Wednesday, September 9, 2015

jellies adieu

Hardly bigger than the tips of my fingers, the jelly swims in a cup of water.

One last (? well perhaps) look at the freshwater jellyfish of 2015. With the temperatures predicted to drop to more fall like conditions this weekend, I expect the adult medusae will all but disappear. Studies have shown that they prefer water temps from 77 to 82 degrees. 

With this in mind, I held a peanut butter and jellyfish social last Sunday at the nature center. After a brief talk about the life history of Craspedacusta sowerbii—with accompanying peanut butter and jelly sandwiches—we walked the short distance to the quarry lake in the heat of the late summer day.

The people on rented paddleboards, kayaks and canoes were reporting "oodles" of jellies on the north end of the lake. We quickly filled our jar for all to see them up close, one last time.

They float, they undulate, they flutter like eyelashes. They are ever changing amorphic shapes like clouds or raindrops, highly mutable. Yet, unlike the other two, these have life; these have genders. And this is the part of their short lives when the males and females find each other.   

And since their lives run in a two year cycle, it will be 2017 before their offspring may return in such numbers.

Props to WBIR's Jim Matheny who first discovered this bloom of jellies and reported them to me three weeks ago. His report and jelly video deserves a second look: Matheny.

Jellies, adieu. 

With a name like Craspedacusta sowerbii it has to be good.
Noel and Brian from California, in town to visit their grandkids 
and share the fun of all things jelly
On the lookout

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