Jennifer Steen Booher

Barnacles and baby seaweed

I have this problem where I start writing a post about an outing and have to do research to answer questions about stuff I find, and sometimes I can’t find anything so the research ends up being me posting “what the heck is this” to Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, and it takes a week for responses to come in and the response is basically, “we don’t know, either” and I have to go back out in the field and look harder, and a month goes by and I haven’t written the damn post. All of which is a long-way-round way of explaining why I still haven’t written a post about poking around The Bar on January 11.

One of the things I found that day was mysterious black lumps on the barnacles.

Social media came up blank, except for an offer from a friend to check out the lumps under her microscope. Karen and I went back to the Bar, found a small (portable) rock with lump-covered barnacles, filled a jar with sea water, and headed back to her lair. We couldn’t get the rock under the microscope, so had to detach a barnacle. Still couldn’t see much, so we scraped off a lump and floated it in a drop of seawater, where it sort of unfolded into a green oblong about 3mm across:

Definitely plant life! Probably the infant form of some kind of marine algae.

I took the barnacle-covered rock back to the shore, and since we’d already sacrificed a barnacle, I brought a couple home with me. Since I was out of research time for the day, I stuck them in the fridge. As one does.

The next day I pulled out my macro lens and got some better photos of the lumps and also the little bugger inside the shell.

And that’s why I still haven’t written the original post.

P.S. I meant to take more photos of the animal inside but ran out of time, and after a week my mom kicked it out of the fridge, so there’s a jar of dead barnacles frozen to my front porch.

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  1. Pingback: The Bar, January 15, 2019 – Jennifer Steen Booher

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