SEASONS IN THE SHALLOW BRACKISH POND

in Amazing Nature9 months ago (edited)

On the following photograph you can see the small coastal bird ...

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... walking in the shallow water in search for food ...

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... small crustacean, worms, insects and their larvae ...

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... this is definitely some kind of Sandpiper ... and, although I'm not completely sure about the species ...

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... it looks a lot like the Calidris melanotos, a long distance migrator that rarely stops in this area, on its way from Arctic nesting grounds to South Africa ...

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... these photographs were taken on the 15. October 2014. The small seaside pool has recently been filled by seasonal rain after the hot, dry summer, and the birds had the opportunity to find a nice variety of freshwater and marine invertebrates mixed in one place.

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As you can see on this enlargeable shot, that I went to take yesterday specifically for this post, the interesting small pond ... or more like a seasonal pool, is situated very close to the sea, only a narrow pile of pebbles divides the two waters with very different levels of salinity.

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Depending on weather conditions, it gets filled with freshwater by the rain, or salty water from the nearby sea, brought by the strong winds and big waves ... sometimes the rain and wind work together to bring two kinds of water at once.

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Yesterday ... on the unusually warm winter day ...

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... I had the opportunity to photograph two arthropods from very different habitats in the same place ...

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... this small Pachygrapsus marmoratus crab, although well adapted to spend plenty of time out of water, definitely a marine arthropod ...

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... and an insect ... on this shot the small beetle is completely immersed in the water ... this strange insect it's practically equally agile when moves under the water ...

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... on the surface of the water ... or on the mud at the edge of the pool.

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Here I put it on the palm of my hand, where the details of the head and legs can be seen more clearly. This is a water scavenger beetle from the Hydrophilidae family ... it looks like Enochrus fuscipennis, but I'm not sure about the exact species.

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Some spider from the Philodromidae family ... I don't know the exact species ...

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... was standing on the water ... it looked like he's waiting in ambush ...

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... but when he moved it was clear that this isn't a semi - aquatic species ... this spider could only helplessly skate in one place. It somehow ended on the surface of the pond and now was in trouble.

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He climbed on my finger and I transported him to the firm land, on the vegetation near the water, after taking these few shots.

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After the winter, with the days getting warmer and longer ... with only a sporadic, never very abundant rainfalls and with less wind and waves as well ... this pool of brackish water is getting smaller ... I took this, and the following few evening shots ...

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... on 2 July 2013 ... the level of the already shallow water was considerably lower ...

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... and the once submerged garbage started to reappear.

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Two weeks later, on the hot summer afternoon I was walking around two separate, smaller pools of very shallow water, in the same place.

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This long-legged cricket ...

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... the Tylopsis lilifolia Bush - cricket, has probably died here some days ago, in deeper water ...

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... as the pool evaporates the place is getting very salty, you can see tiny crystals all around the corpse.

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Some small side pools were very dense and muddy, nothing was visible under the surface. That was the summer of 2013 ...

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... but years are never exactly the same ... and the summer doesn't always bring the same drought. Here you can see the same place on 6. June 2015.

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That was a very dry year ... and some weeks later, the only water left was in the muddy soil. Here you can see a collection of bird track in that mud.

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It was the beginning of the end for many inhabitants of that shallow pool ... some larvae were still surviving in the mud ...

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Various Amphipods were coming out of the mud ...

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... you could see them crawling around in panic, searching for water ...

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... this one is running towards the death crab ... that looks like some giant Lovecraftian sculpture in the desert ...

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... and now - it's time for a little video - break :) where you can see some dramatic footage from that summer. I wish you a pleasant viewing experience.

▶️ Watch on 3Speak


Summer on the shallow pool of brackish water near the sea ... the video is a small part of the much larger post on HIVE, where all the things you'll see in this video are explained in detail. Like most of my videos, it isn't meant to be consumed as a standalone thing :) but in combination with the text and still photographs on HIVE.


▶️ 3Speak

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When the water definitely evaporated, in the first days of July ...

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... the dark mud was covered by this nice, white layer of salt ...

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... and I spent quite a few sunny afternoons exploring this interesting little desert.

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Pachygrapsus marmoratus are agile crabs, that feel at home out of the sea, and many have surely found their way across the barrier of pebbles to the nearby sea ... but some have died ... and those corpses covered with salt looked strangely alive.

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I found a good deal of inspiring stuff during that dry period ...

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... plenty of cool looking garbage ...

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... and interesting patterns in the desiccated mud.

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This wasn't an attractive place at first sight, but with the right focus on details ...

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... it could be enjoyed ... especially through the camera.

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There was something interesting on every step ...

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... so I walked many barefoot steps ...

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... around the dry, salty pond ...

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... and I took many POV shots ... with my feet as the main protagonists ...

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... here you can see another dead crab ...

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... right before my feet ...

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... here is another piece of garbage integrated into the mud ...

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... and this is some interesting, desiccated plant, nicely spread on the ground like in some open - air herbarium.

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The Amphipods didn't have a chance to migrate and survive ...

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... so I found and photographed many small, dried out exoskeletons.

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Some died in poses that made them look still alive ...

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... some, laying on the salty crust, looked like trapped in ice ...

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... I took many shots in this eerie macro landscape ...

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... for some creatures this drought brought plenty of highly valuable, easy food ...

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... ants were running with Amphipod pieces in mandibles ...

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... small lizards were running from shelter to shelter ...

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... from one piece of garbage to another ...

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... trying to catch the ants and other insects along the way.

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These are the Podarcis sicula wall lizards ... and usually they aren't so colorful ... only adult males during the mating season have these bright orange undersides.

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This female is resting on salt ...

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... enjoying the hot & dry environment that killed the winter and autumn inhabitants of the pond.

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Here is another male ... hidden in the shade of the stone.

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This is some nice little monolith ... a salt covered piece of something ... that looks pretty cool in this desolate summer landscape.

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This is some recently excavated hole ... entrance to the underground chamber made by some insect ...

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... that also looks pretty cool in this landscape ...

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... this is a different kind of hole ...

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... made by some aquatic creature some months ago ...

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... and here you can see me in the serious, monochrome tone, meditating among all this stuff.

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Here, back in color ...

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... you can see some minuscule lady beetle, probably a Scymnus species, that landed on my arm on that occasion.

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Here is some larva ... that you already saw before ion the post, alive in the still humid mud ... but now is definitely dead and desiccated in the completely dry environment.

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Here is another dead cricket ...

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... dry and covered with salt ...

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... this is just a small nugget of salt.

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I spent plenty of time & energy in those days, on trying to catch these insects ...

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... and put at least one of them on photograph.

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This is Cicindela maritima, the Dune Tiger beetle ... a very fast predator that patrols the sandy and muddy coastal habitats.

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Back in winter 2017, I printed one of these photographs, for some exhibition I did about the local flora & fauna ... and in one funny, meta moment, a housefly landed on the print ... creating a cool and strange interdimensional encounter between the two species.

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Salicornia europaea it's a juicy edible plant ...

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... that likes these sandy, salty terrains near the sea ...

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... so difficult for most other plants.

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On these last shots from 2015 ...

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... dead crabs are laying on the dry soil ...

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... the summer will be over soon ...

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... the autumn will bring back the water ...

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... and I'm uploading most recent, winter photographs again ... to show that period, that looks practically the same as the winter on this unusually warm day in February.

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Various insect larvae are diving ...

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and hanging near the surface ...

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... breathing through the organ called siphon ... on the posterior end of the body ...

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... mosquitoes and mosquito - like flies are resting on the surrounding vegetation ... well camouflaged, barely visible among the brown and yellow straws ... especially when photographed with the flash on ... which facilitates the shooting from this macro distance ...

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... but sometimes there are no easy ways around ... and I must patiently use lower shutter speed and natural light to achieve the desired result.

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This minuscule fly was photographed on the surface of the water.

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These pretty large spiders were running around the pebbles at the edge of the pond that is bordering with the sea ...

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... they were pretty fast and agile ... always ready to hide between the stones ...

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... I spent quite some time running after them.

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I saw a multitude of these long-legged flies ... that can glide fast on the water ...

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... some of them were mating ... while performing some kind of figure skating on liquid water.

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This is some very small fly that I never noticed before ... it has a strange, pretty large feeding apparatus ... and is also pretty agile when it comes to walking on water.

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These backswimmers bugs from the Notonectidae family are accomplished aquatic predators ... they are excellent at flying, swimming and diving ...

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... but with the body so well adapted to live and hunt in the water, they can't move very successfully on the firm land ... only jump around without precise direction ... a bit like some fishes out of water.

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Their bait is slightly painful ... similar to the sting of the bee ... but they won't bite unless they are pressed or squeezed ... so I was able to take these shots on the palm on my hand with no pain involved. In their natural habitat I could photograph them only with underwater camera ... so I'm showing them like that.

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And now ... with the last few winter shots ...

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... is time to end this little journey through seasons ...

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... as always in these posts on HIVE, all the photographs and video materials, old and new - are made by me ... THE END.

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Impresive nice :)

muy linda la ave

:)

I should say, I love quite a few things about this post. but without pointing a finger :P

:D

Loved this! I live by the ocean and these sights are home to me 🥰

:)

Crab with
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should be good.


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A good recipe :) Thanks & cheers!

We appreciate your work and your post has been manually curated by @nelinoeva on behalf of Amazing Nature Community. Keep up the good work!

Thank you :)

I thought the crabs were huge until you pulled the camera away.

:D

A very varied post, I really liked this photo, it's great

Thanks ... those branches covered with algae were looking pretty cool ... and the circle of the lens adapter also added to the shot.

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Wow! A whole documentary!

It was fun to put together photographs from various years and seasons and create the story about this small place ... thought about it for some months, since I rediscovered some old shots on the external drive, but it looked like too much work so was always left for the near future, and yesterday finally I found the energy to do it :)

Great and hard work! I wish I can do something like that in the future :)

Oh boys it´s like watching a whole documentary about nature. The amount of top notch wildlife shots that you can put in just one post is truly impressive. Seriously, how much time do you spend on a massive post like this one? :) At least a couple of hours I bet...

He,he ... true, a few hours for sure ... although I do it in small chunks throughout the day, in between other work and stuff, so in some sense doesn't look so long :D and in some other sense it looks like the whole day was needed. I putt together a couple of photographs and some text, then I go to cook and eat something ... then another couple of photographs and some text, and feed the cats ... and so on :D

There you go, that´s a cool way not to get overwhelmed with work :D I am just working on a pretty massive photo series myself (100 photos) so I might try your technique :D

:)

This is something incredible!

Thanks :)

Omg those are really breathtaking photo capture from amazing nature .Really wonserful.

Thanks :)

it's really cool and awesome ....

Thanks :)

Greeting @borjan Excellent photographs of the different types of animals and very interesting landscape this information, I like your post.

Thanks :)

Greetings @borjan very explanatory and interesting, excellent photography with very important information I like your publication thanks for sharing blessings.

Thanks :)