I've been home sick for a few days, so instead of Bikes, Birds, and Beaches, it's been Books, Bed, and hot Beverages for me. I'm happy to tell you about an extraordinary new book my husband and son thoughtfully and kindly gave me for Christmas that I've been treasuring since recovering at home. Beneath Cold Seas: The Underwater Wilderness of the Pacific Northwest by David Hall is photographed in British Columbia, just north of here. The author is an underwater photographer who spent decades photographing colorful tropical coral reefs, only to be astonished at the colorful diversity and beauty of the Pacific Northwest. The story of how he dressed and carried the equipment to compose these underwater photos is amazing, and the photos are truly stunning. He draws attention to specific creatures he especially loves, including Hooded Nudibranchs- sea slugs that look like ghostly jellyfish- and the Red Irish Lord Sculpin- a red and gold rockfish that looks like its eyes are covered in glitter.
My last blog post was about the Sea Blubber, a creature that really deserved a classier name. After finding it washed up on the beach, I identified Sea Blubber in a 30-year-old paperback from the library, and confirmed it online. David Hall's book even features Sea Blubber on the cover and I was delighted to find that he calls it Lion's Mane Jelly, a much more dignified name. I'm also happy to see what my Sea Blubber looked like pulsing through the sea when gloriously alive. With this gorgeous new book in mind, I just posted my third slideshow, photos of some of the fun sea creatures I've found peering under the wharf and exploring the lowest tides when not confined to my home with a fever.