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Bolinopsis Infundibulum ~ Right Here in River City

August 3, 2011

I am enchanted with living by the sea.  The beauty of a spectacular sunset is multiplied upon its face.  In winter it ushers up wild weather to our doorstep.  And now, in summer, it is five minutes’ walk from my threshold to its own.  When my joints ache from running and I fear putting my life out in August traffic on the bike, I can swim.  And swim.  And swim.  It is more difficult than counting laps in a pool, but infinitely more interesting.  It recharges me to be out in the sunshine, feeling the tingle of saltwater.  Beyond the kids splashing with toys, but inside the buoys keeping out the Sunday drivers, I am alone.  On Tuesday, I was less alone than usual.  A friend had mentioned an influx of jellies into our bay, a non-stinging variety  She found them bothersome during her swim, gooey.  So I was warned and couldn’t have been happier about it.  The first few took a moment to resolve against the native floaters in my eyes.  But there they were!  I looked closely and moved on.

Comb Jelly

 Then I found myself drifting into a thickening flotilla.  It was a little unnerving; I was surrounded by jellyfish!  Do these really not sting?  at all?  True.  They  bumped against me, like the paws of a herd of cats gently trying to get my attention.  And so beautiful!  Comb jellies such as these live on display at the fantabulous Monterey Bay Aquarium.  I was suddenly on the wrong side of the glass, intrusive and clumsy and dangerous to their cellophane gelatinous selves.  It was horrifying to consider the carnage I might inflict on these gorgeous, delicate creatures.  I swam carefully, not kicking at all, through their fleet; they bumped and drifted away, siphoning up even tinier prey as they went, entirely unaware of me and the awe left in their wake.

Comb Jelly

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