The Last Terrapins 17 October 2000
Parents experience it, or so I've been told. I guess it shouldn't be a surprise that terrapin researchers share the same emotional letdown, or at least this turtleman does. At noon today I released the final three hatchlings from the lab, and chances are high they'll be the last terrapins seen in the Land of Ooze until late April. The next cycle of new moon tides, beginning around the 25th of October, will offer an outside opportunity to observe a turtle or two which may be seduced out of its warm, mucky bed by mild temperatures.
I jeeped the hatchlings across the causeway to Lieutenant Island and carried them to the nursery marshes off Turtle Point. As the mutts and I walked along the wrack line, we noticed the nesting slopes had been hit by predators yesterday. The hillside was pocked with digs. Luckily for our beloved terrapins, these critters attacked nests that had hatched or been excavated the last couple of weeks, so no babies were lost. I guess turtle scent must linger in the ground even after the hatchlings and their egg fragments have been removed.
Released at mid-tide near the wrack line,
. . . and disappeared in a New York minute.
Picture perfect, Wellfleet's marshes settle into