Tuesday, October 16, 2007

deadly visitors

Dearest was an oyster farmer for a while. During harvest oysters would arrive by the bucket load around here. Occassionaly these little gems would arrive with the oysters. For my non~Aussie friends that's a blue~ringed octopus & it is one of the deadliest things in the ocean. Believe me, you don't want to be bitten by one of these. One time we had scores of the horrors escaping in the kitchen with the girls hanging on to squirming cats & the boys all trying to round the little suckers up & keep them in the bucket they'd come out of. I believe they got tired of squishing them up with rocks & just dumped them all back into the bay. Lovely.

I count myself lucky. My brothers kept a salt water aquarium & amongst other choice species that enjoyed eating each other while we ate tea they kept blue~ringed octopi. Now these things can escape through a gap less than a quarter of an inch square ~ & they did! They were always going missing & would be found months later dehydrated & gruesome in some obscure little corner. When they had collected enough octopi they were passed on to the CSIRO for research purposes. Our only consolation was the boys' room was closest to the tank. Later on they took up diving & we had the pleasure of watching a Port Jackson shark hatch from its egg but the best of that tank was the morning my mother ran screeching through the house waking everyone because the sea horse was giving birth & there were hundreds of tiny sea horses erupting like coral spore all through the tank...

1 comment:

Constance said...

That was weird! When our 20 year old daughter Laura was younger she wanted to be a marine biologist. She had her room decorated with everything you can imagine related to dolphins, etc. She has changed her mind on her career but still enjoys her 2 aquariums and all of her fish that she has. Since I'm kind of phobic about water, the closest thing I want to do with it is whale watching from a nice sturdy boat, maybe up in Alaska!