The Post – Let’s Talk Turtle

Let’s switch animals for a moment and move to sea turtles, another favorite of mine. And maybe a personal connection. My mother-in-law always promised to come back as a sea turtle and I bet she kept her word.

But anyway…. being an oil painter, that means I keep 4-6 oil paintings going at a time. Given that the paint takes a while to dry whenever I do something, I would be sitting around waiting a week to do something next. Having several going at once means I can keep moving projects forward.

In that vein, aside from the seagull/seascape pic I’m currently working on, and a painting for my niece of the place she’ll be married at in CT next July, I finished everything else. So hence the plans for the dolphin painting. I also want to do a painting for a friend and she loves sea turtles too, so time to start that as well.

I’m not going to get into a discussion…YET…about what canvas and composition for that one, a little pressed for time today. But I would love to share a place with you all that’s one of my favorites on the coast here in NC, the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, on Topsail Island, NC.

Though I don’t have the full details, I know it got started with the efforts of Karen Beasley rescuing sea turtles on her own and expanding her efforts. She sadly died young of cancer and her mom took up the mission. The facility has been going since the mid-90s and is now building a new turtle hospital.  Sometimes fishermen give them injured turtles, often they find them. They care for the creatures, heal their wounds – physical for sure, emotional hopefully, but they care for them professionally and with great love. This includes a large number of college students who vie for the opportunity to intern there in the summers.

If you click on the link above you can visit the home page, where there are links to pictures, an index of all the turtles they ever rescued (and their status – MANY success stories), and even a list of turtles you can adopt. As the site states:   All donations are directly applied to food, medical supplies, and operating costs of the hospital. We receive no state or federal funding

Focus is to release except for turtles so badly hurt they can never be released. I’m trying to track down details right now about one turtle I met at a reptile and amphibian show at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, NC a couple of years ago. A lovely, gentle creature who was blinded by human actions, but had a robust spirit and seemed very content in their care. If I can learn more, I’ll share the story.

They also participate in the turtle nesting project – locating and marking turtle nests to protect them, engaging volunteers to find and mark them and watch over them, helping newly hatched turtles find their way into the ocean waters, etc.

They even fit some of the turtles with monitors to satellite track them and there’s some data at the website under Satellite Tracking!!

Its’s a great facility. If you have a soft spot in your heart for sea turtles, please visit their site. Consider donating, but at least visit the site and learn about all the wonderful works they do. Such beautiful creatures…..and people. 🙂

PS If you ever get to go to Topsail Beach on Topsail Island, NC, GO VISIT THEM!!!! They do tours of the facility in the summer.  Even though it’s popular and you may stand in line in the sweltering hear for a couple hours, it’s worth it to see the turtles AND to see just how professional and caring these people are!


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