Thursday, January 10, 2008
Everyday Life 30 :: 4 Outside, Over There!
Yesterday we took our P.E.outside. We were lucky to arrive in time for a wide open beach. The tide was very low and the shoreline was revealing a view of the deep. And I do mean deep... we were treated to something quite extraordinary.
Maria walked a considerable distance. Imagine her trying to keep up with her long legged brothers. No wonder she runs a lot. Her boots were perfect for a bit of splashing. "Boops," she calls them.
I love how walking on the beach relaxes everyone. Alex and William walked and talked, looping back to help Maria keep up. Max ran ahead, to this uprooted sea kelp. He was really impressed by the strength of it. He put all of his weight in to pulling the stipe before the long, lanky limb of the sea kelp broke loose.
This is the holdfast, or the root base. Sea kelp grows in a forest, which provides an amazing ecosystem... I am recalling all the wonderful things my middle school science teacher taught me. Thank you Carol.
And here we have the fronds... I think they look like a mermaid's salad.
I almost always have my camera with me, and lately when I don't have my camera William has been reminding me to bring it along. I love digital. I love that I can take just a moment to capture something pretty, or amusing or memorable.
There are a lot of sea gulls on the beach, and though I have heard them called the cockroaches of the sky, I still think they are handsome. This poor fellow is missing a leg... he is not impersonating a flamingo.
Surfers are dedicated. Enthusiastic. Devoted. Single minded. Passionate. At least this guy had something to keep out the winter temperatures. His wetsuit included a cap.
Max enjoyed playing with the length of seaweed he won in the wrestling match. Swinging it, dragging it, twisting it. He could not wear it out.
Maria did wear out. William and I took turns giving her shoulder rides.
Textures and colors and the play of light on water... I find so many beautiful sights to point the camera at.
Low tide is is always magical.
Max talked to me about sea stars and how they eat mussels. Do you know how they do it? Maybe I should have Max write a guest post... it could be his own science feature.
We thought it was time to head home, but luckily we lingered a bit longer, otherwise we would have missed seeing this shark. Uh-huh, a shark.
She (I did not see any claspers) was caught in a tidal pool, where there was not enough water for her to breath. Fish rely on swimming or the free movement of water to push water through their gils, and this poor girl was drowning.
I wish I had more photographs, but seeing a unique situation I switched my camera to film, and maybe Geoff can help me post the footage I captured.
A small and concerned crowd had gathered and we were trying to figure what to do. Maria was crying. She is not too crazy about fish and the word shark seemed to make a bad impression on her. Two young men decided to be brave and they picked up the small(ish) shark from behind and rushed it back to the surf and deeper water. It took two attempts and they were successful. Yay!
While we were looking at the shark, I thought, Gee, it doesn't look like a baby leopard shark, which are common and mild. It really looks like a shrinky-dink great white shark, but I thought that sounded too dramatic, and too unlikely. Guess what? It was a shrinky-dink baby great white shark! What do you think?
Dudes, it was totally awesome. I hope she remembers us kindly, and I hope she returns to much deeper water.