The Ides in Ooze Sunday 15 October 2000
Beware the Ides of October? Nonsense. The Land of Ooze embraces fall, tourist free, striper rich, and color full. Requiting October reciprocated with a perfect autumnal bouquet this weekend.
As temperatures climbed, I thought the moment ripe to release the maturing hatchlings from Nest 177 discovered on 12 October. They were bathed and warmed and maggot free, ready to join their siblings and cousins in the rich nursery habitat of the south Lieutenant Island marshes. After release at the wrack line, they scurried neath patens cover and quickly disappeared from sight.
The mutts and I patrolled the shoreline in forlorn hope of finding
a last nest of the season.
Nest 178 opened two-thirds up the west sandy slope of Turtle Point. We had scoured this area yesterday and did not observe the opening. Hand-excavation revealed 11 fresh egg shells from which hatchlings had emerged and escaped into the marsh. As I gently lifted each fragment from the chamber, I detected that very familiar rustling in the sand. At the absolute bottom of the nest, Hatchling 89 emerged rear first from her shell.
Weighing 4 grams and measuring 2.6 centimeters carapace length, she soon gained her footing, eager to join her siblings in freedom. So the Land of Ooze was twice blessed by Octobers Ides: great weather and great promise of good things to come for diamondback terrapins at the edge of their universe.