Thursday, 20 November 2014

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

This past June, I set out to begin the story of the seahorse within my series, as they have always captivated me. Last week we explored the storyline of Griffin and Sabine, two characters that are a part of the narrative of the Knysna settlement in Beautiful Creatures. I have had a strong fascination for these beings from a young age. Hence, when I graduated from high school, my mother had a friend make me a pendant that I still wear to this day.

It was not until many years later, when I was accepted into a student exchange program to Australia, that I would re-ignite my love of seahorses. I was elated to be traveling to a place I had never dreamed I would ever get to see. The seadragon was what brought me to realising this other childhood dream, seeing Australia. As part of my research for the program, I had planned to undertake a project involving the study of seadragon behavior and habitat conservation. I had the great fortune of working with a wonderful mentor with whom I continued to work with after my BSc Honours degree. 

By Sage Ross (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
At the time, I was living in Victoria, B.C. with my partner and we would often take walks along the beach at the end of our road. I had only recently moved to the West coast and already I was preparing to leave for Australia. There were several walks along the shore when I would contemplate ideas for my research. However, my most memorable walks are those with my partner exploring the shoreline and picking up the sea kelp that resembled the leafy sea dragon’s lengthy leaf-like protrusions. I would playfully hold the kelp in each hand and mimicked the seadragon's movements saying “guess who I am!”  as we laughed… That was over ten years ago, but I can still remember it like it were yesterday. The seadragon was originally going to be my research focus. However, due to time and residency constraints I had to shift to a more realistic research project. And so, I embarked on writing about on the public perception of the Australian grey nurse shark, an equally fascinating being with a rich cultural history. That said, the exchange program introduced me to seadragons and hatched my passion for these wonderful creatures.

By G. H. Ford [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Seadragons are close relatives of the seahorse and these beautiful creatures have a tail like no other … The female and male will share in a lovely courtship dance which results in the male’s tail being embedded with rows of eggs that will hatch a new generation of seadragons… 

While the weedy seadragon has lovely lines and striking colouring the leafy seadragon is a master of disguise with its elaborate camouflage. However, both have such splendid visual qualities that are certain to enchant you!



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