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Don Lewis, Massachusetts Audubon Society,
Fox Island Wildlife Management Area


Foul and Fare — 23 May 2001

Reversing a seasonal drought in one week calls for some seriously foul weather.  And when winds back out of the east and off the North Atlantic, conditions on the Cape deteriorate quickly.  Temperatures remained in the mild 50s, but raw gusty rain pelted the Land of Ooze, enticing terrapins to add another layer of mud and sleep passed their dawn wake-up call.

Yesterday, the 22nd, a single young male braved the elements.  Terrapin #1071 was propelled through the rapids at nearly dead low.  He looked a bit shell-shocked, to coin a turtle phrase, fully withdrawn inside and rather sluggish.  A strapping 6-year-old, he quickly warmed once protected from the blustery winds and returned with the incoming tide back to the sheltered safety of his paludal home.

This morning dawned with hope but little else.  As sunrise broke over Blackfish Creek, a towering rainbow stretched across the northern sky with faint promise of better days.  Yet, storm clouds soon swept in from the sea to repaint our backdrop in drizzly gray.  Unmoved by Nature’s twists and turns, turtles slept in — again.

On the brighter side, rescued hatchlings Knotch and Terry continue steady progress toward release on Thursday morning.  Knotch (left) has reached full normalcy and only awaits improved weather conditions; Terry still seems a bit affected by her severe dehydration and has taken to spending each night soaking in fresh water.  But she looks a lot better than her desiccated image as she was retrieved from the dusty Goose Pond Trail on Monday.