WORKING up an APPETITE and NATURE's CALL of concern

and NATURE's CALL of concern.
photo by: gwenturnerjuarez...on Flickr.com

Can we just as easily work up an APPETITE?
Personally, I would have to be terribly sick not to have my great big appetite!

Actually, most times...
just looking at great food...will skkkream APPETITE!

However, especially on weekends ... 'Hubby' our 'doggy - Sushi' and I work our appetites by going outside and 'out of the kitchen'This way we feel re-vived and also less guilty about devouring a delicious BRUNCH.

I couldn’t quite pick what was going to be more exciting...the breathtaking nature walk or the mouth watering brunch we'd be having.


We worked up our appetite by putting on some wears to face what's leftover of the winter season.
Here, in our surrounding Montreal, region...not only have we received less snow than usual...the thermometer has also dropped less than usual as well.  No complaints here ;o)

We're definitely not used to this very welcomed mild weather.  However, for myself ... other than overwhelming snowstorms ... I do quite enjoy a thick carpet on winter wonderland.

As such...the reverse has be unfortunately true for other parts of the world.  
The drastic drops in temperature have not only made populations uncomfortable...it has also disturbed the eco-system in a way that most of us don't quite realize.

I have been quite disturbed about what our nature dependant land and marine life animals have had to endure this past unusually cold season.
photo by Nature 55...flickr.com
Especially, for the green sea TURTLES around the east and south coasts of the United states.
Imagine...how surprised I was to also find out that at this natures' park where we go walking...there are some turtles too!  They are sweetly named by the park care takers as the ‘popsicle’ turtlesThey apparently make their route to Quebec all the way from Mexico! 

Were you aware...
that this year alone...
many of the 'green sea' turtles have been
lost to these terribly changing temperatures!

"On Friday one lucky green turtle got a second chance at life, after being found by an Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch volunteer.

Suzie Fox directs the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring organization. She said the organization has rescued 30 freezing turtles over the past two months, which is unusual since they normally do just a few a year."
Thankfully, for some remaining turtles...
there are some very dedicated hard-working volunteers that
rescue these endangered turtles...nurture them back to health...
and then later release them back into their natural habitat.

One among many more reasons for conserving the life of these sea turtles
is critical to preserving some of the environments we enjoy most.

"Sea turtles make substantial nutrient and energy contributions to beaches, promoting plant growth, stabilising beach and dune systems." ...www.euroturtle.org

It sure makes you cherish your somewhat controlled choices. As a human being...although we are not completely protected from mother nature's harm...we do have the abilities to somehow foresee some protection. Most animals do feel something is wrong...and yes they can at times protect themselves too...however, unfortunately, most times...nature leaves them no choice but to have them surrender to the wild temperatures, and unforeseen moments that will bring their demise.
...Photo by: Rotraud on Flickr.com

Did you also know that there are now fewer male turtles being hatched. It seems that the changing global temperatures is also causing this other concern.
If you're curious to know more about this strange phenomena...you can follow this news piece...by clicking here:  " Sea turtles to hatch fewer males "

There is at least one bright light at the end of the tunnel...winter is soon over...and these sea turtles can once again mate and reproduce under some controlled protected environments.
Photo by: Autopsea on Flickr.com

I remember a few years back...during our daytime travel to an island off the Caribbean coast of Venezuela, having a very memorable close encounter.
One day we were being brought to a semi-deserted island to enjoy crystalline turquoise waters. The chosen transport had been a small somewhat disturbing row boat.

While in a very small mode of transport...we were blessed with a beautiful vision of a huge ' loggerhead ' TORTUGA swimming by graced us with its presence. I quickly froze out of immediate unfounded fear...but quickly relaxed and became a child again. It was like opening a gift to a brand new toy. These animals are quite impressive.
photo by: Motleypixel on Flickr.com

How fortunate 'hubby' and I felt to have now seen at least one of the turtle species in person as opposed to have to visualize them on paper.
It was unfortunately not where most sea turtles are found around the stunningly beautiful 'Los Roques' archipelago where mostly 'green' and 'loggerhead' sea turtles co-exist.
Here's the 'Hawksbill turtle' on Los Roques
...photo by: Mat.tarcz ...Flickr.com

The 'hawksbill' and 'leatherback' sea turtles are also found
using these beaches as nesting grounds.
There, we would have probably had many more
opportunities to visit with their presence.
On some other trip maybe?  
One can only dream!
My parents, the lucky buggers...
did, however have the opportunity of staying at the
islands of LOS ROQUES where a paradise awaited.

Cayo de Agua, Los Roques, Venezuela
...Photo: Márcio Cabral de Moura on Flickr.com

Here's a direct quote from: whl.travel.com...describing this stupendous tropical paradise... "Stretches of picturesque beach meet a crystal-clear sea teeming with schools of colourful fish. Over the centuries, this near-utopia archipelago has seduced many tourists into full-time residence with its isolation, charm and stark beauty. It was even once described by Christopher Columbus as ‘heaven on earth "!

That same day, I remember also being informed that where we were going to be left off on semi-deserted island...we were to be aware of possible turtle nesting.
We were not as lucky as some to have seen a miracle such as the below photo taken somewhere in Central America by the Pacific ocean coastline.

photo: pasopacifico.org

Did you know this about Turtle egg laying and nesting: (info source: www.euroturtle.org)
. Depending on species, they may lay clutches containing on average 50-160+ eggs, and may lay more than one clutch in a season. 
Flatback turtles (endemic to Australian waters) lay the smallest clutches (approximately 50 eggs per clutch).
Hawksbill turtles lay the largest clutches, which may contain over 200 eggs!  Once a nest has been completed, the female never returns to it.  The eggs and resulting hatchlings are left to fend for themselves and locate the water upon emerging.  photo source: MyFWC.com: A green turtle nest excavation under a boardwalk on Boca Grande, Florida

photo by: Don Briggs...on Flickr.com

If ever, you too, are fortunate enough to witness such miraculous beauty...
here's a short list to inform and sensitize you of how to behave:
. Do not approach an adult turtle coming out of the water to nest.
You may startle her and she may return to the water without nesting.
. Do not position yourself in front of a nesting female.
This action may cause her to abort her nesting attempt.
. Avoid using flashlights or flash cameras.
Lights disrupt or disorient nesting turtles and emerging hatchlings.
. Watch for and avoid hatchlings emerging from a nest.
They are small and easily stepped on.
... Info taken directly from: islandturtles.com

Sea Turtles are also unfortunately facing dangers of extinction:
" Sea turtles have long fascinated people and have figured prominently in the mythology and folklore of many cultures. In the Miskito Cays off the eastern coast of Nicaragua, the story of a kind "Turtle Mother," still lingers. Unfortunately, the spiritual significance of sea turtles has not saved them from being exploited for both food and for profit. Millions of sea turtles once roamed the earth's oceans, but now only a fraction remain.
The earliest known sea turtle fossils are about 150 million years old." source: ccturtle.org

"In groups too numerous to count, they once navigated throughout the world's oceans. But in just the past 100 years, demand for turtle meat, eggs, skin and colourful shells has dwindled their populations. Destruction of feeding and nesting habitats and pollution of the world's oceans are all taking a serious toll on remaining sea turtle populations. Many breeding populations have already become extinct, and entire species are being wiped out. There could be a time in the near future when sea turtles are just an oddity found only in aquariums and natural history museums — unless action is taken today." source: cccturtle.org


It seems that I have gotten carried away again.
I have found this all too fascinating and educational.

If you have found this interesting so far...
...here’s a little bit more

Did you know that there are at least

Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Named for its exceptionally large head. It has heavy strong jaws and a heart shaped carapace.

Green Sea Turtle
(aka Black Sea Turtle in some parts of the Pacific ocean)
Named for the green color of the fat under its shell. The carapace color varies from pale to very dark green and plain to very brilliant yellow, brown and green tones with radiating stripes.
photographed in the Sipadan island, Malaysia... by-Pats0n...Flickr.com

Hawksbill Sea Turtle

Named for its narrow head and hawk-like beak. It is one of the smaller sea turtles.
photographed in the Emubudu Island, Maldives... by-Bradbeamana -- Flickr.com



Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle

Named Kemp's after Richard Kemp, who helped discover and study the turtle. No one is sure why it is called ridley, possibly due to having similar nesting behaviour as the olive ridley.



Olive Ridley Sea Turtle

Named for its olive green colored shell. Its body is deeper than the very similar Kemp's Ridley sea turtle.
photographed in Cancun, Mexico...

Flatback Sea Turtle
(aka...Australian Flatback)
Named for its flat carapace is olive-grey with pale brown/yellow tones on margins and the flippers creamy white.

Leatherback Sea Turtle
Named for its unique shell which is composed of a layer of thin, tough, rubbery skin, strengthened by thousands of tiny bone plates that makes it look "leathery."

To get a lot more interesting detailed info...go to their web site's fact sheet on Turtle species


Other 'Tid Bits' about SEA TURTLES  
. Did you know where the largest population of turtles are found?
Scientists identify the world's largest population of leatherback turtles in the coast of Gabon, West Africa. The discovery was possible thanks to thorough aerial survey of nesting beaches combined with ground monitoring.
The survey estimates that between 15,000 and 43,000 leatherback turtle females nest on the beaches of Gabon. The number is considerably higher than the expected 10,000 to 15,000 females.
The findings come at the end of a seven-year-long research project to assess turtle populations in...read more here:

. What are the preferred Foods of SEA TURTLES?
Loggerhead turtles generally feed on both plants and animals but they are mainly carnivorous.
Their diet contains various species of algae, including Sargassum weed, which as hatchlings they also utilize as a 'float'. After emerging from their nests, leaving the beach, and moving into the open sea, they drift into deeper water which carries them into the Sargassum weed. This weed provides them with cover from would be predators and collects floating objects including zoo and phytoplankton which they feed on.

. What was the LARGEST size turtle ever found?
The largest species of sea turtle was the Archelon, which measured 7m in length and lived in Prehistoric times.
Today, the largest living species is the Leatherback. There are 2 sub-species, the Pacific Leatherback and the Atlantic Leatherback. The Atlantic Leatherback is slightly larger than the Pacific population. Leatherbacks measure an average of just less than 2m in carapace (shell) length.
Loggerheads jaws are adapted to eating hard objects, such as crabs, barnacles, Lobster, bivalves, whelks, conchs and sea urchins. They can easily crush the hard shells of these animals. They also feed on sponges, jellyfish, shrimp, fish and fish eggs, as well as on a variety of plants, so they are classed as generalists.  Source of info: euroturtle.org

Unfortunately, loggerheads also eat waste products such as...
plastic and rope, which they mistake as food items.

. What was the LARGEST size turtle ever found?
The largest species of sea turtle was the Archelon, which measured 7m in length and lived in Prehistoric times.
Today, the largest living species is the Leatherback. There are 2 sub-species, the Pacific Leatherback and the Atlantic Leatherback. The Atlantic Leatherback is slightly larger than the Pacific population. Leatherbacks measure an average of just less than 2m in carapace (shell) length.

. How long can a sea turtle hold its breath? And why do they drown?
As sea turtles are air breathing reptiles, they need to surface to breathe. Sea turtles can hold their breath for several hours, depending upon the level of activity. A resting/sleeping turtle can remain underwater for over 4-7 hours. Recent research has shown that some turtles can even hibernate in the sea for several months! However, a stressed turtle, for instance entangled in fishing gear, quickly uses up oxygen stored within its body and may drown within minutes through panic.  Source of info: euroturtle.org

. Are there any diseases in sea turtles that are transferable to humans and vice versa?
Numerous bacterial infections have been identified from sea turtles. One type of bacteria that is transferable between turtle and humans is Salmonella, present in all turtles (land, fresh water and sea turtle species). It is advisable when handling a sea turtle to wear latex gloves or if not available, to thoroughly wash hands both before handling the turtle to rid of any bacteria on our hands, and after handling to rid of any bacteria on the turtle.  

. What is the importance of sea turtles? Why try to conserve them?
Sea turtles are one of the longest living groups of animals to have ever existed, having far outlived the Dinosaurs. They have existed for approximately 200m years, and survived perfectly well until human activities placed them under increasing pressure. They act as environmental indicators. When populations are healthy (disease is uncommon), it reflects on the health of their marine habitat. They feed on a variety of organisms, e.g., Hawksbills eat sponges and corals, providing space for reef colonisation by other organisms, increasing species diversity. They feed other organisms, e.g., insects, crabs, fish, etc. which prey upon them at various life stages. Nutrients turtles produce through digestion feed other organisms. They provide a habitat for an array of animals including cleaner fish, and various barnacle species, some of which are exclusive to sea turtles. Sea turtles are an intricate part of their ecosystem. If they are wiped out, many organisms dependant upon them will also be affected. photo by: tina manthorpe...Flickr.com

Sea turtles make substantial nutrient and energy contributions to beaches, promoting plant growth, stabalising beach and dune systems. Green sea turtles graze sea grass beds, increasing the productivity of those areas. Leatherback turtles are major jellyfish predators, providing natural ecological control of jellyfish populations. If the decline in sea turtle populations is allowed to continue, it could have severe consequences on many marine and terrestrial plant and animal species that depend on sea turtles for their survival.
Furthermore, sea turtles are a flagship species, which means they are a species chosen to represent an environmental cause conserving the marine ecosystem and wildlife. Chosen for their charismatic nature, distinctiveness and vulnerable status, sea turtles engender public support and thus assist leverage of the entire ecosystem and associated species.  Source of info: euroturtle.org ...Photo by Yumi...on Flickr.com

Photo by swamibu...flickr.com

Go here for even more TURTLE FACTS:
Some interesting related web sites:
If you want to know more about TURTLE conservation efforts...refer to:
An elaborate list is found on this website:...Links to Other Turtle Sites of Interest

Bronze fountain represented by four sculptors

Breathtaking ‘ Fountain of the Observatory ‘
found next to the ‘Jardin de Luxemburg ’ park in Paris.
The marine turtles along with the fish are working hard to:
keep the 8 eight stallions and the
four women supporting the Globe (representation of our 4 continents)
 cool by re-spraying them with spouting water.
I was fortunate to have taken this lovely photo this past September
during my passing through the amazingly captivating city of Paris.

My puppy ' Sushi and his beloved toy 'Turtle Toby'
thank you for joining us in this very interesting, educational
and enriching segment on our wonderful TURTLE.

Happy learning and flavourful wishes

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Please Note:
Some of these IMAGES and PHOTOS were randomly borrowed from a few UNKNOWN and PROPERLY TRACEABLE owners. If you are the original artist...please notify me so that I can quickly and appropriately credit
you concerning your work. Thank you.