Master of the Night

Stairs at Escondido

This morning I walked to Playa Econdido, as I do most mornings. But today I hoped to see the turtles hatch and make their way into the sea. I sat on the stairs watching the tide, it was higher than I’d ever seen it. It almost slurped its way into the nests. I thought of the eggs and the tiny creature’s ancient instincts responding to the ocean’s pulse as I waited for the rangers.

When they arrived we made our way to the two nests due to hatch. They dug first with a shovel and then cupped hands, deep into the sand. The ranger pulled out something that looked like leaves.

La  cascara? I asked.

Si, se fue, he replied. They are gone.

I was thrilled to hear this. He thought my excitement odd. I explained that it made me happy they had done it on their own, and that the were probably stronger because they had dug themselves out.



Para es mas peligrosa, he said, waving to the seagulls.

Si, es verdad, I admitted it was true.

I thought of the duckling I lost to an eagle, I was three meters away when the bird caught my charge in its talons and flew away— the heartbreak and wonder of that moment.

Coincidently, I memorized this poem this week. I dedicate this recitation to the tortugitas, those that swam away…and the ones that flew.



12 thoughts on “Master of the Night

  1. Dangerous, true, but as you point out, they are probably stronger for having hatched on their own.

    I love Mary Oliver and that’s a great poem. You’re looking good and happy 🙂

  2. We have sea turtle nest on the beach near us but I’ve never watched the hatch. I once had to dig up a land turtle nest because of some impending construction. I got some advice from someone at the U. of Georgia and was able to move the eggs and got to see them hatch. Exciting. Say hello to Felipe for me.

  3. I watched a documentary on the hatchings once, it made me hate those opportunistic birds but then again that is nature. it is good to know that a lot survived this time to start there new life.

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