Beach combing for me is not so much about what I take but what I observe. On Friday evening, we heard the sounds of thousands of mating bristle worms hitting the hull. These polychaete worms swarm in a mating frenzy when the water temperature begins to warm. Their tubes are so numerous that they cover the sand in many places. Shining a light over the side of the boat at night reveals thousands of the red epitokes. The epitoke is a portion of the bristleworm that is packed with eggs or sperm and becomes highly specialised for swimming. At mating time, the epitoke breaks off from the main worm and can move about on its own. Swimming to the surface, it is joined by the epitokes of other bristleworms. At the surface, the epitokes burst apart, releasing eggs and sperm for external fertilisation. In this way, the worms can reproduce without exposing the rest of their bodies to danger.
|Worm tubes on the beach|
We had a foodie weekend too with snow crab and corn on the cob on Friday evening, Szechuan flounder and crispy eggplant on Saturday, and linguine with white clam sauce on Sunday. No bristle worms were added though! All the salt air and long walks builds up a healthy appetite.
This coming Friday will be the 70th wedding anniversary of my wife's parents. We are planning to take them to lunch at a nice restaurant. I'm not sure how all this will go because Mom doesn't really remember who Pop is at times, thinking that he is her brother or father. And Pop is frail but doing okay as long as the ammonia buildup on the brain is kept low due to laculose. But then the laculose causes diarrhea which presents another set of problems. Anyway, we are hoping that all will go well, and the parents will be healthy enough to go out. I can tell that C. is a bit anxious over the whole thing.
I cannot imagine 70 years together. I won't speculate on what that takes. But it takes more than what most people can imagine.