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2 July 2015:
Sea turtles nesting under full moon in Florida
July 2-3, 2015: This is an unusual entry for the storm gallery, but this night was such a beautiful immersion in nature, I thought I'd share it here. I joined Peggy Willenberg and several of her friends, many experts on turtles, as they ventured out on the beach on Florida's east coast to look for nesting sea turtles. The search was in the vicinity of Floridana Beach (just south of Melbourne Beach), and we went out in a light rain just after dark. White light and flash photography should not be used when observing turtles, so all of these photos were taken in almost complete darkness. It's not only almost impossible to focus in these conditions, but I had to use a high ISO, resulting in grainy images. Still, the full moon helped, along with (occasionally) a red light held by one of the observers that is deemed safe to use while observing these endangered creatures as they nest. Once a turtle begins nesting, and especially when she begins laying eggs, one can get quite close to her without disturbing her efforts. (Learn more about observing turtles here.) We saw a couple of turtles early in our search, and then, after a lull, saw several more until we stopped about 1:30 a.m. We saw about ten sea turtles in just this one evening.
Click on the thumbnails to see a larger image.
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All photos copyright 2015 by Chris Kridler, ChrisKridler.com, SkyDiary.com