Five of us enjoyed hiking at Hillsborough River State Park last weekend. We had more ladies interested but some were attending the Ladies Let’s Go Fishing workshop–it was the second make-update for it. Hurricane season sometimes leads to rescheduled events!
It was a nice morning for a hike, not too warm or buggy. We hiked along the river and enjoyed looking at the rapids. The trail began to thin out as we got closer to the main road.
After a group discussion, we decided to turn around and head back down along the river and then crossed over to the other side. We hiked the Baynard Trail loop, part of which was walking along a narrow boardwalk over some water. There was a bench in the middle of this for those who wanted to sit and enjoy the view of the woods.
This trail was a little bit muddy at some points but not too bad that we couldn’t pass nor did it cake our shoes in mud. After hiking this loop, we decided to call it a day and head back home before the rain started. It was a nice short hike and great to be outside enjoying nature.
Our October meeting will be Wednesday, October 16th at 6:30 at Bill Jackson’s in Pinellas Park. Our speaker will talk about special features at some of our state parks. We’ll also take nominations for president and event planner to join the board in 2020. Bring a friend and we’ll see you there!
We had a full house tonight and a great meeting with our speakers Skye and Theresa from Sea Turtle Trackers. We learned a lot, especially some things we can do when visiting the beach or volunteering for their organization.
Turtle nesting season is April 1 through October 31. During this time it is especially important not to have lights visible from the beach as the young sea turtles may head in the wrong direction on their march to the Gulf of Mexico.
Members and volunteers of Sea Turtle Trackers spend their time looking for nests and marking them with tape. On Shell Key, because there are predators such as coyotes, the nests are protected with cages.
The number of eggs found in a sea turtle nest range from 60 to 120 and the females mate with more than one male to increase the likelihood of successful hatchlings.
If you visit the beach during sea turtle nesting season and make a sandcastle, one thing you can do before you head home is tear down the sandcastle and fill in the moat if you dug one. Young turtles are expecting a flat land tract to the Gulf of Mexico and a sandcastle or moat can confuse them.
Also, don’t leave any trash behind and pick up three items left behind by others. This will help keep the beach clean and reduce the chance of any marine life consuming it. Want to record the trash that you pick up? The Ocean Conservancy has an app called Clean Swell where you can record what you find: https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/international-coastal-cleanup/cleanswell/ If you are participating in a beach cleanup for a particular organization, you can credit that organization while you are recording the trash you have picked up.
Sea Turtle Trackers is always looking for volunteers to help with tracking sea turtle nests on the beach or speaking to groups to educate people about sea turtles.
Another way to support the group is during their annual fundraiser, which will be on October 26th on Corey Avenue in St. Pete Beach from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. They will be participating in a Shellebration They will have a silent auction fundraiser.
Also, we discussed several upcoming events and trips of interest to members of our group. We can tell the summer heat will be over soon as there are many activities coming up.
Our meeting was held on Wednesday, September 18, at 6:30 at Bill Jackson’s in Pinellas Park.
For our August monthly dinner, we dined at The Bar Fly in Safety Harbor. It has moved to a larger location since the last time we had a monthly dinner there. About a dozen ladies showed up to dine on a beautiful summer evening. We moved dinner back to 7:00 instead of our normal 6:30 and that gave people coming from work or Tampa more time to get there.
Dinner choices ranged from fish tacos to grouper bites to crab legs. Unfortunately, it seems photos taken of such choices were not saved.
Everyone had a great time and seafood was enjoyed so much, a suggestion was made for a new seafood restaurant to dine at for our September monthly dinner.