Posted by: octogirl7 | October 7, 2012

6 by 7!

What a blessed day in the water!

I found 6 octopus by 7 a.m.  Early bird and all that…

All of them were “regulars”, octopus that I know I’ve seen before, if only because they are routinely in the same place from day to day. Of course, they could be playing with me. Moving from den to den, just to irritate the octogirl. One of my pals at church said How do you know you’re not just seeing the same octopus again and again? Well, duh! Well, duh to me, but perhaps not to her.  If you’re not in the water with any regularity, that would be a good question.

My answer was that if it was the same octopus seen over and over again, they would have to be very quick swimmers AND change their size! I never see them racing alongside me, just to beat me to the next den. Some of the ones I see are small-ish.  Some are large.  Octopus are good at camouflage, but not able to change from smaller than half my hand to a large adult.  And behavior is different too.

The adults mostly don’t seem too concerned when they see me peeking into their holes.  They may change color, but they often don’t worry about evading me.  They just wait patiently for me to go away.

Some blow sand and water at me.

The smaller ones try very hard not to move and not to change color.  They just sit there, usually in between two rocks, and hope that I think they are seaweed. I do recognize the difference!

I shall have to get an estimate of how far I swim.  Of course, I go all around: first usually out to the two buoys at the mouth of the channel.  Before Speedo Torpedo scares them away. (He doesn’t mean to.  It’s just that thrashing and crashing about in the water is quite off-putting to the octopus! ) Then to the reef in the center.  Then over to the left, where I found a small-ish one today. Octopus, that is! I tend to swim quiet and sneaky.  Sometimes I barely breathe.

Especially when I start hearing a lot of shrimp, cracking and popping.  That’s when I think it’s really time to search for octopus, lying in wait for their breakfast.

And I must admit, as often as I see octopus, I still cannot tell which are male and which female!  I know about the extra part that the mail has on the arm, but since most of the octopus are hiding in their dens when I see them, cannot see the special parts.  Although I did see both the head and one of the legs today and I’ll work on uploading that one too, to the youtube site (octopigirl7).

A great find today also was the cowry shell!  Beautiful and shiny, it was really hard not to pick it up. Of course, touching the wildlife is exactly one of the things that I lecture others about, so I really cannot condone doing it myself.  And also, of course, didn’t bring it home with me.  Strictly illegal, since it’s a protected place, but also, because it was still alive.  It would really bother me to take such a beautiful creature and kill it, just to enjoy its shell.  As Steven Wright would say, I keep my shell collection on the beaches all over the world!

The cowry was about the size of my closed fist.  Quite a find and a first for me.  That size shell isn’t something I find very often.  Mostly it’s cone shells, probably 1-1/2 inches in length. They are usually covered with that pinkish dull substance, too, so it would be a lot of work to get them so I would be able to tell which kind of cone they were.  It would be interesting to know, but not required.  And since they have that barb and toxin, I really don’t have any desire to be injured just for being curious.

I was able to see 10 octopus, all told.  Another great day.  High-ish tide and the water quality was better today than yesterday. Still some bits in the water, but that was probably because all the goatfish were using their antennae to search for food.  One large cornet fish.  No flounders!  and come to think of it, no eels.  That’s two eel-less days.  Where are they?  Some conference?

Also saw another tiny trigger fish, probably 1-1/2 inches all told, including tail.  What a treat! When alarmed (although what could be alarming about a large wetsuit wearing girl? Maybe the weight differential?) it will run about, and sometimes dart into a nearby hole.  Quite effective. They can stay in there long past my patience level!

Then it was off to church.  Thank God, truly, that the traffic was light.  And no construction!  Praise be!  And a great message from a friend, Arjay, and then Small Groups with the college group.  I learned a lot. Hope they did too!

Until next week.

octopigirl7

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