Saturday, May 23, 2009

change in plans


Robb and I were supposed to go to a letterboxing party in Folsom, but it ended up that neither of us were feeling prepared to do all that driving. Robb certainly wasn't going to be comfortable after four hours in the car. I seem to be getting a sore throat, which seems unfair on a holiday weekend.

Robb hadn't been cycling for days, which is not a good thing. When he doesn't keep his legs in motion he suffers, physically. So despite feeling low-energy, we went out for a spin on the Bay Trail.

I had stupidly forgotten to check my camera battery, which (of course) was completely exhausted. We certainly biked faster because I wasn't stopping every fifty feet to photograph something or other. I'm not really used to Robb's new camera. Photographing with a digital point and shoot is really foreign to me, since I've been using a camera where I sight through a view-finder. That new-fangled picture-screen!

For as long as we've been cycling the Berkeley section of the Bay Trail, there's been a derelict-looking boat offshore of the local racetrack. Sometime recently, the boat got beached, of course I was curious to see what might be growing on its hull.

On this lower photograph, you're seeing barnacles and colonies of tiny animals called bryzoans. (Well, actually, you are seeing their skeletons. I think these all perished once the hull stopped being underwater.) Each tiny portion of this texture is actually an individual animal. Ancestors of these creatures can be found in fossils.

Even though we don't get to follow through on our plans, we still manage to do interesting things.



Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear you guys are getting out. A little known whaler's tale about barnacles is how in the old days the sailors believed that when barnacles grew on the sides of boats, that they would grow bigger and bigger and would one day spontanously burst from the side of the boat as a full grow bird, since the barnacles reminded the sailors of a birds beak. (This also ties into the sightings of birds blown far out to sea by a storm). Also, when people are stranded at sea on a vessel, they can live longer if they jump off the side of the boat and gnaw the barnacles off the side. But the logistical problem of getting back onto the vessel usually guarantees the barnacles are the last meal they ate.
Hows that for useless information? HAve a great Memorial Day!


. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

I love the barnacle goose idea, too!

Kristen said...

Also interesting in regard to barnacles--the males have the longest penises in the world compared to their body sizes. (it also happens to be prehensile.) Next time you see "hung like a barnacle" silk-screened onto a t-shirt you can be sure you're in the presence of a cheeky marine biologist who's aware of that fact.

Barnacles also smell Horrible when you scrape them off your hull after the boat's been baking in dry dock for a few days.

Anonymous said...

According to this book I was reading- "In the Heart of the Sea", raw barnacles taste a lot like crab meat. Or maybe chicken. Lets go with chicken. Either way, it's gotta taste better then the human flesh the survivors of the Essex ended up eating to survive.

But perhaps thats just my own personal pickiness coming through. I just cant see myself throwing a human leg onto the grill this Memorial day. If the economy continues to suck, maybe next year around this time human flesh will sound good as a Memorial day meal! But only if served on the proper red, white and blue plate. Anything else would just be too uncouth.


. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

"In the Heart of the Sea" is such an amazing and harrowing book.

Anonymous said...

Hey that porthole looks like a GREAT place to stash a letterbox!

We also had our Folsom baby event plans waylaid at last minute..and the weather was so cold and foggy, it pissed me off. But we still went boxing!

A chore of mine as a kid was scraping barnacles off our sailboat.. 'til they found out how toxic that copper bottom paint was and we were just breathin in the dust..


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