A landing at Flamingo Airport begins a snorkel-based search for life around Bonaire.
Like the flamingos, we aim to drool with aquatic life, but we'll have to dip more than our beaks...
"Towering sea sculptures adorned with waving gardens of coral fans, whips and plumes provide sanctuary to one of the Earth's most diverse and visually stunning ecosystems." ~ Paul Humann
“Ocean, n. A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man – who has no gills.” ~ from “The Unabridged Devil’s Dictionary” by Ambrose Bierce
“The fuel of the earth will be exhausted in a thousand or more years, and its mineral wealth, but man will find substitutes for these in the winds, the waves, the sun’s heat, and so forth.” ~ John Burroughs, “Under the Apple Trees”, 1916.
'If you came this way,
Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
At any time or at any season,
It would always be the same: you would have to put off
Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,
Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
Or carry report. You are here to kneel
Where prayer has been valid.' ~ from "Four Quartets / Little Gidding" by T. S. Eliot
'The hills are reared, the seas are scooped in vain,
If learning's altar vanish from the plain.' ~ William Channing, Alcott House inscription, Concord, MA.
Elkhorn Corals -- Acropora palmata, an endangered species
‘As for us:
We must uncenter our minds from ourselves;
We must unhumanize our views a little, and become confident
As the rock and ocean that we were made from.’ ~ Robinson Jeffers, “Carmel Point”, 1963.
“Peace will come to the hearts of men when they realize their oneness with the universe, It is everywhere.” ~ Black Elk
young Schoolmasters -- Lutjanus apodus, sheltering by Elkhorn Coral
Smallmouth Grunts -- Haemulon chrysargyreum school near Elkhorn Coral while Brown Chromis -- Chromis multilineata, feed higher in the water column.
Bluestriped Grunt -- Haemulon sciurus, had just nabbed something hidden under the sand.
“Who knows what admirable virtue of fishes may be below low-water-mark, bearing up against a hard destiny, not admired by that fellow creature who alone can appreciate it! Who hears the fishes when they cry? It will not be forgotten by some memory that we were contemporaries.” ~ Thoreau, "A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers", 1839.
Christmas Tree Worms -- Spirobranchus giganteus, encased in Fire Coral.
‘A child need not be very clever
To learn that ‘Later, dear’ means ‘Never.’’ ~ “Grandpa is Ashamed” by Ogden Nash
“The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.” ~ Blaise Pascal
Grooved Brain Coral -- Diploria labyrinthiformis
“Every little thing is sent for something, and in that thing there should be happiness and the power to make happy. Like the grasses showing tender faces to each other, thus we should do, for this was the wish of the Grandfathers of the World.” ~ Black Elk
"Average temperatures around the world are up 1.4ºF (0.8ºC) since 1880. On a planet whose water-based chemistry tips one way or the other on tiny thermal fulcrums, that’s a lot." ~ Jeffrey Kluger
juvenile Brown Chromis school close to some Fire Coral
Stony Brain Corals, Family Flaviidae -- i think this is Boulder Brain Coral -- Colpophyllia nataris
"Far and away, the greatest threat to the ocean, and thus to ourselves, is ignorance. But we can do something about that." ~ Sylvia Earle
Mostly Blue Tang -- Acanthurus coeruleus here, reminding us to stay in school. Students for life can't drop out.
sub-adult Blue Tang -- Acanthurus coeruleus
Blue Tang -- Acanthurus coeruleus, with cleaner
juvenile Spanish Hogfish -- Bodianus Rufus, may provide cleaning services for larger fish
Spanish Hogfish -- Bodianus Rufus
Spanish Hogfish flushing darker colors at a cleaning station. Cleaning symbiosis poses unanswered questions about purpose and pleasure.
Honeycomb Cowfish -- Acanthostracion polygonia
Spotted Trunkfish -- Lactophrys bicaudalis
"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water." ~ Loren Eiseley
Smooth Trunkfish -- Lactophrys triqueter
Smooth Trunkfish (post-larval juvenile) -- Lactophrys triqueter, cute as a button and no bigger.
Spotted Moray -- Gymnothorax moringa
Slippery Dick (intermediate phase) -- Halichoeres bivittatus
Slippery Dick (terminal phase) -- Halichoeres bivittatus
Slippery Dick -- Halichoeres bivittatus, munching on a small sea star
An assembly of juvenile Wrasses, mostly Bluehead, along with two Yellowhead, a couple of Gobies and a few Bicolor Damselfish swim near a Giant Anemone -- Condylactis gigantea.
Clown Wrasse -- Halichoeres maculipinna
'Clown: Faith? There's a dozen of 'em, with delicate fine hats and most courteous feathers, which bow the head and nod at every man.' ~ Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well [IV, 5].