Thursday, March 18, 2010

One Bright Morning in the Middle of the Night

I went kiting after work on St. Patrick's Day and took some helmet camera video of the session. I accidentally set the camera to its highest resolution, which is less wide-angle than the default resolution, so some of the scene appears cut-off. I think the high-resolution / narrower-angle mode will work well for kite-mounted camera shots, but I'll stick with the widest angle in the future for board and body mounted shots.

The song in the video is by Jimi Hendrix.

Strange Things - Indian River Lagoon Kiting from James Douglass on Vimeo.

At one point in the video I mention that I'm flicking an isopod off my arm. Isopods are little bug-like crustaceans. Most species live in the water, but the grey roly polys (also known as sowbugs or pillbugs) that you find on land are also isopods. The species I was flicking off my arm is one of my favorites, Erichsonella attenuata. It clings to blades of seagrass and fronds of macroalgae, and is well camouflaged for protection from predators.

Erichsonella and other underwater bugs and snails are important for keeping seagrasses healthy, because as they crawl along the blades they clean off the microalgae and scum by eating it. They're also an important link to animals higher in the food chain, like gamefish.

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