Monday, 3 April 2017

Shoot first, ask later

After a weekend of sunshine in which I was inevitably committed to all the jobs around the house that come with spring sun I was able at lunchtime today to get to the coast at low tide (I did get to the coast at the weekend - it was just high tide). Clambering around the rocks I first turned up a Sea Scorpion that looked at me like, "Not you again!" before picking up a couple of pieces of algae for later examination. Then I found an enormous rock that looked worth turning, and fortunately I had been doing enough at the gym to make it possible. This didn't help any in terms of barnacle scrapings and broken nails, mind you.

This would have been a big moment earlier in the year, but in this case the only new thing was the Common Starfish



A second rock, even bigger, was turned over and I saw a flash of yellow-orange on the belly of a fish as it disappeared again. This had to be good! I chased the fish and caught it, but before that I noticed a thin star shape on the edge of the pool, exposed on the seaweed. "I'll come back for you," I thought. This was a dumb thing to think. Never saw it again! I have an image in my mind of the starfish - thin, five tentacles, one dark annulation on each tentacle, not more than about 5cm diameter. Did I imagine it? It's such a clear image. I'll see what I can do. Whatever happens this small point and its pools have already exceeded expectations and I'll be back over and over again no doubt.

The fish was worth the effort too - a Long-spined Sea Scorpion this time



I also found what I am supposing to be nudibranches clustered on the bottom of the rock, but I await their opening at a later time. A couple of them are currently languishing in a box of sea water. There may have been more than one species there, as there seemed to be red(ish) and white(ish) examples. Time will tell.

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