Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Plants, sun, sea and sand

Yesterday was a brilliant day for snorkeling and we were out at the beach for a few hours, despite the jellyfish warnings.
There were a few jellyfish but they were the pale purple-pink tiny ones which don't have much of a sting [much less painful than a nettle sting .]

We did see a few of these jellyfish but they were already dead and were just drifting with the wind and tide. There were a few stray filaments but they only left me with a couple of mozzie sized lumps -so nothing dramatic.

I have snorkelled through a huge shoal of these jellyfish without a single sting and it was one of the most amazing sights i've ever seen. It was like swimming in the sunset clouds - totally magical .

It also reminded me of the Jaques Cousteau documentatries that i used to watch as a child. I used to envy these folk when they went diving with turtles and sharks and millions of brightly coloured fish.
I've never managed to learn to dive but i love snorkeling and being in the silence of the sea watching fish dart around is one of my greatest pleasures in life.

Antibes is usually nice for snorkeling and yesterday the conditions were excellent - the water was beautifully clear , the sea was not too rough and there were huge numbers of fish around.
Shoals of all different species and lots of very big fish too.
I was following the fish with my 11 year old son and having a really great time. In fact we had decided to have another session today. However the sea conditions put a stop to that.

Today was too rough and the sea was full of sea weed fragments and sand - visibility was really limited so we just swam for a while instead and took advantage of the fairly big waves.

When i came home i had a look at the grapes - i took the green grapes photo 18 days ago , and i tried to take a photo of the same bunch today.
I managed to pick the same bunch but wasn't too accurate with the angle.

Eventually this bunch will turn completely purple-black - hopefully i will remember to photograph it.

Bougainvillea is named after Admiral Louis de Bougainville who was the first French person to circumnavigate the world. He didn't actually discover the plant, it was apparently discovered by a botanist on board his ship. Later it was brought to Europe from Brazil as a decorative plant.

Every year i have been meaning to photograph this stunning plant , but until now i had left it too late to get a decent photo.

The top photo shows the actual flowers of Bougainvillea - they are the little white daisy like flowers which are surrounded by the colourful paper-like bracts which give the plant its good looks.

In a mass , grown in the Mediterranean sunshine over a wall or fence, the flowers can make a fantastic display but somehow photos of the full plant don't quite work. The human eye seems to see them as more beautiful than they are in reality.
However, I did like this small section of the blooms looking up at the sky - I think this gives a better idea of the flowers than my other feeble attempts.



Caribbean Colors said...

My mouth started to water when I saw your grapes photo. Grapes are not native to Belize, they are imported from Chile and really expensive here (along with the $10-a-pound strawberries) I guess its just too hot to grow them.
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoyed reading yours but have to admit that I had to google Antibes to figure out where it was. Duh.

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Jess D'Zerts said...

I've often seen bougainvillea mentioned in novels & such, but never knew what it looked like. Thanks for posting that!