Just because

Maybe I should amend that title to, “Part One.” Is this likely to be an ongoing thing?

Looking for some specific images the other night, I stumbled across this one that I had completely forgotten about. Back in April 2004 (isn’t EXIF info great?) I was living in Florida and maintained a small saltwater aquarium, but not the usual kind. I lived near the Indian River Lagoon, a largely saltwater internal bay between the mainland and the barrier islands on the Atlantic coast, and my tank was stocked with critters collected from there, whatever I could get my hands on (and would fit in the tank – some wouldn’t.) One overabundant resident in the area was the amphipod… heh, “the” amphipod, like there’s only one species. There are probably so many that it’s impossible to get an accurate species count, so don’t go asking me what, exactly, these are. All I know is that they are found everywhere, and if you pull a handful of seaweed out of the water, you’ll have these crawling across your hand in moments as they try to get back into the water. They’re completely harmless, and once you get past the creepiness of a swarm of lice-like crustaceans, you start watching their antics. They are, after all, a bit easier to see than the Sea Monkeys we all grew up with.

Here, an empty snail shell was gathered up with the new seaweed that I would replenish the tank with (a food source for many of the residents,) small enough that it was floated to the surface by trapped air within. The ‘pods thought this was the coolest thing, and swam in and out for quite some time. I was lucky enough to catch it while adhering to the tank glass momentarily, which allowed for a tight macro shot. The largest amphipod seen here could hide easily behind a grain of rice.

I had a lot of fun with that tank, and produced hundreds of images from it, a small fraction seen here. Man, I have to go back to Florida…

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