Friday, July 16, 2004

Vagabonds

The color of the sea here is not the only sign the water is warmer. For the past few weeks we have had an unusual infestation of Compass Jellyfish in the harbor, as big around as dinner plates, with streaming tentacles six feet long.

They are not particularly dangerous, but they make a swim off the pier or a lowtide walk on the strand rather unpleasant.

The bodies of jellyfish are 99 percent water; they have fewer non-aqueous ingredients than lemonade, yet they are alive. They eat, they drift, they reproduce. They've been around almost as long as multicelled creatures have been on the Earth.

Armored trilobites, thunder-footed dinosaurs, and saber-toothed tigers have come and gone; the watery jellyfish endure. Their strategy for survival has been spectacularly successful: Keep it simple, go with the flow.