The sea turtle with no name.


Earlier today was the annual NatureScaping outdoor festival at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park near North Palm Beach, Florida. It’s a free event with fun for the entire family. There were tents set up for vendors selling food, plants and garden accessories such as birdhouses and even bat houses. There were also representatives from local organizations to raise awareness of the need to keep our beaches clean and to ensure the survival of those species that depend on the ocean as well as the beach for their survival.

At the visitor’s center was a photography contest with some excellent photographs on display for visitors to vote on. Also ongoing was another contest to come up with a name for the young loggerhead sea turtle who resides in one of the aquariums. It was swimming around the tank happily, not showing any concern for whatever name it gets. But I was stumped and couldn’t think of a possible name for it.

It wasn’t until after I left that I came up with an ideal name for this young sea turtle. I would have named him Fletch, in honor of the late Eleanor Fletcher, who was affectionately known as the Turtle Lady of Juno Beach. She spent countless years scouting the beaches and marking sea turtle nests, often rescuing entire nests and storing the eggs in Styrofoam coolers until they hatched. I had the pleasure of working with her and learned so much about sea turtles and other life that thrives in our oceans. I would think that the young sea turtle would not be here had it not been for the Turtle Lady helping one of his descendents some years ago.

I don’t know what name was picked for this young turtle but I’ll always call him Fletch. It seems fitting to remember the Turtle Lady and to carry on her legacy.

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