At about 9:30 in the morning on October 14 I drove over to the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory. It was 62ºF, overcast, with a light breeze from the shore (sort of west-ish), and I’d timed it to hit dead low tide. The Bio Lab was a new site for me (I’d gotten permission to visit a couple of years ago but somehow not gotten around to it) and the first thing I noticed was the dramatic geology – I haven’t seen anything quite like this on the island! The rocks were very sharp, not rounded at all, and they formed arches, clefts, and sea stacks with abandon. I often wish I had a pet geologist to pester with questions, as I find it is much harder to learn geology from the internet than it is to identify flora and fauna.
The second thing I noticed was a dead jellyfish. I haven’t come across one in years, certainly not since I started paying attention. It was beautiful, a deep wine red with paler interior divisions and a clear frill around the edge- pretty sure it’s a Lion’s Mane (Cyanea capillata). It was lying in a deep cleft, so I couldn’t get a good photo of it. (I’m still using my iPhone on the shore, too, as it’s still too awkward to handle the bigger camera. The finger’s healing, though, and I expect in November Ginormica will come out to play again.)
Yes, I bought a lens for my iPhone, I am such a geek. But it’s been so much fun! This is the wide angle:
And this is with the macro – I took a whole series of barnacles feeding!
I can’t even tell you how cool this is – those little legs are too small to actually see without a lens, so I’ve never seen them before. I might have to start carrying a magnifying glass on the shore…
And then there was this:
The barnacles were covered in little black things that I thought must be baby periwinkles (photo above with wide angle lens) but I just couldn’t see them clearly.
Well, the macro didn’t entirely clear up the mystery – it’s very hard to know when I’ve got things in focus and well lit – but I’m sure I’ll get better with practice.