Monday, August 16, 2010

Salt water lions

Until this morning, I'd not heard about Lion's Mane jellyfish.

Have you?

I was visiting Rebecca Loudon's blog where she makes regular and tender mention of jellies. Yesterday she wrote about the little 'hot-cross bun jellies' and Lion's Manes she'd seen down at the docks in Seattle. Being a Leo, my ears immediately pricked and off I went to Google to see what I could find. As I said to Rebecca, I love the idea of there being waterborne lions in addition to those that roam the savannah grasslands. It'd be wise to be a little guarded around them, yes, but there are cats who need to live beside salt water. . .

Anyway, my birds are calling for their breakfast and it's time for me to pull my apron on and get busy in the studio. But first, here are a few of the people and places I visited on the web (the amazing web) this morning...

Arline Fisch, a San Diego-base artist who crocheted these glorious jellies (and makes many other marine forms, besides: how could she not, I wonder, with a name like 'Fisch''?)

If you're curious about the connection between new and novel foods, jelly tofu, collagen, the Yangtze River, phosphorous and over-fished waters, this is the place to go - Nomura and Lion's mane jellyfish.

I hadn't realized that jellyfish have been around for almost 700 million years, making them older than dinosaurs. They are 95% water and possess no bones or cartilage, no blood, heart or brain. And yet, here they are, capable of ballet, food capture, the elegant delivery of a thousand lethal stings...

Did you know that in 1870, off the shores of Massachusetts Bay, a Lion's Mane jelly with a 2.3 meter diameter and tentacles 36.5 metres long washed up onto the beach? That's a jelly larger than a blue whale - with one hell-of-a mane!

I was excited to happen upon The Artful Amoeba - a blog about the weird wonderfulness of life on Earth - eloquently hosted by Boulder-based biologist Jennifer Frazer (and yes, I delighted in the whimsical connection between Boulder, Colorado & the M. boulders I visited recently!). She's written a sobering jelly-related article titled 50 Toddlers + One Dead Lion's Mane Jellyfish = ?

Happy day, all.


  1. i was stung by a jellyfish on the shores of La Jolla as a child. a half dead thing. and once my kids and i 'caught' one floating close to shore and admired it in a bucket for a good half hour before setting it free. the aquarium here has an amazing gathering of jellyfish, that we stare at the longest of any exhibit except for the sharks.

  2. Oh my heck this is just stunning, Claire!
    Thank you.

  3. Fabulous discovery, Claire! These are simply stunning! You always seem to be out bushwhacking ahead of the rest of us, and thank God for that.

    L, M.

  4. Those crocheted jellies are inspired.

  5. Maggie May... you live in La Jolla? The land of Scripps and jellies, palm trees and special people! I wish I'd known this when I visited San Diego (spec. La Jolla) to learn film editing in Feb/March last year!

    Like you, I find sharks and jellyfish endlessly mesmerizing.

  6. Rebecca - nature sees to it, doesn't she?!

    And I agree about Arline Fisch's crocheted jellies. How on earth does she make them, one wonders? Each would require hours and hours of patient (meditative, surely?) work. They are very beautiful.

    L, C x

  7. Melissa! VesperSparrow... how wonderful to find you're back in the blogosphere and dropping lovely 'feather evidences' here, there and elsewhere! I am off to check whether you managed to get your Nest open last night. L, C x

    Bushwhacking?! I love the sounds, the energy implied in that. Thank you.