|Matava, Kadavu; March 14, 2012 (Fiji Beachcombing series No.2): Unidentified shell, Sally Lightfoot crabs (Grapsus sp.), Vutu flower stems (Barringtonia asiatica), 'mudstones,' vertebrae of a very large but unidentified fish|
On the second day, Richard and Cheri took me across the bay to an abandoned resort. They had arranged a meeting with the caretaker to see if anything could be salvaged, and I went along because it sounded like an adventure.
You can see it isn't terribly old, but was built right smack on the shoreline. The hillside behind is crumbling, and the bures get soaked by waves during storms. The mold on their screens looks like Venetian marbled paper:
The main building must have been gorgeous when it was new. This was the lobby, I think, with a carved wood bar and cavernous ceilings. Storms have ripped off parts of the roof.
It was very beautiful and very depressing. Such a waste of materials on an island where everything must be brought in at enormous expense ... The property is apparently embroiled in lawsuits and tangled in mortgages. It reminded me that Bleak House wasn't the tremendous exaggeration I thought when I read it in college.
At least the fungi are happy there!
|Another day of dramatic clouds and sunshine.|
After lunch I explored the mudflats some more. Everywhere I looked there were intriguing creatures.
The mudskippers were highly entertaining. These are little amphibious fish, maybe three to five inches long, who hang out in the thin skim of water left at low tide near the creek outfall. When you splash through the mudflats, they skip ahead of you like self-tossing stones.
It's a gastropod and it's feeding. Now you know as much as I do! You can see how these animals make use of the tiniest bit of water - it's only a little bit deeper than the diameter of that siphon. I look at the mudflats and think, "The tide's out, there are only a few puddles there," but really there is a whole watery microsystem. This is why I love the littoral zone so much. Always with the surprises and the challenges.
Salt-stained tree bark.
|Matava, Kadavu; March 14, 2012 (Fiji Beachcombing series No.4)|
P.S. For those of you concerned about wildlife: all the still lives were taken in Fiji, everything in them was found dead on the shore, and most of the things I photographed went back on the beach when I finished. I'll show you my portable light tent in a later post. Live animals were photographed as they were found and left in place.