Another look!

Sometimes when I go back through my photographs, I notice things that were happening in the picture that I had missed earlier! Here’s a good example. I totally missed that these little whelks were laying down some egg cases on the intertidal rock! whelk_eggs

Summer 2015 Plans

Some of you have been asking “What’s next, Karyn?” I have some news that I can share now! During the 2015 Summer season (May-Sept) I will be a guide at Tutka Bay Lodge in Alaska.


The slideshow below highlights some of my previous visits at TBL. I look forward to sharing this amazing wilderness with the Tutka Bay Lodge guests!

“O Tannenbaum Gilthoniel”

I re-post this every year in December because it always deserves another look!

Attention all Tolkien language geeks, my friend, Patrick Wynne, sings “A Elbereth Gilthoniel” (by J.R.R.Tolkien) to the tune of “O Tannenbaum.” Brilliant.

(if you have trouble viewing the video, refresh your browser)

A Elbereth Gilthoniel

A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
O Elbereth Starkindler,
silivren penna míriel
white-glittering, slants down sparkling like jewels,
o menel aglar elenath!
from the firmament the glory of the starry host!
Na-chaered palan-díriel
Having gazed far away
o galadhremmin ennorath,
from the tree-woven lands of Middle-earth,
Fanuilos, le linnathon
to thee, Everwhite, I will sing,
nef aear, sí nef aearon!
on this side of the Sea, here on this side of the Great Ocean!

Special thanks to Pat for letting me post this here!

OAT (One Amazing Thing): Bathynomus (Giant Isopod!)

We all love a good science fiction creature. Well, here’s one that really exists! The amazing bathynomus is an isopod that begs for stories to be written about it! I saw this specimen with Chris Mah at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Learn more at Chris’s amazing blog: The Echinoblog. You can also read about this creature from Kevin Zelnio’s article, which is like “Bathynomus 101″ – a great way to learn about these interesting deep sea creatures!





Striped Sun Star

During low tide today I found a Striped Sun Star (Solaster stimpsoni) eating a sea cucumber (Tutka Bay, Alaska).

The second photo is the underside of the sunstar, and you can see its stomach which is protruding out from its mouth (because it was eating the sea cucumber that is in the third photo). After I took the photos, I returned it to finish its meal (while it was eating a sea cucumber this time, they also eat other sea stars).

Amazing creatures!

Striped Sun Star (Solaster stimpsoni)

Striped Sun Star (Solaster stimpsoni)

This is the underside, note the stomach protuding out the mouth.

This is the underside, note the stomach protuding out the mouth.

This is the sea cucumber that the striped sun star was eating.

This is the sea cucumber that the striped sun star was eating.

Close-up of that stomach protruding from the mouth on the underside of the striped sun star.

Close-up of that stomach protruding from the mouth on the underside of the striped sun star.

Simply galling: Cedar-Apple Rust

From the Archives: This is a re-post, but a story I really love to share.

Move over Davy Jones, you aren’t the only one with slimy tentacles. In fact, the orange growth I found in the cedar trees at the NC Museum of Life and Science could have been inspiration for the Pirates of the Caribbean movie’s character.

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I took these photos on May 19, 2010, after a few days of very heavy rain. I was stunned by the intricate design and beauty. The spectacular mass of glistening, glutinous tendrils contrasted sharply in color with the cedar green on that damp morning. But I had no idea what I was looking at. So, I just tried to get some good shots to identify later.

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Greg Dodge, the ranger at the NC Museum of Life and Science answered my email query quite quickly (wow, that’s pretty good alliteration for the letter q). He recognized my photo instantly as a Cedar-Apple Rust gall–a fungal disease. He confirmed my hunch that the recent deluge had coaxed the spectacular tendrils out of the gall that had been quietly developing in the branches of the cedar tree for the past year. Cornell University’s Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic has the best description of the life cycle of Cedar-Apple Rust, but I think I captured some fantastic photos of the telial horns.
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A few days later I went back and looked for the Cedar-Apple Rust galls again. By now, the orange telial horns had mostly disappeared (dropping to the ground), and the gall which had been developing during the previous year in anticipation of its final spectacular spring show was clearly visible.

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