Pictures help clear the muddled mind. It is 2017, January. Spice and Feather latched onto me at the pet food store and are now part of our family. They were so little. Were they ever so tiny? Two fit in the sink. Can you imagine? I have trouble remembering the year they arrived. Photos help.
Two egg yolks over … what? Snow geese, a first (the very first) glimpse for me. The National Enquirer, ah, shit! We are in a tunnel – driving – don’t try this at home… There is a radar detector, a GPS device, phone holder, a dried rose bud…. So, it is the new Subaru. Technology would change. Nowadays the phone is plugged into the dash and GPS comes via the car screen. I don’t speed any more – ha. No GPS, phone holder, radar detector, rose. There is a lot to be learned from a picture. And there are pictures that make you wonder, “I took that? For what?”
Hey! I got experience. I have experience. I had the fortunate experience of diving in the Red Sea. I have hundreds of dives recorded. Lucky!! And I have photos that are one of a kind. I have a hermit crab in the act of laying eggs. How cool is that? One of a kind!! I was there at the right moment. Yes, sometimes I impress myself.
How do you tell one clown fish from one another? They all look the same to me. Male or female?? Ha ha, good luck with that. But here are fish eggs. They are a rare sight to capture underwater. I am indeed fortunate that I was there when it happened. I missed the moment the eggs hatched. That would have been special. I suppose there are always some regrets we have until the next time.
We now have a sparrow(?) nesting in the tree outside our window. Ray (the cat) found it. He was clawing at the glass. Thanks Ray. Another photo op. Ray is now in “timeout.” He doesn’t get that annoying the new mom is not allowed. Four eggs! How’d she do it? Those are large eggs for a little bird. Neat trick. Clap hands, we need some cheer (and hope) around here.
I’ve done this before. Sad. Everything “tastes like chicken” doesn’t seem so humorous. There were stacks of crates on a truck headed to? Meat or eggs? Either way it’s an awful way to be treated. Point A to Point B, maximize space and profit. Humanitarian treatment doesn’t apply to non-humans? Oh boy! I would almost be a vegetarian. Mostly, you go along happily until it’s in your face. Blissful ignorance. We do that a lot. It’s sad for me to say. Today, I’m thinking about it again.
We have a lot of discussion about the world. Do you recycle? Do you know that much of it goes to China? It’s not turned into renewable things. It’s just trash in China. How about chicken? Here’s how they transport them. Don’t tell me about the awful conditions they are treated in Delaware. Organic eggs cost nearly $5 a dozen as opposed to $2.09. You decide. By looking at an egg I can tell that you did not lie and that that egg came from a happy chicken? It’s tortuous thinking. As I said, we debate a good many things. $5 or $2, it’s a dilemma.
Unsafe in a shell
I learned this trick in the last months I dove in the Red Sea. Hermit crabs. They live in shells. I would see shells as we dove. I turned them over and waited. If there was a crab, it emerged to turn it’s house back – right side up. My dive buddies would laugh at me. No crab on the reef was safe from me. Mostly I would get or not get a satisfactory shot. Everyone else lost interest and stopped taking pictures of the crabs. I persisted. Look!
Eggs! Not once, but more than once. Actually, it happened more. But, in this instance you can see that the crab is in the act of laying its eggs. I think.
At least that’s my story and I’m stickin’ with it. You should be impressed. This was not easy. Really? The timing !!! I was there, I will readily admit purely fortuitously. But there!!
Do as she does…
Follow your buddy, shoot what they shoot. My friend Marie has the ability to find great “shit.” And she breathes slow! Way slow! She can get an hour and a half from a single tank. Newbies get about thirty minutes. I got an hour. After I learned to breathe more slowly and rhythmically from her (by watching her) I could get way more dive time. And more pictures! Meanwhile, she was taking pics of the male fish (see the teeth) with eggs in their mouth. And I did too! Yay! I once saw a fern in Jamaica whose leaves shrink when touched – sort of like scrunching up when a rain drop would hit. Coral does too – some types – as in you can write things in the coral. But once one coral shrinks the whole lot seems to follow. So, it’s a trick to write letters in the shrinking coral. Good luck.
Well, we started the New Year with a bit of good luck. To celebrate it is customary in the South to eat black eyed peas and pork. And in the North it is lucky to eat cabbage – sauerkraut. I got to eat both.Yes, it’s a strange menu.
Who knew? I’m not in Jeddah anymore. We were making a black eyed pea pie. Yeah, it doesn’t sound so great. But it was. Great! Lots of folks wanted the recipe. It very much resembles pecan pie. Sorry, no picture. It was so good we ate it. Maybe it was the whipped cream on top but I kind of think it was just a good pie. Anyway, the recipe calls for eggs. We got a double yolk. That’s lucky too! Here’s hoping….
It took two days to go from not too much to see, to eyes and mouth. We actually returned to the same spot. This is a neat trick – to return. It’s not easy. Everything looks similar. In the forest one tree looks about the same as any other. Here’s how I figured it out. I used my dive computer. I saw we were at 50 feet and about twenty minutes in the dive. So, we retraced our path. It worked! Tomorrow the eggs will be hatched. We know this from the last find. Once hatched, the tiny fish will be chaos and I would never get an image. And, we weren’t waiting to see the hatching. Too bad.
I imagine being there to image the hatching. It would indeed be a rare and special thing to witness. That would be for someone way more OCD than I can admit to being. But… No! It’s not my day job and I don’t have the time. But at least for the next diver, it’s about two days to eyes, and one more to hatching.
Damsel fish lay eggs and the guard them. This one moved in and brushed against me as I swam by. I knew it was guarding something. Eggs! It was too early. Nothing had developed yet. The eggs are tiny. You need very high magnification. How high? Enough that I can’t see the eggs by myself. I wear glasses now. There are no corrective lens in my mask. So I shoot and then wait to see what’s on my computer. I am fascinated that I can technically get images like this. And even more special is that finding this is so rare!
Ok. Be impressed. Even a blind squirrel gets a nut (sometimes). Yes! My dive buddy saw the eggs. She did not have a lens to photograph them. The other two of us did. We shot. I was singularly unimpressed. The eggs had been laid on a white PVC pipe. The guardian parents was buzzing us. The current was moving me about and the visibility was near zero. It was murky! I closed my eyes, adjusted my settings, and pointed and shot. I could not get a high high mage shot. But the image magnified shows eggs and eyes. At least that is my story. And, I’m sticking with it. This made my day.
Seasons – Durban Dancing Shrimp
My reference book of pictures is not complete nor accurate. The best I can make out is that these are Durban dancing shrimp. They hang with urchins. Why? Protection. And for sure, it you touch the spiny urchin you will be hurt. It’s needles are so sharp they will easily penetrate a wet suit or gloves. Did I ever tell you to touch nothing under the sea?!! I may be seeing things but there are tiny round things all over the outside. Eggs? This is a shot I am lucky to have. Just plain lucky. The camera and flash are not parfocal. In a hole that mean my light is pretty useless. I managed to pull out this detail from my image. But it was not easy. Then again, it’s a very interesting image too. It’s the first time I’ve seen this shrimp. There are seasons. A month or so ago it was hermit crab time. And the stone fishes were gone for a while. Now I begin to understand the rhythm of things.
Mating has its season too. Maybe they are eggs. It’s surely an unusual place to carry them. The urchin protects. It was pretty bold sitting there among the sharp spines.
Can you top this? Does lightning strike twice in the same place? Who knows? Well, I found this second hermit crab with eggs inside the shell. Pretty neat! This was actually the first I saw of this phenomena. I guess it’s common place for hermit crabs. But I’m still tickled to find this when I find it. To me it’s still wondrous.
Hey! It’s spring and things are in bloom. So eggs are getting laid. If you know where to look you can see it everywhere. I’m just not that good yet. No, don’t ask. I wonder where the tiny hatchlings go? That would be a hell of a photograph. Meanwhile lightning struck me twice. Not literally…figuratively, silly.
Ah! One more. Same dive, I actually unknowingly got three images with eggs. Am I good or what? Nope! Just lucky.
Eggs: and those are fish eyes. Yup. So, nature, in this case, decided that vision was critical to survival. Look inside the developing fish and it’s all eyes.
I imagined this shot. I looked for it. I wanted to take it. Oh, by the way, I’d like a mermaid too… a redheaded on named Ariel would do…But really, I was thinking this morning before we dove, I’d like to go back and see the fish eggs I saw the past two weeks and see the fish inside the eggs developed so I could get a picture with the fish not yet hatched. Wish! Granted! And I found it! Wow! Yes, another wow moment.
We were swimming by the anemone and as usual the Nemos were out front guarding. But there was something on the coral wall. Shiny, tiny, and being guarded too. I got a few shots. Got wide, got close, and shot detail. Amr swam past and signaled to move on. I grabbed his fin as he was leaving and pointed out this subject. He stopped, hovered, and started taking shots. He took my camera too. He was using wide angle and I had the macro lens ready to go. I got the same images. His are better. Credit: Amr. He keeps raising my bar. Note to self: Don’t give up on a subject till you get the image you seek. Macro subjects don’t move away fast. So work the subject, get a better image. Mine were lacking in focus and exposure. Decent but not like Amr shot. Darn, I want to get better in a hurry. But that’s the point, hurrying makes you miss.
Wow! Yeah! I’m Impressed and You Might Be Too
I got eggs! Be suitably impressed please. I don’t think anyone has this shot. And if they do, great and good luck to them. I have another somewhere. I’ll post it when I edit it later. But this was an unexpected find from the dive I made this past weekend. The senior and more experienced dive photographers as making fun of me. I have discovered what they have known about before me. I just discovered how to find hermit crabs. Ho hum. No big deal. Right! I’ve been tormenting all the hermit crabs that will come out to play on the reef. The others just shake their heads and photograph something else. I’m old. My vision is not what it was once. Add motion, and blurring with a dive mask, and then a gentle current pushing you around, and finally a subject that would rather you leave it alone. You cannot stage this. You can’t even know what’s going on. You certainly can’t see the eggs when you shoot the image. This crab is small. The eggs are miniscule. Yeah, wow! I have to say that this is pretty good. Right place, right time, luck is a great thing. Or as our neurosurgery departmental motto went: “It’s better to be lucky than good.”
Fish eggs. Who’d have guessed. It seems that right out in the open, it’s a temptation for any other passing fish. Free food! Ah! But no!
The father? Stays around and guards the unborn offspring. How’s that work? Or is it the mother? Can’t say. But it sure is a nice picture. I swear I see the eyes of one precocious developing fish. Yes, close up lens has opened up a new world. I need a steady hand. Did I tell you that I’m moving and the current is pushing and the … is moving. Oh well!
Shoot early shoot often…nope, there’s a bit of skill needed. You don’t motor drive and hope for the best. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be so special. Right?
For some reason the fish like to lay their eggs on a cylindrical object. So this metal bar acts as a depository. You’d pass this by every time. Amir called my attention. Nice light good exposure. Given the choice I would not leave my eggs out in the open to any passing predator.
Ribbons – Eggs
I have so many interesting things to share. I compose a post and then don’t post. I am doing too many fish. Sorry, Carol. I know you are tired of so many fishies. But, hey, it’s what I do on the weekend. Surgery is not photographed. We do it. But the images are not for public view. They are teaching images. And everything is all red and unrecognizable to anyone but an expert. Besides I saw the picture of very nice hand surgery. There was even a picture of her surgeon and his team posed over the open wound. And then, she came to see me complaining that the surgery had failed and didn’t work. Yes, ‘mam, that’s a picture I want you to pass along to everyone you know. Nope! Not me. Well, I’ve done it here in the past, but not often.
Ok! So this ribbon that I speak of is here. I come across it occasionally. It is the time of year. It is egg laying season for nudibranch. They tell me, so I tell you the same. The creatures are here all the time on my posts. Apparently they lay eggs that look like a package wrapped and ready to go. Ribbons.
Pretty. A good image. Strange image. Odd. And now you tell me they are eggs all out there exposed. Don’t other fish like protein and aren’t eggs a good source of protein… and so forth and so on….. Darn! They are eggs! Look at the detail.
I’m famously unable to see the fine print and detail according to my kids. Hey! Look! Eggs! Neat. I guess I will have to get new glasses. But…I still don’t read the fine print. Look! It’s eggs held together by fine thin mucous membrane.