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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wind and ravens

The wind picked up in the afternoon today.  Two ravens soared in the updrafts along the ocean-facing bluffs.  I didn't have a camera with me, but here's a photo from October when the local ravens were searching for food along the wrack line on the beach. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Drakes Estero and phoronids

On 26 November 2011, we were fortunate enough to enjoy a wonderful sail in Velella (our 13.5 ft. Melonseed) in Drakes Estero (Point Reyes, CA).  Here's a photo of Eric and my mom -- Eric's excited because a breeze has finally come our way.  Behind the sailboat you can see the cliffs near the entrance to Barries Bay in the background.  The next photo shows a close up that I took from a kayak.  

While sailing and paddling in this area of Drakes Estero, we observed very dense beds of phoronids on the seafloor (the water was extremely clear!).  I couldn't take any photos of them at the time, but here's another photo that I took of some phoronids (different species) on Bodega Head.  Look for the delicate U-shaped rings of tentacles (lophophores)...and how dense groups of many individuals look "fuzzy".  This is how the bottom of Drakes Estero looked as we cruised by on the surface.


 

Duxbury Reef

An exceptional low tide (-1.7 ft.) at Duxbury Reef in Bolinas, CA, on 25 November 2011 revealed many interesting marine invertebrates:

A Sunburst Anemone (Anthopleura sola) with unusual bright lime-green coloration.




The siphons of two different piddocks or rock-boring clams.  Note the frilly openings to the inhalant siphons that act like sieves, allowing smaller particles through and keeping out larger particles.




Quite a few nudibranchs or sea slugs, including this colorful Sea-clown Nudibranch (Triopha catalinae).  This species eats branching, arborescent bryozoans.



A peanut worm (Phascolosoma agassizii) searching among purple urchins (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus).  This photo shows the striped introvert, or anterior portion of the worm; the peanut-shaped trunk, or main part of the body, is hidden from view.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Spindrift, shorebirds, and falcon

Some of my favorite conditions for photographing waves -- large northwest swell and an offshore breeze.



Surfbird and Black Turnstone

 

Peregrine Falcon