Corals and Friends

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Today’s lecture will provide you with utterly useless information about coral. I’m certain that you will find this to be an illuminating and valuable experience. There will be no quiz at the end.

We’ll start with this ordinary image of a fan coral. This is the way we usually show them – flat side facing the camera, so that one can see that they are fan-shaped. Fascinating, eh?

What does make this picture mildly interesting is that you can see a very young Feather Star taking advantage of the food-rich water flowing through the fan. Both critters are filter-feeders. When I got these images at The Eel Garden near Pig Island,  the water was full of yummy plankton and other edible bits and pieces. Everybody was getting a good feed, but we were getting stung by some of the more vicious floating creatures.

Here is a small cluster of Fan Coral seen edge-on:

I seldom think to photograph fan coral from this angle. It is a fresh perspective.

Here is a Feather Star (Comanthina schlegeli)  resting between two different coral species:

Some corals are able to coexist very close to each other.

Other corals need their space. This shot is really quite interesting (yawn):

Here we can see a hard coral completely surrounded by a leather coral. I suspect that what is going on here is that the hard, staghorn-like coral in the centre is producing some chemical that tells the leather coral, “Back off, Jack!” This phenomena is quite common in nature. It was the keystone observation in the discovery of antibiotics. In 1928, Professor Alexander Fleming noticed that some glass plates which he had coated with a film of Staphyloccus  bacteria had some spots of mold growing on them. Around each mold colony was a clear ring free of the bacteria. The mold was Penicillium notatum.

Okay, enough of that.

Here is a cute shot of Geneviève Tremblay learning to steer Mike Cassell’s Felmara:

We had a gathering of the usual suspects up at Blueblood last Sunday. I rode up on Felmara,  because I did not want to drive up the coast alone.

I think often about how fortunate and blessed I am to have such a fine group of friends. Here is the mob gathered around the table after a good meal:

I decided to have a little rest in the hammock.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I had a long conversation last night with the lady who is handling my claims at the health insurance company. My friend Trevor Hattersley is helping me to sort out this very complicated mess. The lady gave me some information about a different way that I can submit claims. It will allow me to submit all of the as yet unpaid invoices and request that the providers be paid directly by the insurance company. I was not aware of this. I am close to breaking the backs of my two credit cards. This new way of submitting claims will probably save months of time getting all of the claims settled. It will also save me a lot of interest on the amounts on the credit cards.

That conversation removed part of the heavy, very stressful load of concern which I’ve been carrying. Last night I got nearly five hours of sleep. I have been averaging three. I call that a big improvement. I have plenty of serious challenges ahead, but now this one seems much more manageable.

I’m feeling very grateful.

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6 Responses to “Corals and Friends”

  1. Jay Griffin Says:

    You made me laugh @> “This shot is really quite interesting. *yawn*” It reminds me of a Spock quote, “Fascinating is a word I use for the unexpected. In this case, I should think “interesting” would suffice.”
    –Spock in ‘The Squire of Gothos’

    Very glad to read some of the stresses have lessened a little.

  2. kristy Says:

    Glad to hear of a ‘good’ night’s sleep.
    The colors are amazing in your pictures, are they the colors that you are seeing or are you bringing them out in editing? How deep are the dives that you do?

  3. MadDog Says:

    Jay, you Trekkies make me laugh.

  4. MadDog Says:

    Kristy, when I got some good news from the insurance company, I felt a huge relief. I’ve gotten twice as much sleep per night since then.

    I like more vibrant colours and high contrast for most images. For UW images, I try to recreate what I saw as faithfully as I can. I accentuate certain colours to make the image more appealing. All this is very easy to do with Photoshop.

    These days I’m pretty much limiting myself to thirty metres. There is not much point going deeper than that here, because the colour dies out and there’s not much to see, anyway. On most dives we don’t go deeper than twenty-five metres.

  5. Lorraine Collins Says:

    I looooooooooooooooved the photos of the fans. Beautiful!

  6. MadDog Says:

    Lorraine, we’ve seen some great fans, eh?