A few days ago, we spoke of beach renourishment and whether it was beneficial to sea turtles. As with most things, there are arguments both ways - Dave Hotchberg from the Sea Turtle Preservation Society noted that while it gave the turtles more beach to use, the sand was different, and the turtles knew it.
That started me to thinking about an interesting article David McRee wrote regarding sand (http://www.beachhunter.net/florida-beach-sand.htm). David notes that "Florida beaches have so many different types of sand, and they are all beautiful. All kinds of things make up the beach sand--quartz crystals, broken shell, minerals, fossils, the shells of various marine animals, organic matter, and coral fragments. " His story includes photos of some of the various types of sand found in Florida, including sand from Playalinda, Cocoa Beach, Indialantic, and Sebastian Inlet. Once you look at David's photos, it makes more sense that matching sand during restoration is probably difficult, and that indeed the turtles can very likely tell the difference.
David's story also includes a video of sand scuptures. This being a small world after all, one of the sculptors in the video is Thomas Koet, who was recently featured in the Viera Voice newspaper. Every year, Koet and his partner, Jill Smith, return to Manatee Elementary School in Viera to create a sand sculpture for the school's lobby, using 12 tons of sand they donated to the school six years ago!
The photo above is one of Jim Angy's, and I accused him of "staging" the beautiful shell background. I was, of course, wrong - the photo was taken on an Indialantic Beach, which, as David notes, is composed of beautiful crushed shell mixed with white quartz crystals. Be sure to click on the photo to enlarge it - this is a dandy photo of a loggerhead hatchling. Just look at that face!