Sunday, May 01, 2016

Fishing boat dock, revisited.

Last November, I explored the docks where the fishing boats tie up, peering down into the water between the dock and boat sides, and between the old creosoted pilings. The winter has come and gone; the sun shines down the cracks and into the dark crevices again. I retraced my steps yesterday.

There was a stiff breeze, strong enough to blow my jacket over my head when I bent over; the open water was white-capped. The docks danced on the waves, bouncing against the pilings, making squeaking, creaking noises; cables under stress whined, old wood groaned. I had to be cautious, poking my head down gaps over dark water, careful not to let a swaying dock pin my hand against a piling.

Last winter, I found shrimp, kelp, red rock, and black-clawed crabs, purple starfish, yellow sponges, anemones, and a nudibranch. And styrofoam. Too much styrofoam.

This spring, the population mix has changed.

There were still kelp crabs, most quite large.

A large kelp crab on a piling, half underwater. From the way she holds her abdominal plate, half open, I think she's in berry, carrying a mass of eggs. What looks like a lump on her right shoulder (our right) is probably an effect of the water; when she moved about, it disappeared. The blobs on the lower left are styrofoam-coated gunk.

Mussels, along the bottom of a boat. With pieces and dust of stryrofoam.

Around almost every piling, the edges of the dock were covered with brownish, matted weed and these pink and yelllow lumps. I think they may be peach ball sponge, or something similar.

Some of the sponges were a vivid orange. I don't know if these are colour morphs of one species, or three different sponge species.

A circle of twisty, lumpy chains. I saw only one, and couldn't get closer. The circle is about 2 inches across. Eggs, but of what species?

On one of those rubbery boat fender balls, large barnacles have lived and died, leaving empty shells.

These, rescued from an old rope, are pinkish.

I saw no shrimp, though I looked carefully. There were many tiny, darting fish, several orange starfish, down deep; one looked like a leather star or cookie star, with short, wide arms. I couldn't find any purple stars.

Above the water line, there's this:

Old wood, rust, cracked paint, and an opportunistic weed, going to seed.

And there's still too much styrofoam.

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