Saturday, February 06, 2016

Not a warm fuzzy

Every week, Digital Photography School lays out a new challenge for their readers. Shiny things, heavy things, panoramas, etc. I try to join in when I can; it's a way to keep learning. This week, the challenge was "Warm Fuzzies". The sample photos and the submissions were as expected: kittens, babies, ducklings, blankets.

If only I had a cat!

I thought about it a while, then decided this was not for me. My critters are not fuzzy, they're not cuddly, they live in ice water. Not a match.

Later in the afternoon, changing the water in my tank, I found the 15-scale scale worm (an inch long) hiding in a bit of sea lettuce. And yes, he was cute, and fuzzy, and a nice, warm colour; maybe he'd fit the bill after all.

He didn't agree. First, he hid under a shred of eelgrass. I took that away.

Then he insisted on hanging out upside-down.

I turned him right side up, using that eelgrass. Then he hated the light in his four eyes, and kept running and running, twisting and turning, round and round and round, looking for a dark corner, never stopping because the saucer had no corners.
Blurry, not fuzzy at all.

What he was supposed to look like, except darker. Photo from 2010.

But then, as I was looking at the photos before I deleted them, I noticed something odd. Scale worms often lose a scale or two, and this one had lost most of one near the tail. And underneath those scales, he's an entirely different worm, with contrasting black and white stripes.

Zooming in on that tail.

Another look. Is that a spark plug on the end?

I looked at umpteen scale worm photos on the web, and didn't find any showing the body without scales. What I did find was scale worms from warmer places, all in bright, showy colours. Ours are dull browns and blacks, but maybe they're just as showy under their coats.

And I'll skip this weeks photo challenge.


  1. If scale worms were much bigger we'd consider them amazing creatures - as terrifying than dinosaurs. But then that's true of lots of 'critters' as you call them.

  2. I never know what you are going to find next!


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