Evening Walk to Totem Park

The sun was out for much of today, though this evening for a while it became mostly cloudy before breaking up enough for there to be some nice color in the sunset.

I went for a walk this evening, the first in a while where I’ve spent time just looking at things a little more closely (and then not getting very far). There seemed to be a small area of active herring spawn between Sage Rock in the park. On Sage Rock I wanted to see if there was any Prasiola left. It’s a small green seaweed that shows up in winter and doesn’t last too long into spring. I had been looking into it a bit (motivated by some pictures I took of it in 2012 and was processing earlier today). Apparently one species of Prasiola known from here is pretty much always infected with a fungus. That seemed kind of interesting to me, and made me wonder if that algae/fungus duo was a mutation or two away from becoming something more like a lichen. Shortly after, I stopped to take pictures of some fruiting Lichenomphalia (at least I think that’s what they are) – some of which appeared to be infected by something else. By then I decided it was time to get on the park. I had spent the 40 minutes travelling maybe 30 yards, and there was a chilly breeze blowing from the southeast that didn’t invite lingering.

The walk around the park was a bit more of a walk than a linger, which, given the time, was probably sensible. A friend join me shortly after I arrived and we walked out to the end and back, stopping mainly to scan the gulls for anything unusual looking. On the way back we got involved in a conversation about what exactly a lichen is, and I reaffirmed that as a category of things, they involve relationships I really don’t understand fully (and maybe no one else does either).

This evening when going through pictures, I noticed that in addition to the intertidal red velvet mites I intended to photograph, there were also some even smaller (more abundant mites) which I also captured while photographing the Prasiola. I had been aware of a cluster of little bumps showing at the edge of my photos as I was doing shots for a focus stack, but had just figured they were nodules/texture in the rock. I figured wrong. They were really probably too small to get good photos of with the lens I had, but enough of them seemed inclined to stick where they were, that if they’re still around I might be able to do something with a more powerful macro setup.

There’s an eclipse to occur tonight, if the clouds cooperate it should be visible in full from here. I’m hoping to get up and watch at least part of it, but not sure if I’ll manage or not.

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