Posted by: octogirl7 | April 8, 2014

God bless that can!

Since I worked part of this past Saturday, I was able to swim on Monday morning. A great start to the week.

As I wended my way over to the shallow area to peek for octopus before everyone and their mother got in the water, I found a part of someone’s sneaker sole: black with tread, on the bottom.  So I picked it up.  Then I saw a soda can!

Really?! So I picked that up and slowly swam toward the beach.  And saw TWO razorfish!

One is surprising enough, but two?  Very cute little fish with a rounded forehead.  And the cute thing was that the older, bigger one led me away from the smaller one.  Very nice of it, I thought.  The video I got doesn’t show the fish very well: it is a pale colored fish and I mostly got his tail-on view, as I was sneaking behind it.  But here’s a photo from the internet, which shows the shape, if not the correct color, of the one I saw.  Mine was also much smaller: probably 2-ish inches:


Cool little fish, right?  I don’t know much about them, but the ones I’ve seen all hang out near the shoreline.  Maybe that’s just true when they are young and small.

It was a very nice swim: great, clear water.  Tide not too low. and nice greyish clouds and a few spatters of rain.  Which, you guessed it! Kept some people away, so I didn’t have the preponderance of folks getting in the way and scaring the octopuses.

Which could explain finding nine octopuses!  YAY! A really good number for one day.

Two of the octopuses were in dens that had been vacant for a while.  I guess I lack imagination, since I always tend to check out holes that have been empty for a while, hoping the octopuses return. And in two cases, they did.  Both were adult octopuses and didn’t seem to afraid of me.

In fact, octopus #9 sat still for my camera for a while.  When I arrived, it was doing some housekeeping: moving a rock out of its den with its tentacles.  And at one point, it whipped one arm around itself and into the den. But mostly, it sat calmly.

Mostly, I don’t have any urge to touch the wildlife.  But with this one, I was sorely tempted! It looked so peaceful, just going about its breathing.  And I was so close!


I literally could have just reached out about 6 more inches and touched the octopus.

But I didn’t.  I do respect their living space.  Even though I do get close to photograph them, I do try not to alarm any animal. (I always picture it this way:  if I were at home, would I want a giant hand to reach down and slide itself along my head?!)

There were a few octopuses who did seem alarmed, so I took a few quick pix and then left them alone.

And there were two pairs! At least, their dens were close together, which usually means a certain camaraderie. I think.

I have decided, too, that sometimes when I get in really early and a den is empty, that they are probably still hunting. Just haven’t come home yet after a tough night of sticking their arms into rocks in search of prey. This idea is borne out by the fact that sometimes when I come back later, there IS an octopus in the den.

When I hear the clicking of the shrimp, that’s when I know to start really looking for octopuses.  Since that is one of their prey items.

In the youtube site, I have a video of the crazy trigger fish that darted in front of me, back and forth, back and forth.  Really crazy!  I do believe that it was trying to scare me off.  And I was glad that it didn’t do what the  previous one did, a few months ago: took a nip outa my leg.  They can be feisty.  (And don’t picture a big gaping hole.  It was just a small nip and didn’t bleed, thank God.) I”m told they are protecting eggs.  I would like to see humu eggs. Hmm…

The resident barracuda also slunk by.  They are so quiet and hang out in the silvery, shadowy area, where it’s hard to see them.  Good prey catching strategy.

Glad that I pray for safety, so I don’t become prey. I have never heard of an attack by a barracuda in the Bay but let’s pray there won’t be one, either!

Octopus 6 was a very good hider.


Can you spot him?  Just in that curve of the rock on the right hand side of the photo.  Good camou, right?! It is a very effective strategy to stay hidden; it didn’t change to that maroon color that is a sure giveaway of their presence.

Again, I must credit my Olympus TG-2 camera.  They have a feature in the software that lets you get really close and see details of the photo that my human eye might miss.  It also gives more illumination to the photo, or maybe I mean more clarity:  in photos where the octopus is hiding out of the light, it helps me see more than I did in the moment.

There was another clumpy nudibranch too….and a trail of slime.  Maybe I’ll get ready to use the macro feature and really be able to close in on that trail.  But really.  Do I WANT a closeup of slime?!




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