The first time I came across this sparkle phenomenon I was
frankly concerned. The moon was out and well, let me tell you about Pearl
Bayou before we go much further. It's a quiet little spot adjacent to the
Tindall Air-force base so there are all manner of government planes
overhead. [I was under one of the flight paths so was privileged to hear
the sounds of freedom quite regularly. Of course that necessitated a
viewing of the
Iron Eagle DVD
for my fighter jet fix.]
That said, it was also a bit spooky. There was a huge eagle
(they are amazingly large birds) that perched on the top of a dead tree
nearby so Skipper was always harnessed with her life jacket on and
leashed. I worry that my Deck Swabbie will become a tasty morsel so am
very protective of her.
And (this was back in January so you can see how quickly I
travel along, eh?) at the same time the pine pollen was falling in big
chunks. Definition of big chunks: the size of a dime. And yes, that
meant at least once per day wiping down the solar panel (had just one
then) to keep incoming power supplies up.
Picture a dark night and Skipper has done her business. I
have a bucket on a rope I toss over to get water to rinse off the swim
platform and when the bucket hits the water it sort of glowed. (insert
spooky music here) Well you know we're close to a government facility,
it's dead dark, and nobody's around? And the water is glowing at least
It was startling but honestly I thought it was my tired
eyes playing tricks so I dumped the bucket of water on the swim platform
and was amazed by tons of tiny sparkles! They were about the size of
sparkler sparkles (like the kind you can buy for the 4th of July) and
so I continued to dump water on the swim platform and watch the bouncing
lights. Yes I am easily amused.
Then I retrieved my cell phone and tried to take pictures
and videos, but nothing showed. Not a doggone thing. Now tell me if you
say 10 or 11 p.m. call your friends and say "I see
sparkles on my swim platform"? This is not the sort of thing you share
with friends -- not even the nice ones.
And if I merely dumped the bucket of water into the bayou,
it would glow in a round ball that sort of rotated about four inches in
diameter and then gradually faded/disappeared. But the ball rolled too
under the surface of the water. It was just the coolest thing to watch.
Of course when you see something like that you wonder what
on earth it is, and if you're a fan of old science-fiction books, well,
you can see how a person's imagination might have a field day! Instead I
pulled out reference books and had a look-see. This is what I discovered:
One of my older books is a pocket-sized Golden Field
Guide entitled Seashores that is a good choice for your boat bookshelf.
It's small, light weight and filled with true-color illustrations of
everything from hermit crabs and corals to prehistoric horseshoe crabs.
And even luminescent rainbow jellies are covered. The book was re-titled
Seashore Life -- same book, newer
So yesterday in the Carrabelle River I was noting the tiny
jellyfish and nothing clicked -- until late last night when I rinsed off
the swim platform and again saw the sparkles. Life is good on the
water and sometimes it's surprising and even delightful.
Boaters will appreciate that everything
is right on the waterfront including a marine hardware store (Just Right
Marine, and they are doing my engine swap) and the library, post office
and a real albeit smaller chain grocery store too. It doesn't get much
more convenient than that!
Have you ever seen luminescent jellyfish?
Where were they and do you remember the time of the year?