Red and Black

Posted in Under the Sea on March 30th, 2010 by MadDog
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Just when you think that everything is under control, a Pandora’s Box of silly irritations is opened somewhere above your head and all of Pandora’s little trinkets rain down on you like a plague of leaches. If I can’t start with a mixed metaphor, then I’m not going to write today. Hey, Pandora’s Box could  contain a plague of leaches.

Negatives: alternator on the car is stoned again, doesn’t alternate nor charge the battery; rebuilt the home office computer and installed Windows 7 (that’s good), but none of the USB ports on the brand-new mother board work (that’s bad); satellite TV is still out despite replacing the cable and the decoder, have to order another LNB (if Eunie doesn’t have TV over the long Easter weekend, my life quality is going to be considerably degraded); new wireless connection from my office to my house has been placed in an unfortunate place – no power on weekends if the town power is out (which it usually is).

However, there are Positives: the boat motor is not creamed, as I suspected – only a fuse; I don’t have cancer, as far as I know.

One thing that works for me, though it’s not very nice,  is to compare my problems to those of others. Alanis Morissette’s song Hand in My Pocket  is playing in the background as I write this. It seems strangely appropriate. Here’s this morning ‘s sunrise at Coconut Point:I made is all moody and contrasty. Like this:

I’m broke but I’m happy, I’m poor but I’m kind
I’m short but I’m healthy, yeah
I’m high but I’m grounded,
I’m sane but I’m overwhelmed
I’m lost but I’m hopeful, baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything’s gonna be fine, fine, fine
‘Cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a high five

I’ve never been a great interpreter of song lyrics, but I’ve always liked this one for its ambiguity. It seems to be saying to me that there are two sides to everything. One hand is in the pocket and the other one is doing something else. They don’t necessarily have anything to do with each other. Bad fortune doesn’t mean you’re in for a lucky streak soon. When things are going great, you don’t have to look over your shoulder. Life has a wonderful randomness to it. I can dig it.

What seems tragic or at least annoying to me by another’s standards will certainly seem trivial. I’m such a whiner. Excuse me all to pieces.

Let’s get to some fishy stuff.  This magnificently gaudy critter is a Red and Black Anemonefish (Amphiprion melanopus):Somebody had a full palette when painting this one. I got these shots down deep in the big sandy bowl at The Eel Garden.  This patch of anemones and these fish were there when I started diving in the early 80’s. I’ve been photographing them for nearly that long. They know me. I’m the guy who comes around and flashes bright lights in their eyes.

The occasionally entertain me with synchronised swimming:Synchronized Swimming . . . I’ve watched it many times on the telly. I can’t decide if it’s extremely interesting or extremely boring. I just sort of sit there and stare it and think, “What the . . .”

The little one in the image above is giving me a problem. I’m not sure what species is it. It’s definitely a juvenile, which makes identification more difficult. It is also unusual to find two different species of anemonefish inhabiting the same anemone. Here’s another shot of the little one head-on:The house is a Bulb Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor),  certainly one of the most beautiful. The fish is a little blurred, because it was out of the focal plane. In this case it doesn’t seem to hurt the image.

Here’s another reef panorama:It’s a technique that is still a work in progress. Getting the colours right is a pain.

I can’t stop taking pictures of Palm Coral. It’s some species of Clavularia:The colours from group to group vary in wonderfully subtle ways.

I never pass up the opportunity to disrupt the life of a Hermit Crab (Calcinus minutus)  by gently tipping its house over and watching it put things right:Now that I consider what I just wrote in that last sentence, the hair on the back of my neck is rising.

I’d be interested to know if you  know what I’m thinking.