Coquina, mussels, bubbles … oh, and a lovely jellyfish.
Whale Cove, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Nova Scotia
Bright sky, crystalline water, reddish sand, rainbow pebbles, and the most elegant and extravagant purple jellyfish I have ever seen. So much color on this small, isolated, and nearly empty cove. It was a spur of the moment, “Quick! Pull over there!” stop on our drive north on the west coast of Cape Breton from the Bay of Fundy area. So glad we did!
“Dear One, it has been a terrible winter here. I have a one day business trip to South Carolina. Would you like to go for the weekend to photograph a warmer tide line?”
So off we went, with hotel and airfare points making it simple. The weather allowed only one day of photography, but we hit multiple beaches on Hilton Head, South Carolina, and I managed to find some lovely still lifes to photograph despite there being very few shells, etc, on these beaches (at least at this time of year).
The South Beach of the island, where the Atlantic meets Calibogue Sound is a wild beach, with equally wild currents. There is no swimming at this location. The tide line was positively littered with this species of jellyfish. The cannonball jellyfish, stromolophus meleagris, does have nematocysts, but the stings rarely affect humans. They are strikingly beautiful in both color and form, and they washed ashore both in clusters and singularly. The waves of the tide created the illusion that the jellyfish were dancing in the tide water at the very edge of the low tide line. Delightful!
In a diversion from the tide line, I include the following photograph taken at Ft. Pulaski National Monument, GA, just an hour from Hilton Head. It was my fourth visit to the fort, and I continue to be impressed by its architecture. On this visit, I came to the conclusion that it is the geometry of the place that I find so visually captivating. There are arches and angles everywhere. Its history, although rife with contention and tragedy, is nonetheless humbling. It is not necessary to ‘choose’ past sides in order to be impressed by the courage of both those who fought from within, as well as those who brought about its surrender.
You can read more about Fort Pulaski and its history here: http://www.nps.gov/fopu/index.htm
A moon jellyfish, shredded by the fury of the waves, left a piece of itself on the beach to be discovered. By me. It was gone with the next wave.
I have no idea what variety of jellyfish this is. It is easy, though, to imagine it as a creature from a 1950’s sci-fi ready to gobble up those poor, hapless shell fragments.
This moon jellyfish had seen happier days. It did, though, offer a lovely still life positioned beside a tangle of land and sea plant life. I happen to love the benign moon jellyfish. It is possible to stroke its curved … Continue reading
. . . And I am not sure it was really no longer alive when this photo was taken. Who can tell? This organism has no obvious internal or external organs, no remnants of an orifice. Yet, it casts a … Continue reading