And I let it take flight
The wind carries to my ears
Precious sounds of life
Soon I break all ties
Which bind me to this earth
All that surrounds me seems to melt
Into the blue eternal"
-"Higher" by Asgeir
When I left for Norway last August, the timing was actually less than ideal. I had been conducting an experiment off the Oregon coast that summer, and on the day I left for Norway, the experiment was not yet finished. I left detailed instructions and all the necessary supplies in the hands of a student I trusted, hoped for the best, and jetted off to my Norwegian adventure.
|The Oregon coast and Cape Arago Lighthouse, seen from|
|Caitlin and Zabrina, my two volunteer helpers for the day.|
As we steamed out of Coos Bay and onto the open coast, two voluteers and I sat on the bow of OIMB's 42' research boat, the R/V Pluteus. The captain had agreed to drive past my study sites, slowing down as we passed each one, so that the volunteers and I could scan the sea surface for buoys. Our plan would have worked great, except that the waves today were big enough to render the bow a useless vantage point. There was so much salt spray, I could barely look up or open my eyes. Time to move to the stern.
|A recovered cement block with acorn barnacles and anemones|
|Metridium anemones on my mooring rope|
The anemones, on the other hand, need no identification. I can tell you right away that they belong to the species Metridium senile, a common plumose anemone on the rocky reef. I had only rarely observed Metridium recruits on my settlement plates last summer, so it was interesting to see them on the cement blocks and attached ropes in quite high densities. I was especially impressed at Metridium's growth rate - it appears that a new recruit can grow from microscopic to several inches across in just 7 months or less.
|A basket star wrapped around my mooring rope.|
Out of 8 cement blocks left out at sea, we were only able to find 2, but that's still 2 more than I ever thought we would find. In the end, we brought back some cool animals and valuable barnacle specimens. I call that a successful day.