Lady Olive Ridley Wishes You A Happy World Turtle Day!

The intrepid Lady Olive Ridley
Lady Olive Ridley, for whom Olive Ridley turtles are NOT named.

Back in December, a friend of mine visited La Tortuga Viva, a turtle sanctuary in Mexico; she adopted a nest of baby sea turtles, and posted a picture of a bunch of baby sea turtles in a bucket.

Because there are few things cuter than a bunch of baby sea turtles in a bucket, I said something like “Now I know what I want for Christmas!”

And because my friend is a wonderful, generous and turtle-loving person, she “adopted” a nest of baby sea turtles on my behalf!

These pictures, sent to me by the sanctuary, show “my” turtle nest, and my turtle hatchlings heading off to sea:

A sign marking "my" turtle nest
“My” turtle nest!
Baby Olive Ridley turtles
Baby turtles!
Baby turtles on the beach
Off to sea!

Such a special gift, I felt, deserved a special ‘thank you.’ When the sanctuary sent me my adoption certificate, they noted that my turtles were “Olive Ridley sea turtles,” and before I could stop it, my imagination became convinced the species was named to honor the eccentric, wealthy, and intrepid Victorian lady adventurer who had rescued the species; the kind of woman who roamed the world in a pith helmet, spending the family fortune doing good for people and animals, “roughing it” and participating in the adventures herself, but also having her own bed and fancy silver and tea things and personal servants along with her wherever she went.

By the time I actually did more reading and learned that they’re called “Olive Ridley” because (a) they’re olive-colored and (b) well, actually nobody really knows where the “Ridley” part comes from — it was too late. My extended fantasia had already taken root in my mind, and besides, it was WAY more exciting.

So I made this small painting for my friend as a way to thank her. As she says, we are now Best Turtle Pals Forever (BTPF).

Sharing this now because

–It’s World Turtle Day!

–the world really, really needs to see the cuteness of baby turtles right now.

–Most importantly, I recently received an email from La Tortuga Viva; because the nearby resort is closed due to the pandemic, there aren’t any guests/tourists. Since resort guests/tourists provide most of the sanctuary’s donations, their revenue is down, precipitously.

I know that so many places are asking for donations right now, and it’s impossible to support them all, but if you have a couple bucks to throw their way, that would be swell.

It’s your chance to be the Lady Olive Ridley you want to see in the world. (Pith helmet not included.)


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