Ridley

While in Puerto Vallarta, we participated in one of the most wonderful, worthwhile and fun Eco-system projects imaginable…the releasing of Olive ridley sea turtles!

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Cute, isn’t he (or she)? In brief detail, here is what takes place. For months prior to December the females come ashore to bury their eggs (called clutches) and then return to the ocean. A clutch can have anywhere from fifty to two hundred eggs. Average is around 125 eggs per clutch. The Olive ridley is listed as vulnerable whereas it’s cousin the Kemp ridley (Atlantic ocean turtle) is on the endangered list. Both turtles lay their eggs in the same beaches where they were born…some 13 years after birth. Isn’t God’s design grand?!

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Biologists comb the beaches at night (when most mothers come ashore) and find the clutch hole covered with sand. The biologist then digs up the eggs and places them in a container and reburies them in a secured fenced area set aside for this purpose. Each clutch of eggs has a marker telling the date found, quantity and expected date to hatch (average is 45 days). The enclosed area looks like a cemetery with rows of markers. But instead of death, there will be life. We stayed at a Marriott hotel which has been participating in this effort for fifteen years. In fact, all across the globe, Marriott does similar rescues where endangered species abound.

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In America, only trained biologists can let the turtles go. They quarantine the nest and monitor it until the turtles hatch, and then they secure the path to the sea. Padre Island is one of the most highly populated areas for sea turtle eggs. Perhaps that is why in the USA the turtles on the Atlantic side are secured because they are endangered. I don’t know about the procedure along the Pacific beaches in America. Regardless, to hold one or two of these little guys in your hands and then let them and race (slowly) to the ocean is spell-binding. We are told only 2% of all sea turtles make it to adulthood which is at least ten years old. Some can live up to one hundred years. An average adult sea turtle can lay from one to three clutches per year. Times that by hundreds of thousands and the 2% doesn’t seem so minimal. Nevertheless, with man and nature vying for the same territory, endangerment is always a possibility. We are so grateful to Marriott for this program and for Mexico allowing anyone to participate. FYI-the sandy hands are a requirement. Before anyone can handle  one of these little guys, they must scrub their hands with wet sand to eliminate any type of lotion or foreign substance from their hands.

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How many do you think are in this large container?

Up a Tree

We returned from Mexico (please see previous post) two nights ago. Cheryl had a wonderful trip, as did I. The timing, weather, sights and people were all terrific.

We did some different things this trip such as hike to the top of a jungle peak and rented a car to visit some coastal out-of-the-way towns near Puerto Vallarta. Also, we saw some unusual creatures in trees. Once you see one and start looking closely, you will see many more which were not previously perceptible. I am referring to Iguanas which come in different sizes and colors. Some are green with exceptionally long tails while others are an off-orange color with larger spikes on their backs. They all like to hang around in trees among the local bird population. They are sometimes referred to as chickens of the trees because there meat tastes like chicken-supposedly, even though their flesh is a reddish color. No, we didn’t try a plate of Iguana; we just read a lot about them.

Here is one photograph I hope you find as interesting to view as it was to witness in person. There were at least seven or eight iguanas we could see from this one spot. However, this guy gave us the best view to shoot, along with his feathered friends. It is worth enlarging!

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No Matter What

It was exactly two years ago that my sweetheart and I spent a week  in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Soon, we will be re-tracing this trip. So much has occurred since 2014 that I won’t bother to trouble you with the details. It was hard.

However, we all know life can throw a lot of darts at us. Sometimes they stick and cripple us, and other times they hurt, but don’t destroy. Such has been this year for us. We are still standing.

For those who are ahead of the curve, and have experienced a great year, I congratulate you! You are most fortunate. May each coming year be the same for you.

Should our positive or negative past experiences change the other way, please know that these realities may seem forever, but change will happen. Our lives are never static. When we have an open mind, are willing to make adjustments, and accept help when it is available-we will persevere.  I have found strength in God’s divine assistance as He is not in the business of failure or misery. Plus, life is too short to settle for mediocrity.

With that said, I wish Cheryl a very Happy Birthday!

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Sun, Sea & Serenity

Just returned from a brief vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. For five days we experienced 84 degree (29 C) days with plenty of sunshine, gentle rolling waves, warm sandy beaches, and a peculiar sort of serenity amidst many vacationing souls.Cellphone Pics to 11-18-14 076This post really isn’t about all of the luxuries associated with taking such a vacation: great location, wonderful resort, delicious food, terrific pool and beach, awesome views, breath-taking sunsets, pleasant people, and even cleaning by others. What else can I say, except we were very blessed to have experienced all of this.Cellphone Pics to 11-18-14 018No, this is about something less tangible, but much more important.SL-1 153This post, and this trip, have to do with the benefits of simply changing scenery in order to relieve tension and regain a positive perspective. Two things immediately come to the surface: cost and time. In our case, the cost was relatively minor due to frugal planning, but one doesn’t have to go to exotic locales to gain a fresh view. Nor does one have to allot a lengthy period of time to gain that much-needed change in perspective…although we wouldn’t have minded staying longer. The most important factor in conjunction with the change of scenery came about due to a conscious choice to stop the stress by getting off the hamster wheel and simply just be. I have become increasingly more in-tune with the importance of simply being. Perhaps this comes with age, and perhaps with wisdom. Or, it may be borne from necessity, but whatever the reason, less doing and more being is going to become a part of our daily agenda. I will readily admit that sitting in a lounge chair on the beach, munching on fresh guacamole and chips, sipping a Corona and watching the waves wax and wane sure made ‘being’ a bit easier than if we were at home !SL-1 100Photos by Cheryl & Michael via Canon SL-1 and Samsung Galaxy 3.