Sun Comes Up – Divers Go Down

Posted in Under the Sea on March 4th, 2009 by MadDog
No Gravatar

When I get up early on a Saturday morning and it looks like this:

Sunrise in my front yard - Canoe and birdsI feel as if the world is grinning at me. I grin back.

Here’s some images from a recent Saturday Dive.

If the name on your Birth Certificate was Plagiotremus rhinorrhynchos, I’d feel empathy for you. If you can imagine the sad story of a boy growing up in a very tough neighbourhood with the name of Jan Messersmith, maybe you could appreciate my empathy. I still have scars on my knuckles to attest to the agony. I’ve never forgiven my mother for it. It’s even worse for this little fellow. His nickname is Bluestripped Fangblenny. No wonder that he’s hiding in a hole:

Bluestriped Fangblenny (Plagiotremus rhinorrhynchos)I’ve shown Blennies on Madang – Ples Bilong Mihere, here, here, and here.

I made it worse for myself when I reached the age of sixty. I decided enough is enough. I’m old enough to decide what I want to be called. So I changed the pronunciation of my given name. Instead of the much-maligned Jan (rhyming with can) I decided I wanted to be called Jan (rhyming with yon – as in “By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes”). As you can imagine, this caused much consternation and no little laughter among my friends. I felt like a clown. I still do. I don’t mind. Speaking of clowns, here’s a Clown Anemonefish (Amphiprion percula):

Clown Anemonefish (Amphiprion percula)I showed you another Clown Anemonefish here.

While we’re on Anemonefish, let’s have a couple of more. Try these Clark’s Anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii):

Clark's Anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii)I have no idea who Clark is. I can only assume it is not Clark Kent. He doesn’t seem the type to have a fish named for him. However, his alter-ego might be proud to have an Amphiprion supermanii.

Hmmm . . . I appear to be drifting. I’m like a teensy-weensy tectonic plate drifting on a molten globe of magmatic thought. I’d better get out of here.

But, before I leave for the day, I’ll show you my favourite of the day. Here’s the darling, shiny, all-too-brilliant Spinecheek Anemonefish (Premnas biaculeatus): (you can find another Spinecheek here.)Spinecheek Anemonefish (Premnas biaculeatus)Would that I were so handsome, but ça ne fait rien.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Few of My Favourite Fish

Posted in Under the Sea on October 20th, 2008 by MadDog
No Gravatar

I’ve been trying to take a little time each day organizing my photographs so that I have some small chance of finding something that I want. If I’d been smart, I would have found a way to organize all my photos as soon as I put them on my computer by keywords.

I tried assigning the keywords “underwater”, “anemone”, and “anemonefish” to the photo below. Adobe Bridge allows you to assign keywords (as many as you like) to each image and then search by keyword. I searched for “anemone” and, sure enough, this photo popped up. The only problem is that I have tens of thousands of photos. Probably half of them or more should simply be deleted. I can already see what I’m going to be doing on during my next vacation time.

As I was going through some photos yesterday, I ran across some old pals. I’d like to introduce you to some of my favourite fish.

These little beauties are obviously Anemonefish. Specifically, these are Spinecheek Anemonefish (Premnas biaculeatus):

Spinecheek Anemonefish (Premnas biaculeatus)

The shot above was incredibly lucky. Out of 100 – 300 exposures that I make on an average dive, I feel lucky if a handful are worth processing with Photoshop. I’m joyful if there is one that really makes me grin like an idiot. The frame above was one in a thousand. Everything was copacetic.

Anyone who doesn’t know this little fellow must have been engaged in intense navel contemplation in a cave for the last few years. Yes, it’s everybody’s favourite fish, Nemo. If you’ve not been formally introduced, he is an Anemonefish, specifically a Clown Anemonefish (Amphiprion percula). This Nemo wannabe looks as if he is swimming onto the stage for a screen-test:

Clown Anemonefish (Amphiprion percula)

Much as I hate to discuss filthy lucre in this carefree space, I must admit that the next photo has enriched the meagre coffers of Clan MadDog more than any other. I have sold this image several times over. It’s been in magazine articles, on the cover of tourist information booklets, and sold as metre-wide wall hangings. Its title is “Buddy.” He will soon feature on one of the dozen Papua New Guinea post cards that I am producing.

Divers call their paired-up fellow diver a buddy, so the name is a natural. Divers are like Nuns, we always travel in pairs.

Meet Buddy, another Anemonefish. Buddy is an example of the Orange Variation of Clark’s Anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii):

Orange Variation of Clark’s Anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii) - “Buddy”

I snagged the next image on The Henry Leith near Wongat Island. One can only describe it as a handsome fish. He displays a certain smug dignity in his tweedy suit. Formally, he’s known as Epinephelus miliaris. He introduces himself with a Bond-like smirk as Grouper, Netfin Grouper:

Epinephelus miliaris. He introduces himself with a Bond-like smirk as Grouper, Netfin Grouper.

Soon, I’ll write about the less congenial denizens of our salty, wet neighbourhood – the ‘friends’ that we keep at arm’s length.

We all know people like that. Fish are no different.

You will find other photos of anemonefish on Madang – Ples Bilong Mi here, here, and here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,