It was what they call in the shopping world “Black Friday.” I never ever participated in that, but at least I know the term. Carissa had been working though out Thanksgiving day as well, at this same project. She rescues gopher tortoises.
Why? Because of her passion to protect…. to allow a life for….. gopher tortoises. Developers, who are now in high gear everywhere in Florida, are looking to wring every last dime of profit from a piece of land, even if it is sand in some remote corner in a county that has no view and little else to look at. That’s what we found in Citrus County, far from beaches or space shuttles.
Where did our culture go so wrong? Why has “Black Friday” become linked to more consumer spending? I cannot fathom it.
Ranger: “Hey, I’m waiting for therapy to begin, and you’re just ranting and raving to yourself.”
Me: “Sorry. I am so caught up in this story, of a young woman who quit her job and now spends every waking hour working on a rescue effort. Developers were used to just pouring cement into the burrows of the tortoise…. these are burrows which house up to 350 species of animals! Can you believe it? It’s expedient for developers, who are motivated to make a profit at the expense of nature. They probably don’t know anything but that motive.”
Ranger: “Tell me more about that Friday.”
Me: “We arrived at the new housing development near Lecanto (trust me it’s mostly in the middle of nowhere) and found the new subdivision. Carissa had spent the night before cooking for all the volunteers, if you can believe that, in addition to directing the project. Even lentil soup in a crock pot! And we filmed the tortoises that had already been rescued. We filmed the dig of the backhoe as the newest burrow was torn up. They need to do that in order to get at the tortoise, which can be many yards from the entrance.”
Ranger: “So what happens to this baby tortoise, and the others rescued that day?”
Me: “They get taken to a new home. Many will find that new home at the Nokuse Plantation. We’ve talked about that endlessly before in other sessions, so that part is not news to you.”
Ranger: “Yeah, it’s not news. I just wish you’d bring me along next time.”
Me: “Let’s determine that Black Friday means a lot more than I find in my newspaper!