Tara’s Gallery theme this week is Black and white which seemed too good an opportunity to miss. This photo of a sea anemone is one of my favourites and my Facebook comrades will recognise it from my profile picture. I took it years ago in the late 1980s on an expedition to St Kilda. There is an underwater cave about 25m down, right below the peak of the island of Dùn in Village Bay; the roof of the cave is covered with sheets of these white cluster anemones (and I’m sorry, we have to do Latin here) Parazoanthus anguicomus. This photo might not win prizes or be technically the best but I like it. It evokes for me a wonderful dive site and some great trips to the very edge of Scotland. Happy times!
This little anemone (each one is about 1cm across) is always found in good places. It lives along much of the west coast of Scotland, although it doesn’t make it further south than the north coast of Ireland, but the brightest, whitest ones live in the clear offshore waters, and particularly on the specatacular underwater cliffs of St Kilda. It has a yellow sibling species, which, preferring warmer waters, only makes it as far north as south west Scotland; rather like Will and Ed the Grundy brothers, the two are only rarely seen in each others company.
Anyone who has dived in British waters will know that they frequently have to justify their strange proclivities to the unbelievers of this world.
“Oh, it must be so cold!” Well yes, it can be, but so’s skiing. You just have to wear the right gear. “And surely there’s nothing to see. Isn’t it all dirty brown?” So, just to show you that it’s not all black and white and dirty brown in underwater Britain, I’ve put in a few other sea anemone-type photos.
And in case this counts as cheating, here’s a post I wrote early last year which has some proper black and white photos. I was contemplating writing something using these pictures when I remembered that I’d already done it.