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Steve Blume 2015 Charity Calendar

Steve Blume 2015 Charity Calendar
$20.00 each

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Once again I am releasing a new edition of my popular calendar and again, the proceeds are going to a worthy charity...

Ral Island, which is a 15-minute boat ride from Lissenung, is the top nesting spot for turtles in the area. Unfortunately, the local people know that, too, so during turtle nesting season (here in New Ireland usually from the end of October till mid January), they check the island for eggs. We try to beat the locals there, so head over there at 6-ish in the morning, equipped with egg cartons and an esky.

If and when we find turtle tracks coming from the water, we follow them up the beach and start looking for the nest. Once we've discovered the nest, the sand that covers the eggs is carefully removed and the eggs are carefully removed from the nest, one by one, and gently placed into a standard chicken egg carton. The egg cannot be turned and should be placed into the egg carton the same way up as it was in the nest. Too much rotation of the egg, or even accidentally dropping it may kill the embryo, so relocating the eggs from nest to egg carton to new nest is a long and laborious undertaking.

We carefully transport the eggs to Lissenung and here, they are placed in their new nest the same way they were in their original nest – the ones from the bottom will go back to the bottom, and the ones from the top will go to the top.

We try to recreate the original nest as much as possible. We measure the depth of the nest, we take note of the nesting ground (soil or beach sand?), we even take some sand from the original nest and put it in the new nest. Nest temperature determines the sex of the hatchlings – warmer temperatures produce mainly females, colder temperatures mainly males.

Once the eggs are all safely in their new nest, they are covered up with sand which is patted down firmly. Chicken wire is used to make a fence around the nest to keep any predators out and a tag is attached with the date the eggs were laid, how many eggs are in the clutch and the approx. due date, which is approx. 60 days later.

The hatchlings usually all come out at once as it’s hard work to push their way up through the sand and they rely on each other to push the sand out of the way and break the surface. It can take up to 7 days from leaving the egg till they come up to the surface and leave the nest. After a quick dash down the beach, they disappear into the darkness, hopefully to be seen again in about 30 years, when they come back to as mothers themselves, laying their eggs on Lissenung Island.

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