Warm Up 30 April 2001
A southwest breeze bathed the Land of Ooze with refreshing warmth. Blue skies and lazy clouds painted Wellfleet Bay in springtime hues. Still, few turtles have emerged from brumation. But with a string of 70°F days in the immediate forecast, its only a matter of time. One hazard surprised me as I waded the creek. So many pairs of mating horseshoe crabs have gathered in the low tide rip that it has converted the rapids into a virtual minefield.
Two male terrapins floated through the rip this morning. Number 1052 came first; an 8-year-old with perfectly pristine carapace and plastron, he tipped the scales at 222 grams and stretched to 11 centimeters long.
A few minutes later a repeat customer swam into view. Terrapin 1047, you may recall, was first observed a week ago on 23 April in the first group of turtles seen active in 2001. In the last week, he seems to have warmed up a lot and has become quite active and aggressive.
He lost 4 grams in weight with his shell peeling off its winter covering.