02 August 2010

How to Advertise Turtle Nests

Emerald City Press, Austin, Texas
A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I were driving southbound on Lamar, looking for a place to conveniently grab coffee before I had to get back to work. Austin Java?  No, parking lot full.  Food 4 Fitness Cafe? Wait, do they serve coffee?  Raw salads?  Clif Bars?  Oh, look - they DO serve coffee. But whoops! Too late, already passed it. 

Then, like a beacon, we see a giant sign pointing us in the direction of coffee.  COFFEE.  Despite the munchkin-sized parking lot, a space called out a welcome.  We arrived at Emerald City Press, home of caffeinated delights at the end of the yellow brick road.  My friend and I, coffee and hibiscus tea in hand respectively, sauntered to the back patio overlooking Shoal Creek, shady and cool in the baking July Texas heat.

Shoal Creek on Lamar Blvd.
We saw a dog pull his owner on a leash down the banks of the creek, and the dog rolled around in the dirt.  And just the way the Good Witch of the North magically appears out of a ball of light, an employee from Emerald City Press suddenly appeared on the edge of the bank, frantically calling to the man and his dog to watch out for the baby turtle nests.  The man explained that the dog had been stung by a wasp, which gave him the urge to roll around in the dirt. The employee suspected the dog had perhaps smelled the scent of the turtle eggs, and of course, dogs find it necessary to cover themselves in unpleasant odors.

My friend and I were simply surprised there were turtle nests down there at all - we would never have known if the dog hadn't decided to relieve its sting pain, or freshen up in stink, whichever of the two.  So my friend suggested to the employee that she place orange cones as cautionary markers.  She thought it was a brilliant idea!  And me, a lover of words and always curious about what orange cones might mean, suggested she put a sign on the cone.  She thought it was an even more brilliant idea!

I don't know if they ever put up the orange cones with signs.  But the baby turtles hatched.  (Photos courtesy of Emerald City Press.)

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