Red and Black

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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.

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12 Responses to “Red and Black”

  1. Steve Goodheart Says:

    Great post! Love Alanis Morissette and that song is one of my faves, for the reasons you mention.

    Beautiful images….love dem Anemonefishies…

    As for what you were thinking….that made the hair on your neck rise….were you wondering if you weren’t experiencing a cosmic version of that yourself….a little “tip over” of your world to have you put it right and not get too complacent? Or something like that? Just guessin’….

  2. CarolBeth Says:

    Love the pics today. Astounding beauty. I also love that song, ’cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket and the other one’s playing a piano…and no, I haven’t a CLUE what you’re thinking…

  3. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, Steve. I had an Alanisfest yesterday.

    Spot on about what I was thinking. A Facebook friend was worried that I was hinting that Bigpela Papa God is capricious. (That’s God’s name in Tok Pisin.) I’d rather use the word curious.

  4. MadDog Says:

    CB, I can’t believe that you don’t know what I was thinking. However, just in case you’re serious, read the first part about trials and tribulations and the the last bit about turning over the hermit crab’s house and watching him set it right. It will come to you.

    I’m not surprised that we both like that song, though maybe for different reasons. You and me – chalk and cheese.

  5. Steve Goodheart Says:

    Hey, great minds, or hearts, think alike, eh?

    No not capricious, but playful, like the baby fox and Loren Eiseley in my post.

  6. MadDog Says:

    Showing my American Literature ignorance. Had to Google the reference.

  7. Steve Goodheart Says:

    Hey Jan. I bet you would *love* Eiseley, being such a nature lover.

    Here’s the post I was referring to. It’s a really deep, wonderful read from one of the great writer/naturalists:

  8. MadDog Says:

    Thanks, Steve. That is a beautiful passage. Unfortunately, one thing that I remember from my field roaming days is that you can smell a fox den from a long way off. Man, do they stink!

    Some of my most pleasant memories came from hunting days when I’d see a fox trotting across a stubbled corn field in the distance – watching me watch him. I was never tempted to shoot one.

  9. Ali Says:

    ‘Cause I had one hand in my pocket,
    and the other one was tippin’ a hermit crab.

    Ahhhh, that big “Fickle finger of fate”

  10. MadDog Says:

    Very cute, Ali. Thanks. I needed a lift. Too many things have gone bagarap today!

  11. Ali Says:

    Glad to be of cheer! Sorry about the state of your day …
    Meanwhile, I do hope that your health has improved somewhat, after those mean mother drugs?

  12. MadDog Says:

    Well, the day ended up better than it started.

    I just have two days of the antibiotic left. It seems to have killed the sinus infection. I still can’t smell anything. I’m hoping that will change over time. I never realised how much the sense of smell is important to the quality of life.