Saturday, September 1, 2012

Small beach treasures

Fragile, delicate perfect:
Minute fish with bright shiny eyes, gazing at nothing. Too fragile to brush the sand away to better show the elegance of its exquisite spine, perfectly exposed from eye to tail through the translucent flesh. Delicate colouring of silvers, greys and blues. In the sea, it would have been almost impossible to see, not much easier to notice on the beach with so many other larger things vying for attention.
The swim or float bladder of an unidentified fish. The bladder helps the fish float at different depths in the water. It can contract or expand to assist in buoyancy - as the bladder expands the fish becomes lighter and floats up, as it contracts, the fish becomes less buoyant and it sinks. This one was about the size of the palm of my (rather small) hand.
This is possibly (said in a very hesitant tone of voice) a fish egg sac. It was about the size and texture of a jelly bean. I didn't try to break one open, which in hindsight might have been interesting - I'd like to have had a better look at the little confetti like shapes inside. For a couple of days the high tide mark was scattered with hundreds of these little things. 

Focusing on getting a half way decent photo meant I was oblivious to other beach goers, until I became aware of someone staring at me with undisguised wariness from a few metres away. "I'm not a crazy lady taking photos of my fingers ... I promise!" My words of reassurance were followed by a horrified look and rapid scuttling off through the damp sand. It's always hard to know how others view you, and in this instance my words were clearly not reassuring!
How many people had strolled past, lost in their own thoughts or worries, with no idea that the battle to live had been lost by so many creatures under their feet, yet leaving a trail of delicate beauty for us to wonder at?



Timbo said...

Coool pics Sue and lovely descriptions. Timbo

sue said...

thanks Timbo - much appreciated, and I'm looking forward to more of your wit ;-)

Ms. Becky said...

I love your musings here Sue. and wonderful photos to accompany. what a tiny world you've captured, and I'm happy you've shared.
happy week to you.

sue said...

thanks for visiting Becky. I hope things are well up in your neck of the woods. cheers :)