[Tweeters] April Fool Report

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Tue Apr 7 17:38:10 PDT 2015

There's not too many behaviors that spell out FOOL better than staring at the ground, or the water at your feet, with binoculars in public. Crazy? Oh, sure - like a fox!
I think I remember reading, in several different sources many years ago, that one reason that so many of our pioneer photographers didn't get murdered by indians, was because the indians had some respect for strange behavior. So here's this strangely dressed guy setting up a big box (view camera) on a tripod, then he throws a black blanket over his head for a minute to shade the viewfinder, and then packs up all this weird stuff and walks away. That's just got shaman written all over it. You don't mess with a shaman. Don't fool with things you don't understand.
Well, staring near your feet with close-focusing binoculars in public can also be a conversational deal breaker, as many people steer themselves, and their young children, away from you as fast as possible. I guess enthusiastically blurting out "Hey ya wanna see some plankton!" may not help your social chances either. And that's just too darn bad.
That's because plankton is cool. I'm just sort of a plankton watching fool I guess. I've posted about it before. Everybody could benefit from a little plankton watching - maybe.
Well, if your'e interested, there's a real run on plankton right now in Puget Sound - or at least at the Marine Science Center here in Port Townsend at Fort Worden. I first noticed it last week, and then again this morning - the viewing possibilities change with the tides, and the light and wind at the time.
What did I see? Well, lots of FOY newbies - the sea is a nursery and ,this being spring , there's lots of youngsters coming out.Like lots of little jellyfish (saw at least a half-dozen types), amphipods of various sorts, rapidly swimming mysid shrimps, tiny copepods, and a variety of larval-stage fish. One type being, I think, Pacific Herring - tiny little transparent slivers with big glowing green eyes. Another fish larvae being very eel-like, and especially tiny. I don't know what that was- another mystery of the sea- and I like a good mystery. The water column was just full of tiny drifting life. I could go on.The water just full of tiny life.
One bit of good news is that the Marine Science Center aquariums just opened up for the season (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons) and one of the things they have on hand is what I consider to be one of the pillars of the modern world- a microscope. Brave volunteers collect plankton on a regular basic and you can view it with the scope and see cool stuff. But hey, don't forget - you can see lots of cool stuff with close-focusing binoc's too. Just sayin'.
OK, so plankton watching isn't for everybody - I get that. But plankton is for everybody. Without it we would have no seabirds, and not much oxygen to breathe either! Plankton is your friend. You might wanna check it out! This spring check out some water near you - who knows what you'll find.
Jeff Gibsonplankton watcher

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