Right now, something completely amazing is happening on a barrier island in North Carolina. Sea turtles, one of the Earth's most ancient creatures, are coming ashore at night to dig nests and lay their eggs. They've been doing the same thing, over and over and over again, for more than 100 million years. And it's still utterly amazing.
I recently spent a morning on Topsail Island, NC, with my sister-in-law Bobbie and her husband Bob, doing what they do every Monday morning between May 1 and the end of August. We walked up and down a stretch of this barrier island's 26-mile long beach looking for tracks that would indicate that a turtle had crawled up from the ocean's shore to lay eggs.
Bob and Bobbie are part of an impressive volunteer force that's been mobilized by the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Hospital to help save these creatures. That means helping to protect the laid eggs from predators and even guiding hatchlings back to the sea.