This morning I was down at the Marine Science Center pier and saw all sorts of interesting things.
Heard, also; the whole time I was down there the background music was the loud calling of the Purple Martins - I counted 11 around and on the the nest boxes down there. Also saw many Pigeon Guillemots, which also have nest boxes under the pier.And of course the muffled calls of the resident Rock Doves - beautiful birds really.
Luckily the water surface was totally calm, I guess what sailors would call "Dead Calm", since they aint getting anywhere without a motor. But to me, it was pretty lively. Despite being cloudless overhead, the water was apparently sprinkled with raindrops, or that's what it looked like. It was a real small cloud or.... herring.
One of the things that herring are prone to do is dabble around the surface, making little rings, sometimes flying clear out of the water. .Today there were small, medium and large herring about - the larger ones making me salivate because I love pickled herring.
There were a few thousand Sandlance around too, in dense schools, and occasionally they would come to the surface too, but not as often as the herring. Saw some schools of Shiner Perch on the outside of the pier and two larger darker perch also - Pile Perch maybe.
On a smaller scale, were many larval fish in the plankton soup. I saw at least one baby herring (maybe) about 3/8th of an inch long with glowing green eyes. And one apparently flatfish (sole or flounder) larvae - about 1/2 inch long, rippling along completely transparent (could see its skeleton) and also with glowing green eyes. Several other unidentified species
There were also a lot of jellyfish big and small. Saw my years first Lions Mane Jelly - which is sort of a reddish creature. This one was a youngster only about 5 inches across, trailing long stinging tentacles around 3ft long. This is the worlds largest jelly, getting up to 6 ft or more in diameter with tentacles more than 100ft long! The largest I've seen in Puget Sound was about 18" across. The worlds largest sea turtle, the Leatherback, attains it's large size by eating this jelly. Just sayin'.
Also in the mix were a few Egg Yolk Jellies, also young ones about 4 inches across - these will also get bigger later in summer. Also known as Fried Egg Jelly, it really looks more like an un-fried egg . There were great numbers of smaller Jellies around also. I did see one Ctenophore (comb jelly) in the shade of the pier it's highly refractive cilia only catching enough light to reflect a bright violet, which was pretty cool.
Some jellyfish are edible - I'd like to try one. Peanut Butter and Jellyfish sandwich anyone?