Saturday, September 29, 2018

Gotcha!

Walking among the tidepools, I see trembling in the water a few metres ahead; small critters, fish and crabs sensing my presence and racing for cover. By the time I reach the pool, it's apparently empty. Seaweeds stand unmoving, a few shells lie abandoned here and there (when I pick them up and wait a while, they sprout legs; they weren't so abandoned after all.) There are no crabs, no fish.

No matter how long I wait, standing beside a tidepool, the fish don't show up; they see my shadow.

My camera usually wears the 40mm lens, good for getting within an inch of a tiny critter, or the old kit lens, which zooms, but is not good at detail. This time, I used the 85mm lens; it does not zoom, does not permit me to take photos at distances less than a metre or so, (so no rock-flipping - snap photo before everything scrambles for cover photos) and has a shallow depth of field. But it does let me take a fairly decent shot of a small critter from a distance.

So I sat a couple of metres away from a few tidepools until the residents decided I must have gone home or turned into a rock, and ventured out again. Still too close; moving to aim the camera was enough to send everyone back into hiding. But I got one photo of a tiny fish.

Baleful glare: In about an inch of water. The fish is an inch or so long. There is also a baby hermit crab near the edge of the photo.

Two grainy hand hermits, cautiously emerging from the shells. I moved too close, and they hid again.

I see many of these shells empty on the beach. I brought some home, but my hermits refused to use them. They like shells with a rounder opening. Now I think I know why; most of my hermits are Hairies, Pagurus hirsutiusculus, and these two are Grainy Hands, P. granosimanus. I'll bring home a few of the larger ones (my grainies are big guys) and see if they get used.

On the underside of a stone. Lay the stone down, step back a metre, aim; everything fast is gone. the big Wosnesenski's isopods are leaving as fast as they can go. Only the little stubby isopods have stayed put, pretending to be pebbles.

I see these sea slaters (aka beach cockroach) often just above the tide line. They are very shy, extremely fast, and are hidden long before I'm in range. I got these from about three metres away.

Just rocks and the dropping tide.

1 comment:

  1. The last shot of "just rocks" is a beautiful one. We had a nice boat trip to Campbell River and Comox about two weeks ago. - Margy

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