Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Sunny Visitor

 Wow! Visible Monday was so much fun, and I had many new and welcome visitors. But we don't only dress up and show you what we wore around here. Nor is this enterprise only a one-woman show. Sometimes the man of the house chips in as well, as this past weekend when he came in to ask me if I wanted to take a photo of the giant starfish he'd found raiding his crab pot.
 Although you see it here at shore, just beyond the kayak, Paul had carried it back on the kayak with him, just for my readers, when he'd pulled up the trap, 50 or so metres from shore, and found it clinging there, having just digested every last scrap of the bait (salmon trimmings leftover from this feast).
 Very cleverly, this sunflower starfish (Pycnopodia helianthoides, to be more technical) didn't even enter the trap, but pushed its stomach (centre, underside) through the net to pull the fish into itself.
 Paul even lifted him up so that we could get a closer view.
 He treated Mr. Star very gently considering that the star or someone like him has emptied the pot of bait the last three attempts, leaving us only a persistently hopeful memory of one wonderful meal this summer when, through beginner's luck, we feasted on five crabs.
 I'm not convinced it's a fair tradeoff, but I was tickled that Paul brought this sunstar to shore for our viewing.
And I hope you enjoyed visiting with this denizen of the deep. Perhpas not quite as striking a visitor as Sunday's, but certainly more colourful (and you might be interested that he moved off quite comfortably -- and surprisingly quickly -- as soon as he was put back into the water, as soon as his photoshoot was done).

11 comments:

  1. I'm impressed at how LARGE it is. Wow!

    Too bad he foiled Paul's crabbing attempt, but a guy that big has to eat too :).

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  2. Wow, I never knew starfish got that big, and I've never seen one with that many legs. He's probably achieved his age and size by being crafty enought not to get caught in traps!

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  3. It's like you have your own documentary blog! Amazing!!

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  4. Oh wow! I've never seen a starfish like that and he is beautiful! Obviously he is a crafty fellow too and you've got to admire that, even if it was your dinner he was after.

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  5. Why are sea creatures all kind of scary?

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  6. Wow, I had no idea they could be that big either. Perhaps these are special Canadian starfish?

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  7. That's an amazing starfish! We saw some quite similar in the Marlborough Sounds area of New Zealand a few years back - same colour and many 'legs', but I'm guessing probably not the same species given the different climate.

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  8. Big boy! Maybe you'll see him again; he looks like he could go wherever he wants.

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  9. I agree with Duchesse -- "Where does a twelve pound starfish sleep? Anywhere he wants." That is an amazing creature!

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  10. Susan: It's true; otherwise, how would he get so big?!
    Pseu: Apparently, these guys go right down the Coast, and you can find them in Monterey Bay, but they're largest in my neck of the woods.
    Kristin: Yes, I hear Lorne Greene narrating . . .
    Mardel: Yes, too bad these marauders (the deer, the starfish, even the raccoons) are so attractive.
    Lisa: I know! And really, perhaps it's not better to know what's down there. . .
    Lesley: Well, apparently these guys carry various passports, 'cause we find them on both sides of the border.
    Tiffany: I did some quick Googling and found that the NZ reef stars or patarangoa seem similar. Didn't persist enough to find out their L. name and compare family/species, etc.
    Duchesse/Patti: It's pretty clear who'd be giving the orders, isn't it?!

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  11. Holy Cow, natural history and fashion! Yes, how many legs? It looks amazing.

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