Friday Harbor Day 17

We started our family website in earnest around the time Everett was born. The original purpose was to have a corner of the internet where family and friends could keep up do date with where we are and what we are up to. But it quickly grew to be more than that: the website and photography became two new hobbies for Chris, the combined effect of which was to chronicle the life of our family. A couple days ago Melissa called the website “a love letter to me and Everett”, which is the highest compliment I can imagine receiving.

On a distantly related subject, Flight of the Conchords is a sitcom about two kiwis who move to New York City to start a band. They have a single fan, Mel, who constitutes their “fan base”. For some time we have joked about our website and our small “fan base” which is mainly composed of a couple family members who watch the website so carefully that we receive feedback within an hour or two of posting new material. It is important to keep such dedicated fans happy, and one request we have received is for Melissa and Everett to write a blog entry now and then. We will try to do so in the near future, keeping in mind that Everett doesn’t write yet and Melissa doesn’t seem to have a lot of extra energy for creative writing, which is most likely a result of the little paper she is working on this semester (i.e. dissertation).

On Monday morning Chris awoke to the sight of Everett’s face about two inches away. “Dada, today I didn’t say ‘Momma, Dada, I’m awaaaake.’ I just came in!” Like most days he wakes up at 11 (on a scale of 1 to 10, re: Spinal Tap). It was a great day to work in the same way that Sunday was a great day to play: it rained off and on all day. Everett got to school without drama. Melissa and Chris worked through the morning, then had a quick lunch at the dining hall and then back to work. In the evening we picked Everett up from school and drove to Cattle Point to look around on the beach in a light rain. On the way home we saw our first fox of the trip:

which means that we have now seen almost every animal we came to see except an Orca.

The day we arrived at Friday Harbor was in the midst of a large storm that lasted a couple days. We think that as a result of the storm the turbidity of the water increased quite a bit but it seems to have settled down since then. The water around the dock and shore appears to be much clearer, which is great for creature hunting! On Tuesday morning (today) there were a lot of interesting creatures on the dock. First, there were two nudibranch sightings! The first was a Dirona pellucida and the second was a Triopha catalinae. The biodiversity and coloring of these creatures is fascinating. Finding a nudibranch is often like finding a living jewel in the sea. Chris also captured a Solaster “swimming” on video along with a few other creatures. One lively debate Chris got to witness when he was here in 2004 was about whether different species of nudibranchs can “swim”. They can all certainly scoot around on hard surfaces with the appearance of a magic carpet, and some can use the surface tension of the water to float upside down at the surface, but do they have the ability to swim freely in the water? Opinions and observations vary. In the course of this discussion someone mentioned that a Tritonia diomedea will break into a gallop if you brush it with the arm of a Pycnopodia. It’s an interesting image to think about. Also, Galloping Nudibranchs would be a good name for a rock band (for nerds and/or electrophysiologists). One final thought: interestingly it has been reported that Pycnopodia will eat tritonia diomedea once, but only once and never again.

All of these movies were made with a waterproof camera attached to a boom which is lowered into the water while Chris stands on the dock. It is remarkably difficult to make movies this way. In particular, it’s difficult to know whether the creature you see from the dock is within view of the camera. Many times he has been on the dock bubbling with excitement about the footage he is getting only to find recordings of an empty piling.

This evening we picked up E from school, picked a bunch of blackberries and then went to 4th of July Beach to tromp around for a while and watch the sunset.

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Powered by WordPress
Natural World RapidWeaver theme by ThemeFlood