Archive for July, 2011

July 13, 2011

Bears! (Stephen Colbert Was Right!)

Imagine this, you’re saving the planet on your usual bike route to work when …

A Panama City man was knocked off his bicycle July 7 on Highway 98 in Tyndall AFB when a black bear trying to cross the busy four-lane highway collided with him. John Hearn, who works on Tyndall and bikes the 12 miles to work several times a week, was left with bumps, bruises, road rash and a broken bike after the collision at 6:40 a.m. The bear, estimated to weigh 250-300 pounds, bolted into nearby woods after the collision. Hearn estimated he was going 23 miles per hour when the unexpected happened. He did not require medical attention. In the four years he’s been biking to work Hearn says he’s been hit by cars twice but this is his first encounter with a bear.

The world is just a crazy place somedays! (Above photo via FWC, Stan Kirkland.)

July 6, 2011

They're Heeeeere!

It’s hard to believe but groups around Florida are starting to report hatchling sea turtles on their beaches! The Florida Oceanographic Society shared these awesome photos of tiny loggerheads coming up out of the sand and makin’ tracks down to the water at Bathtub Beach.

As always, if you’re lucky enough to see an emergence of sea turtles in person, do not get this close (these photos were taken by permitted individuals) and let them do their own thing.  It may seem helpful to walk them down to the water, but that natural weeding out that occurs is a necessary thing.

Something that you can do to benefit the hatchlings? Always be sure to fill in the holes from your sand castle building adventures!  (Also tear down any castles before you leave.)   These monuments and pitfalls can become traps and are potentially lethal to hatchlings that are scurrying off the sand in favor the water away from gulls, racoons, and crabs.

Stranded and sick hatchlings (or “washbacks” as they’re termed if they occur after strong storms) can always be reported, the best group I know of for our area is the Sea Turtle Preservation Society.