Rays

The Odd Couple

The Odd Couple

Culebra Island in Puerto Rico offered a snorkeling beach a short hike from our anchorage. Mike and I loaded ourselves down with assorted beach-going paraphernalia, masks and fins, and I refused to go without my heavy underwater camera – just in case. It was almost a disappointment on the heels of some spectacular scuba diving. The scenery was very average, water cloudy and the outcroppings of coral dull under a coating of sand. But in the end my decision to lug the camera along paid off. We found a stingray in the shallow water escorted by a trevally that resulted in a photo that strikes my fancy. The rays always seem to have a fish accompanying them; in this case another trevally tried to join in, but the first fish aggressively drove it away. Back in the states I googled the behavior and came up with the term ‘commensalism’, in which one species benefits by hanging out with another. In this case the fish snags up the scraps of food stirred up by the stingray as it feeds along the sandy bottom.

Sony a7rII, Nauticam Underwater Housing, 1/350 sec at f/3.5, ISO 100, 28mm (FE 28mm F2)

Photo is copyrighted and registered with the US Copyright Office. Please respect.

Posted by Carol in Caribbean, Puerto Rico, Rays, Underwater, 0 comments
Wave Riders

Wave Riders

The Best of Nature 2016 Photography Exhibition opens this coming weekend at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Since I’m off cruising in the Caribbean, I will miss the Opening Reception on April 30 from 11 AM to 2 PM. But if you’re in the area, the museum is a great place to visit. Stop by the Ordover Gallery on the 4th Floor to see my image WAVE RIDERS included in this exhibition of wonderful nature photography!

Pygmy Devil Rays are similar in appearance to their cousins, the manta rays, but much smaller.  Both belong to a genus of ray called Mobula or, more casually, “flying rays” due to a propensity to breach (jump out of the water) in spectacular fashion.  The pygmy rays are usually seen in schools near the surface of coastal waters.  I have often seen them leaping repeatedly out of the water, making a noise like popcorn popping as they splash down again.

On this trip we were traveling south along Mexico’s Pacific coastline. We stopped over in Ixtapa, which possesses a beautiful curving sand beach well used by local walkers, joggers, children and more all traversing the golden sand in the morning hours.  The surf rolled in, backlit by the early morning sun, and I was startled to see the rays gliding in the breaking waves.  With the sun backlighting the clear aqua water, the rays appeared suspended as if behind the glass of an aquarium.  Intrigued, I invested quite a bit of time trying to capture the shot.  As usual in these circumstances, I was shooting hand-held, kicking up the shutter speed to freeze action.

WAVE RIDERS available for purchase HERE

Nikon D4S, 1/1000 sec at f/5.6, ISO 400mm, 400mm (80.0-400.0 mm f/4.5-5.6), hand-held.

Photo is copyrighted and registered with the copyright office. Please respect.

Posted by Carol in Mexico, Rays, Underwater, 0 comments