Friday, February 09, 2018

Blue sky and water, green critter food.

So the rain stopped. The sun showed up. Half unbelieving, I grabbed the camera and went to the beach.

Waves rolling in, long shadows. Looking north towards Oyster Bay.

The wind was brisk, and cold. But out of the shadows, it almost felt like spring. I unzipped my jacket.

Looking south. Although it is still early afternoon, 1:30 PM, the sun is dropping and the shadows are long.

Splash! Waves hitting rock at the northern tip of the breakwater.

Gull on the rocks.

And I got too close. 

I came home with a bag of freshly uprooted eelgrass, brought in by the waves, some Turkish towel, a shred of sea lettuce, two species of rockweed, a length of seersucker kelp, one small fragment of the invasive wire weed, Sargassum muticum, and a few branches of the beautiful sea braid, Plocamium cartilagineum. All except the kelp, which turned out to be past its sell-by date, went into the aquarium. All the hermits, some of the snails, and the crab have been feasting and climbing ever since.

There were also many lumps of some sort of spongy, but firm stuff. It looked sort of like a sponge, but none I had seen before. I collected a fair amount. At home, under a lens, it seems to have no structure, no sponge pores or canals. Under the microscope, it is a loose association of round cells, each seeming to be independent. There is still no structure to be seen.

I can't find it in my books, nor on the web. I'll try to get a decent photo this afternoon.

The hermits and snails loved it; they're working on their second clump now.

2 comments:

  1. That's some fantastic light.
    We had tons of eel grass washed up each year on the beaches where I used to live. Sometimes it would obstruct paths; piled up and rotting. If you tried to walk on them you simply sank.

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