, the turtle will know exactly which beach to go to in order to lay eggs. Pretty neat! Apparently turtles have crystals in their heads that sense electromagnetic forces and other environmental factors that act as “nature’s gps system” and will lead them to lay their eggs on the same beaches that they hatched on.
Oh, and yes, the beaches were very pretty. They seemed secluded and less commercial than what we normally go to…a nice change of pace. So while the kayaks were already checked out, we will be sure to head back a little earlier next time!
[Yes, my wife beat me to the punch again on this one…]