Lessons of a sea anemone
It’s good sometimes to get quiet, and to go inward.
This beautiful sea anemone is submerged in an intertidal pool. When it feels safe, it opens up like a beautiful flower. Its tentacles reach toward the sun, sway gently with the currents.
Like most sea creatures, the anemone adapts quickly to the ocean’s ebb and flow. When the water recedes, the anemone pulls in its tentacles. Camouflaged now by bits of quartz and seashells, it lies motionless in the sand. The risks are fewer, now that it’s less exposed to the elements. But when the tides turn, and danger passes, the anemone will once again present its most beautiful self to the world.
And there you have it: One of life’s most useful secrets, exposed by the sea anemone.
On a tangential note, I’ve been playing with some new photo apps. I made a little meme with WordSwag, which you are welcome to download & share.
#WordlessWednesday: Where the ocean meets the tide pools, sand & clouds
Still I Rise
Ebb tide. My calendar is packed, but I head down to the beach anyway, camera in tow.
At high tide, Goff Island is mostly underwater. The ocean heaves and swells, bursting into plumes of frothy waves as it crashes against its rocky edges. But when the water recedes again, hidden treasures come into view. I want to see them, name them, learn how these tiny creatures navigate their pocket-shaped homes.
Sunlight pierces the murky tide pools, spotlighting their strange and beautiful inhabitants. Sea anemones flourish in these underwater gardens, as do sea lettuces and coralline algae.
Snails graze on gently swaying seaweed, blissfully unaware of the predators that lurk in narrow crevasses, waiting for the just-right moment to pounce.
Shell fragments bear silent testimony to this oft-repeated drama, as do the oxygen bubbles, slowly rising to the surface. Here, a mirror image of the universe itself: a microcosm of constant change and perpetual motion, in which everything is interconnected.
I straddle the channel where the harbor seals haul out at mid-tide, pivot toward the shoreline and refocus.
Such an aha moment, to see the shoreline from the pinnipeds’ vantage point!
I don’t suppose the jagged rocks are any big deal—if you’re cushioned with blubber, that is.
But hmmm…Where do the tide pool creatures go, when they’re displaced at mid-tide by these larger animals? We’re dealing with water damage at my house, so I’ll have to save that question for another day.