Archive for February, 2010

Tale of Two Turtle Journals, South Versus North

Monday, February 8th, 2010

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Royal Terns Savor Gulf Coast Sunshine in Naples

One half of the Turtle Journal team researches the “beach scene” along the Gulf Coast of Southwest Florida.  Regal visitors such as these royal terns flock to the warm sands of Vanderbilt Beach in February.  Shores abound in variety and vibrancy.

Contrasting with southerly vistas of glistening sands and bountiful wildlife in Florida, the other half of the Turtle Journal team slogs through jumbles of ice floes that clog bayside estuaries of Outer Cape Cod.  January Wolf Moon tides piled multi-ton ice slabs onto the marsh like too generous servings of IHOP pancakes.

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Ice Floes Clog Loagy Bay in South Wellfleet, Cape Cod

Today’s posting compares visual vignettes from the two research sites: a Dickensian Tale of Two Journals. 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair …

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Tropical Coconut Washes Ashore on Gulf Coast

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Ice Clogged Inside “Elbow” of Cape Cod Bay

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Stone Crab on Vanderbilt Beach

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Arctic-Like Conditions at Point of Rocks, Brewster

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Southwest Florida Horseshoe Crab

Turtle Journal Discovers Loggerhead Sea Turtle on Gulf Coast Beach

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

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Loggerhead Sea Turtle on Vanderbilt Beach in Naples

During the Turtle Journal beach patrol this morning in Southwest Florida, Sue Wieber Nourse found a sub-adult loggerhead sea turtle that had washed ashore with the high tide on Vanderbilt Beach in Naples.  This animal, covered with barnacles, likely is a remnant of the massive cold-stunning event that hit the Florida coast in January.

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SW Florida Loggerhead Sea Turtle

The stranded animal was reported to appropriate authorities by Turtle Journal through the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples.

Cellphone Video of Stranded Florida Loggerhead

Other fun beach treasures found on the Turtle Journal morning patrol include the following.

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SW Florida “Mermaid Purse” Skate Sac

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SW Florida Sea Star

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SW Florida Fossilized Seashell

Weekly Reader Spotlights Turtle Journal Research

Friday, February 5th, 2010

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Whelk from Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts

Weekly Reader, which has been publishing educational material for children for more than a century, spotlighted Turtle Journal research on whelks in two of its recent news magazines. 

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Channeled Whelk Egg Casing from Cape Cod Bay

Photographs of channeled whelk casings, many of which were originally posted on Turtle Journal, appeared in Issue 14, Volume 18 of the Weekly Reader Senior Edition on January 22nd, 2010, as well as the same issue and volume of Edition 3 magazine.

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Channel Whelk Egg Cases

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Size of Channeled Whelk Egg Case in Centimeters

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Baby Channeled Whelks in Egg Case

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Baby Channeled Whelks under Microscopic Examination

Turtle Journal Arrives in Southwest Florida

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

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White Ibis

The Turtle Journal team arrived in Naples, Florida this afternoon for an annual update of our research observations along the southwest Florida coastline.  As the journal awaits the latest research material to arrive from the south, the moment seems ripe to reflect on the marvelously varied and colorful wildlife of the Gulf area.

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Brown Pelican

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Juvenile Alligator

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Snail Shell and Sand Dollar

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Gopher Tortoise on the Ritz Carlton Beach

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Assortment of Shells from Vanderbilt Beach

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Royal Tern

Next week at this time the Turtle Journal will begin posting results of this year’s expedition to the Sunshine State.