the gentle bucolic ramblings of an English rose, blooming in rural Normandy

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Loggerhead turtle shells

Back home again after a wonderful time in Hilton Head, SC.
The weather was amazing, high 70's the whole time, except for the day before we left when Hurricane Sandy made it's presence felt with overcast skies and waves crashing along the beach.
On those sunny days the Senior Partner and I went for long walks along the shore stopping now and again to watch the tiny sandpipers dash around to avoid the waves whilst digging for insects and worms.
On two occasions we also spotted dolphins swimming quite close to shore.

Loggerhead Sea Turtles nest on the beaches of Hilton Head Island between May and August. An adult females will nest every two to four years, coming ashore between 4 and 6 times per season to lay eggs. Loggerheads typically nest at night, crawling to a dry part of the beach where females will dig a nest cavity with their rear flippers and deposit an average of 120 eggs. Once the eggs have been laid, the female throws sand to disguise the nest from predators and slowly returns to the ocean.
After about 60 days of incubation, the small turtles within the eggs begin to hatch. During the cool night, the 2 inch long hatchlings emerge from the nest, orient themselves towards the brightest horizon, and crawl towards the ocean. Once in the water, hatchlings swim many miles offshore where they will spend the next 25-30 years of their life growing to adulthood.
Coastal Discovery Museum, HHI, South Carolina.

The empty turtle  horseshoe crab shells that wash up on the beach fascinate me and they are the subject of my mosaic this week.

After all these years of beachcombing I always believed that the shell belonged to loggerheads.
Now, Keetha has corrected me and proved me wrong!
They are horseshoe crab shells!
Thanks Keetha for putting me straight.

I had hoped to join Mary @ the little red house for Mosaic Monday
but like thousands of others along the East coast of America
Mary is still without power and can only access the internet using her phone.
If you get the chance please stop by the little red house and give her a hug!


  1. Why do the turtle shells wash up? What has happened to the owner? :-(

  2. What a very interesting story about the turtles, Maggie! I'm so glad you enjoyed your time in Hilton Head. And of course before the weather turned ugly.


  3. Birdie,
    the shells that wash in and out with the tide are, sadly, from dead loggerheads which have encountered one of the following: sharks, birds, fish, fishing gear, ingestion of marine debris, boat strikes, trash on beaches and pollution.
    The survival rate of hatchings is 1 in a 1000.

  4. great photos - and lovely that you had good weather for most of the time.

  5. Maggie, glad you are safely home. I wondered if the storm would affect your travels. I know it was a fabulously relaxing time. Miss you! ~ Sarah

  6. So glad you had a good time, and missed the hurricane. The mosaic and accompanying information are very interesting.

  7. You must have had a wonderful time and good that you missed hurricane Sandy. Sorry you missed Mary but maybe another time

  8. It's good to hear that you had such a lovely holiday and missed the terrible storm. You must be happy to be back in your lovely Normandy nest!


  9. (pssst - while loggerhead turtles DO have shells, what you have shown here are horseshoe crab shells - signed the Biology Teacher Go ahead and google and check to see if I'm right.)

  10. After all these years of beachcombing I always believed that the shell belonged to loggerheads. Now, Keetha has corrected me and proved me wrong! They are horseshoe crab shells!
    Thanks Keetha for putting me straight.

  11. Maggie,
    Glad you are home safe and sound. The mosaic is just beautiful. Definitely horseshoe crabs.

    Slowly getting resettled. It is a process.


  12. Welcome home! It must have been wonderful to wander along the shoreline. I'll look forward to seeing more pictures from your holiday.

  13. Hi Maggie-
    Welcome Home! We are just getting home as well-- late last night. As we drove by HH we were reminded of the wonderful time we had with you both. Meeting you was both a treasure and a blessing.

    Sending hugs--


Thanks for stopping by, your visit just made my day!