Texas To-Dos: June
Texas coast (See the sea turtles)
A magical thing happens up and down Padre Island from May through August. Kemp’s ridley sea turtles emerge from the Gulf of Mexico, dig nests, lay and bury eggs, then scurry back into the waves. It’s an awesome thing to watch as the mother turtle digs a hole, deposits eggs the size of ping-pong balls—more than 100 sometimes—then uses her flippers to cover the nest with sand, ignoring crowds that often gather to watch.
Because Kemp’s ridleys are endangered, local turtle rescue groups stand ready to quickly retrieve the eggs, incubate them for 45-50 days, and release the hatchlings back to the Gulf. To witness these releases, check release hotlines daily (because nobody knows exactly when the turtles will hatch).
From the January 2013 issue.