Mon, 8 Jul 2024

— Green Turtle.

Please check out my previous blog postings: this is the penultimate entry in my current series of stories about each of the turtles I’m photographing, in parallel with my Kickstarter Fundraising Campaign to finish my upcoming book — I’m hoping to reach my goal in the next two weeks —  thanks in advance!

I can think of few scenes more idyllic and eternal than watching one of the most unlikely marine creatures of them all — a reptile — dancing weightlessly through swaying underwater gardens of golden seaweed fronds. And yet, there she is, flowing with the waves and currents, timeless. She nibbles a tender green patch, chews for a while as rainbow-wrasses delicately pluck tidbits from under her chin, then rises for a breath of air. Everything about this elegant animal emanates peace. She is totally in her element, as she has been during geologic eras almost beyond our comprehension, always adapting, always at ease.

Adaptation is why she is so comfortable with my close proximity today. I have known Green turtles — the only vegetarian of the world’s seven species — since earlier than I can remember. Decades ago she would have been spooked by my presence: an alien in her submarine world. But now, thanks to frequent encounters with totally harmless tourists, she regards yet another clumsy human being as nothing more than part of the scenery.  Who knows where she’s traveled from, or where she might be going next, but for now she’s tranquil in the knowledge that, at least here, humans are harmless.

She’s in the Galapagos Islands and so am I, but for reasons only known to herself, she might just decide to swim all the way to Central America and back, at her own whim. In actual fact, I don’t even have a clue to how old she might be, 20, 40, 60 or just possibly even 100 years old? Who knows?  But she knows what she’s doing, where she is and where she’ll go to next, returning to the exact same beach where she hatched decades ago, to lay her own eggs, when the time comes.

I’m just a spectator, a guest from the fast-forward terrestrial world, dropping in for a quick visit into the tried-and-tested subaquatic world. And the fact is, right now I don’t even need to know. Just sharing time and space with one of our planet’s most ancient and enigmatic beings is enough for me

Below are pictorial snippets gleaned from many moments shared with green turtles around the world.

Nesting in Florida and Mexico.

All roads lead to the ocean.

Basking in Hawwaii.

Resting in the Maldives

Mating ‘scrum’ in Galapagos.

Spa treatment at cleaning stations in Galapagos and Hawaii.

Babies begin all dark, turn colorful as they grow, then darken again as adults.

Mangrove havens.

Seaweed havens.

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