Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How recognition changes what we notice

We decided this year to get a season's fishing license (as opposed to buying by the day). We later found out the "season" begins in April, so we have nearly a full year to get our money's worth.

Our first foray to the ocean on Friday was met with high winds and echinoderm-eating birds, so the calmer weather on Sunday tempted us out to the pier at Ambleside Park. We expected a low tide, making for easy picking of bait foods (mussels and crabs).

As kids, we made many trips to the intertidal zone, much of it on areas outside the city core. On our explorations, we recognized the crab as king in terms of biomass, cuteness, and miniature toughness, but pretty much ignored everything else as unfamiliar to us. Now, when I visit our urban beaches, I am surprised by all that biodiversity I must have missed while flipping over rocks as a child.

neon green

In about 30 minutes of scouring the low tide mark, we found quite an assortment of critters:

Isopod on the left (at the edge of the reflection). Larger than the terrestrial sowbugs. Sea urchin on the right.

An eel-like fish, later identified as a gunnel, next to a ribbon-like worm

Took me about three minutes to pick up the slippery gunnel.

We didn't end up getting any bites, probably because of a couple of harbour seals hanging about for a free handout.


Susannah (Wanderin' Weeta) said...

I've always found that even knowing the names of things helps me to see them better. (And then, knowing the names of parts of that thing, helps me next time to distinguish between different individuals.)

That gunnel sits so quietly in your hand. Maybe, once you've had your hand in the water long enough, it's so cold that the fish is comfortable there.

BTW, I can only see a couple of your photos; the others seem to be broken.

Tim said...

Thx for the comments...I always thought I'd be notified when people commented, but it looks like its something I need to enable.

Also, regarding the photos...I don't know that that's happening...I upload the blogs through picasa, which get put in a private album. As far as I know, permissions don't get set on individual photos, but on the album, and since I am able to see photos on the rest of the album, I don't know what's going on. Do you create your posts directly on blogger, or through some other intermediate software (like Picasa)?

Susannah (Wanderin' Weeta) said...

Hi, Tim,

The photos are working now. Must have been a glitch way back when. Picasa gets in "moods" sometimes.

I create my posts directly on Blogger, but Blogger loads the photos into Picasa and takes them from there. If there's a problem, it's usually on the Picasa end.

If you go to "Dashboard" on your Blogger account, then to "Settings", then to "Comments", (in that order, or you'll get the wrong Comments page),'way down at the bottom of that page there is a place to put your e-mail address(es). If you do that, and "Save your Settings", you will get notifications when people comment.