Saturday, March 10, 2012

spring cycles...

so many eggs

rainbow scales


washed ashore


as mentioned last sunday when we visited the sea lions, they are here for the herring that are spawning in the strait right now. when A and i went to the beach the other evening to get some shots of the new creature we also took a walk along the shore and got a good look at what is feeding the sea lions, not to mention the seals, the eagles, the gulls and other birds.

the tide was high, leaving just a sliver of beach to be explored, but there was still lots to see. the water was murky as it lapped at the beach, so different from its usual crystal clear-ness. every little bit of seaweed washed ashore was covered in tiny little eggs, the herring roe. while pacific herring don't die after spawning, like salmon do, there were still a number of fish along the waterline, spent after their reproductive work perhaps.

the hazy early evening sun shone over a nearly windless beach scene where we walked, marvelling at all the life around us. the birds lay heavy on the surface of the water or wheeled high overhead, enjoying the feasting to be done. off shore, occasional barks could be heard and flippers spotted lazily poking up as sea lions fished for an evening meal. a few commercial fishing boats sat out in the sound, finishing up the day's harvest. parents brought their children down to the beach to spot the wildlife participating in this spring cycle. i like coming to the beach year round and seeing the different cycles that the sea and its creatures go through, the subtle rhythms much like that on land, yet often the major parts are hidden from us as they take place below the surface. we often only get little hints here and there that these cycles are occurring as we look across the vast stretch of water, finding a few clues washed up with the tide. i love to take the time, where i can, to try and understand the rhythms of this magical place, the sea, even if there is so much i may never know.

>>> speaking of not knowing, can anyone identify what i'm holding in the last shot? there were a few of these stuck to rocks and feathers at the beach, shimmery white oblong bladders of sorts, seemingly filled with air. i presume they are related to the herring or the spawning somehow, but i haven't found mention of them in my searches just yet. let me know if you know, or i'll update this if i figure it out first. thanks and hope you are having a great saturday so far!


perhaps in honour of those magical beasts, listen to sea lion woman by feist, and then watch nina play around with her version of the original song


Margie Oomen said...

i am sure i have seen those before but can't put my finger on it at the moment.
I adore that first photograph!

Erin said...

My husband, the fisheries biologist, thinks that they might be halosaccion - albeit perhaps bleached out by winter sun?

leFiligree said...

i'm going to guess it's a swimbladder from the herring. is it about the size that would fit inside a herring? the pearly color seems about right but i dont know much about them, or why they'd be expelled during spawning.

lovely day you had!

Erica said...

So cool! Thanks for sharing a little window into your corner of the world!