Showing posts from April, 2020

Virtual Travel-Meet a Balloonfish

This Balloonfish was seen at Ringer's Wall, Bloody Bay Marine Park, Little Cayman, BWI. Balloonfish, Diodon holocanthus, is a slow-moving fish has small fins for navigating the shallow reefs or sea grass beds it prefers. They are extremely shy and tend to avoid divers. They swim slowly away or turn as if to say "you can't see me." The body is covered in long, sharp spines that stick out when the fish inflates. The balloonfish inflates by taking water into its body when it is threatened. All members of the family Diodontidae are capable of inflation. Along with inflation, there may also be a color change due to the excitement. The balloonfish looks like similar species and can be identified by the dark blotches on its body, and the dark bars that run vertically across each eye. Their teeth are formed into a beak that can crush shells of the mollusks and crustaceans it hunts at night. #littlecayman #bloodybay #littlecaymandivers #divecayman #lcdivers #

Virtual Travel-Meet a Sailfin Blenny

This Sailfin Blenny was seen at Busch Gardens, a south side dive on Little Cayman, BWI. Sailfin Blenny, Emblemaria pandionis is a small fish that has a long, scaleless body and a large, distinct dorsal fin that tends to be larger on males.  Their blunt faces are topped with a cirrus above each eye and next to the nostrils. They live in clear, shallow water along rocky shores or reefs where there is rubble or crevasses for them to hide in.  They are shy but territorial fish that live in loose colonies. When diving you'll see a flash in the sand then nothing. But if you settle on the bottom and wait you'll be rewarded with a rare but very cool sighting.  #littlecayman #bloodybay #littlecaymandivers #divecayman #lcdivers #clearlycayman #caymanislands #scubadiving #caymandiving  #scuba #valetdiving #reefdivers #underwaterphotography #caribbean #littlecaymanbeachresort Take a virtual tour through some of my photos:

Virtual Travel-Meet a Grouper at a Cleaning Station

This Nassau Grouper was seen at a cleaning station at Mixing Bowl, Bloody Bay Marine Park, Little Cayman, BWI. You can see the cleaner shrimps near its eye and around its mouth. There is also a small fish (gobie) cleaning its "nose" area. What's a cleaning station? It's a bit like going to the dentist or spa. A fish pulls up and settles in and the cleaner fish get to work. Cleaner fish are fish that show a specialist feeding strategy by providing a service to other species, referred to as clients, by removing dead skin, ectoparasites, and infected tissue from the surface or gill chambers.  This example of cleaning symbiosis represents mutualism and cooperation behaviour, an ecological interaction that benefits both parties involved.   A wide variety of fish including wrasse, cichlids, catfish, pipefish, lumpsuckers, and gobies display cleaning behaviors across the globe in fresh, brackish, and marine waters but specifically concentrated in the tropic

Virtual Travel-Meet a Caribbean Reef Shark

This Caribbean Reef Shark was seen at Mixing Bowl, Bloody Bay Marine Park, Little Cayman, BWI. This one was just about 2 m (6.56 feet) long; just a juvenile. As divers we really enjoy watching these creatures up close and personal. In all the dives I've made (about 800) I've never felt threatened by a shark. The Caribbean reef shark (Carcharhinus perezi) is a species of requiem shark, belonging to the family Carcharhinidae.  They have a streamlined body typical of the requiem sharks, this species is difficult to tell apart from other large members of its family. They can grown up to 3 m (9.8 ft) long and the Caribbean reef shark is one of the largest apex predators in the reef ecosystem, feeding on a variety of fishes and cephalopods.  Despite its abundance in certain areas, the Caribbean reef shark is one of the least-studied large requiem sharks. They are believed to play a major role in shaping Caribbean reef communities. These sharks are more active at nig

Stay Safe, Stay Sane in Weathersfield Vermont April 27

Weathersfield, April 27, 2020 Our Stay At Home Order is still in place. And because of it Vermont is doing really well as far as COVID-19 cases and deaths. We are ALL doing our part to Stop The Spread , THANK YOU! You can watch Governor Phil Scott Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 11 a.m. on WCAX for his updates. Or visit this website: or any of these websites Vermont Agency of Human Services Vermont Health Connect Vermont Department of Health National Alliance on Mental Health  (NAMI VT) Crisis Resources You are NOT Alone-HCRS Health Care and Rehabilitation Services   24-hour crisis hotline 1-800-622-4235 Also check out  Upper Valley Strong Stay Safe and Stay Healthy friends and neighbors.  Remember to call or check in on your elderly neighbors, bring them some cheer from a proper social distance. While I'm a bit frustrated with the "Quarantine Bakers" who have bought up all the Bread Machine Yeast and Flour (I&#

Virtual Travel-Meet a Scrawled Filefish

This scrawled filefish was seen at Lea Lea's Lookout, Bloody Bay Marine Park, Little Cayman, BWI. Aluterus scriptus, commonly known as scrawled filefish, broomtail filefish or scribbled leatherjacket, is a marine fish belonging to the family Monacanthidae. The body shape looks like an elongated oval, strongly compressed. Its background body coloration is olive-brown or grey depending on its surrounding environment, irregular blue lines and spots are distributed on the body mixed with some black spots mainly on the head. The colors may quickly vary depending on background similar to an octopus's. They will flash colors if disturbed. They also will raise their slender dorsal spine when approached. #littlecayman #bloodybay #littlecaymandivers #divecayman #lcdivers #clearlycayman #caymanislands #scubadiving #caymandiving  #scuba #valetdiving #reefdivers #underwaterphotography #caribbean #littlecaymanbeachresort Take a virtual tour through some of my photos:  ht

Virtual travel-Meet a Hawksbill Turtle

This hawksbill turtle was seen at Lea Lea's Lookout, Bloody Bay Marine Park, Little Cayman, BWI. We typically see at least one Hawksbill on every dive we make in Little Cayman. The hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is a Critically Endangered sea turtle belonging to the family Cheloniidae It has a flattened body shape, a protective carapace, and flipper-like limbs, adapted for swimming in the open ocean. E. imbricata is easily distinguished from other sea turtles by its sharp, curving beak with prominent tomium, and the saw-like appearance of its shell margins. Hawksbill shells slightly change colors, depending on water temperature.  Adult hawksbill sea turtles typically grow to 1 m (3 ft) in length, weighing around 80 kg (180 lb) on average. The heaviest hawksbill ever captured weighed 127 kg (280 lb). The turtle's shell, or carapace, has an amber background patterned with an irregular combination of light and dark streaks, with predominantly black an

Virtual Travel-Meet a Feather Star

Feather stars, or comatulids, are echinoderms that belong to the class Crinoidea (phylum Echinodermata) which they share with the sea lilies. Unlike the latter group, however, feather stars are not obliged to remain in one place; instead they can swim or even crawl over short distances before attaching themselves to some support.  Swimming movements are achieved by waving the arms up and down in a slow, controlled manner. Feather stars are widely distributed throughout tropical and warm-temperate waters, with the main center of their distribution being focused on the Indo-Pacific region.  An estimated 550 species are known. By far the most striking part of a feather star's anatomy is their delicate, ostrich-plumelike arms that are usually highly colored. Some species can have more than 200 arms.  Feather stars are suspension feeders and, when feeding, unfurl their arms and extend the many pinnules into the water current. Feather stars usually carefully choose

Virtual Travel-Meet a Green Moray

The green moray eel (Gymnothorax funebris) is a moray eel of the family Muraenidae, found in the western Atlantic from New Jersey, Bermuda, and the northern Gulf of Mexico to Brazil, at depths down to 40 m. Its length is up to 2.5 m. Green moray eels are members of the moray eel family, which includes about 160 other eel species. Green moray eels are actually some of the largest types of moray. The largest green moray eel ever measured was over eight feet long and weighed 65 pounds. If that eel could stand on his tail, he would be taller than the tallest American basketball player! Color Green moray eels do look bright green, but they do not actually have bright green skin. Their skin is actually a dark and drab brown color. These eels appear green because their skin releases a layer of yellow mucus. Mucus is a slimy substance that protects skin. You have mucus inside your mouth. Touching the mucus inside your cheek might help you imagine what a green moray eel feels like

Virtual Travel-Meet a Southern Stingray.

Virtual Travel-Because I'm missing Little Cayman Meet a Southern Stingray. The southern stingray (Hypanus americanus) is a whiptail stingray found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Western Atlantic Ocean from New Jersey to southern Brazil. It has a flat, diamond-shaped disc, with a mud brown, olive, and grey dorsal surface and white underbelly (ventral surface).The barb on its tail is serrated and covered in a venomous mucus, used for self-defense. #southernstingray #littlecayman #sunset #bloodybay #littlecaymandivers #divecayman #lcdivers #clearlycayman #caymanislands #scubadiving #caymandiving #scuba #valetdiving #reefdivers #underwaterphotography #caribbean #littlecaymanbeachresort Take a virtual tour through some of my photos: We'll get through this together. We're all connected. #StayatHomeSavesLives #StopTheSpread Nancy Nutile-McMenemy  is an Upper Valley freelance photograp

Staying Safe, Staying Sane in Weathersfield Vermont

Weathersfield, Vermont April 22, 2020 Today is  EARTH DAY   Like everything else Earth Day's 50 year milestone will pass without a typical celebration. It's been a while since I've blogged. I used to write the " What To Do In and Around Weathersfield Vermont " blog weekly to let folks know what was happening in our area so they could get out and enjoy themselves. Since pretty much everything is cancelled for the foreseeable future, I've been try to figure out what to write about. I've been present on social platforms: Facebook , Twitter and Instagram   where I've been posting pictures from my Travel Photography vault. You can catch up by visiting my blog page: Like the photo below from our trip to Spain last Fall, I usually include something about where the photo was taken so folks can learn a bit of Social Studies and Geography while enjoying a view of s

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