Picture of the Month

Turtle Nesting

Nesting Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) at dawn, Ascension Island, April 2004


We spent three weeks this spring on remote Ascension island, in the middle of the tropical Atlantic (check your atlas!).  Claimed by the British Navy in 1815 as a base to help guard Napoleon, languishing in exile on St. Helena, Ascension has been off-limits to the public for nearly 200 years. 

When we heard that it had opened this year for the first time, we were off like a shot, to be among the first to photograph the island's important sea turtle population and enormous colonies of seabirds - already benefitting from a recently successful feral cat eradication program. 

Most of the 3000 female turtles nesting on Ascension every season do so at night.  I was fortunate to find this one early in the morning, still excavating her nest as the sun began to rise.  This allowed me to mix the flash with the ambient light and capture the graceful arcs of sand thrown up by her powerful flippers. 

The result of our brief visit to Ascension has been a new book, Ascension Island : Atlantic Outpost, published in the UK by Coach House Publications.  

This is the latest title in what has become our "Wild Isles" series.  Coming in 2005:  Shetland Islands and Tristan de Cunha.                       

Camera : Nikon F100   Film : Fuji Velvia  


Life, Color, Drama, Reality .... No Digital Manipulation


Review a previous Picture of the Month:

Autumn Berries, 10/2004

Aurora Borealis, 10/2003

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