Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Catching Up on December

I haven't posted in a while, so this may be a bit scattered. The Beeston Spring groundbreaking went well. Check out Matt's blog for some photos of the day. Once construction starts I will take some pictures and post the finished product. The groundbreaking was for rebuilding the springhouse roof. The week following I helped do some cost estimates for rebuilding the holding tank and putting in a wash house. We should find out in February if we are successful.

We have been enjoying our new place. As Carrie said in the comment to her sea creatures post, I did get stung by a jellyfish on Sunday. Initially I could see where four tentacles struck my bicep and left lines from my shoulder down to my elbow. It felt like stinging nettles but the pain went away much faster. We have seen several jellyfish around the area so it was not a surprise to finally hit one. The water was so murky that I really couldn't see anything.

Christmas is in less than a week, but I feel very disconnected from it. There are decorations around the office, but every time I try to listen to Christmas music it just feels wrong. I think the fact that the temperature hasn't varied for the past six months may have something to do with it. It still feels like July here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Seeing the Sea

A brief update on our more recent encounters with Jamaican flora and fauna. So far, off the immediate coast of our community and home, we have seen the following:

- puffer fish (unpuffed) both in the daylight and at night when they show their luminescence
- unidentified (but very pretty) black and yellow striped fish
- unidentified (also pretty) blue/green/gray “needle” fish
- sea urchins (black and red)
- potential red sea anenome (unconfirmed due to proximity to sea urchins)
- an abundance of coral varieties
- lightning bugs of the sea (what are they really??)
- sting ray (unconfirmed due to distance from the sea floor and lack of goggles- but it was big, roundish, black, and moving, which means it was not sea grass)
- schools of small fish (also unidentified)
- school of jelly fish
- starfishes

I'll admit that this posting makes it seem as though I am not a scientist at all. I really need to get a book on marine coastal environments...then I can offer better descriptions than, “oh, that's a pretty fish! Oh wait...maybe it's not a it alive? Maybe it's a leaf.” That's pretty much how our conversations at the sea sound, but we are quite enthusiastic about it. I do find myself somewhat irrationally afraid of the sea (though note that almost 30% of the creatures that we have seen have the potential to inflict significant pain), so most of my observations are from the shore or a boat. Sorry there are no pictures due to the fact that these are all underwater things.