|A common sign along the Atlantic coast this time of year.|
Great areas of lagoons and salt marshes separate the barrier islands off the east coast of the USA from the mainland. These marshes are the environmental home to many species of shore life--particularly birds and fish. This time of year you're likely to see the above sign as diamond-back terrapin turtles are making their way to the high ground adjacent to the marshes to lay their eggs. Often this means crossing the man-made causeways at the beginning of the summer tourist season.
This weekend I witnessed this on two occasions: We were in the left hand lane crossing the long road to the beaches. Suddenly the first car in the right hand lane, a little ahead of us, came to a rather abrupt stop; the SUV right behind screeched to a quick stop also; we slowed down to a near stop, too. As we all got going again I saw, off to the right, the one large turtle that made it across the road but wouldn't have if those two drivers hadn't been on the alert! Then, later that same day we were on another lagoon-crossing two-lane road when both lanes slowed considerably as all the cars carefully moved past a certain spot. When we reached it we saw a turtle on the middle lines of the road. At that moment a biker came by, stopped and as there was a break in the traffic went right out, picked up the turtle and placed it in the marches at the side of the road.
|Diamond-back terrapin turtles|
P.S. Now we also know the reason behind the naming of the University of Maryland sport teams: Go Terps!