Bulldozer – The Spotted Shrimpgoby

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On Saturday I went out on Richard Jones’ and Pascal Michon’s boat Sanguma  for our regular weekly dive. We motored up to Pig Island  to The Eel Garden, one of the few places where the sea was calm enough to be comfortable. The water was full of particulate matter. That spells trouble for photography, unless you can get very close to the subject. Therefore, all of my images from the dive are shot from a distance of a few inches. Today I want to show you a series of images of the Spotted Shrimpgoby (Amblyeleotris guttata)  and the commensal shrimp (Alpheus ochrostriatus)  that lives with it.

The shrimp goby and the goby shrimp share the same burrow. The burrow is maintained by the shrimp. In return, the goby keeps guard and may provide a source of food. Approached too closely, both will dart back into the burrow.

Here we see the shrimp goby standing guard at the side of the little ditch that is always present running from the burrow to the sand dump. You can also see the goby shrimp pushing a load of sand up out of the burrow:

The goby shrimp shoves the sand along with its head and claws, reminding one of a tiny bulldozer:

When the shrimp reaches the sand dump it pushes the sand up into a little pile at the end of the ditch. If the pile gets too big, it will move off to the side at the end of the ditch and start another pile:

Here we can see the shrimp after it has pushed the sand onto the pile and is getting ready to go backwards down the ditch and back into the tunnel for another load:

The process goes on indefinitely. Its work is never finished.

I enjoyed the dive this week more than last, the first since returning from Australia alone. I was far too unsettled that day. I should not have been diving at all. Faded Glory  is finally back where she belongs. When Rich Jones and I put in a new mooring buoy last week, somebody stole it the first night. So much for our security staff. They are too busy sleeping at night to walk around.

The work load has not diminished noticeably. Trevor Hattersley did help me get a handle on part of it. We will have to have more sessions as I progress until, eventually, I have a handle on my personal finances and the insurance claims are settled. I am looking at these things as challenges, not problems. However, they are big challenges. I haven’t had time to grieve properly or get lonely. All that will come later.

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4 Responses to “Bulldozer – The Spotted Shrimpgoby”

  1. Bron Says:


    My condolences.

    My experience, after the loss of my daughter, was to allow the paper work, being a support for the family, and the legal issues around her daughter, to push the grief into a corner; which eventually I paid a heavy price for. Very touch and go for a period.

    Now, I know for me, that grief suppressed will fester. We all deal with things differently, but I do believe that it is very important to grieve for our losses. I think the Jewish tradition of a year of mourning is very valid.

    Best wishes!


  2. MadDog Says:

    Bron, thanks for your condolences. Your comment interests me, because that is exactly what I am doing allowing my grief to be pushed aside. At sixty-six years old I have never lost one to whom I was very close. When my brother died and then my father, I was not deeply affected, because I was not close to either of them. Now my wife of forty-six years, to whom I was joined at the brain and in every other way, is gone. Most of the paperwork simply can’t wait. I know that to be true. Every week it sits undone brings me closer to more ruin than I’m already experiencing – total ruin.

    However, I am already experiencing the results of delayed grieving. I think that it is contributing to the physical symptoms I am experiencing. I know that I can’t let it go much longer. My plan is to get through the worst of the paperwork – the things which can’t wait – and then take some time off some place where friends can look after me and let myself go. I don’t know what will happen, but I know that I need it.

    This is all so new to me.

    This is all new to me.

  3. Bron Says:

    Jan, A lot of experience with loss has not lead to a lot of wisdom as to how to deal with it. I do know that it needs to be dealt with, though, I was in my mid fifties before I started to understand that. Do take advantage of the support and friends you have; don’t be afraid to ask for help, and again, best wishes.


  4. MadDog Says:

    Bron, thanks for your comment. Even at sixty-six, I had no previous experience with deep grief. I now have plenty of experience and it’s still coming in waves. I’m dealing with it as it comes. It seems that there is no choice.