Archive for July 25th, 2011


Monday, July 25th, 2011

The cliff face of west Nihoa plunges into the water with an iron-red stain. Perhaps the red stain gives the water its shade of royal purple-blue. Not much coral here: cauliflower heads and small polyp patches on large basalt boulders that get rolled enough by passing storms to prevent larger, slower growing corals. Bright four-spot and ornamented butterflies wander through the high relief with hole-peeping blennies, pursed-lipped chubs, and square-jawed emperors.

The push and pull of waves overhead overwhelms our effort at staying still. Here, stillness is to acquiesce to the movement of the water. Of course, we push against the stillness: we have work to do. Work on hypotheses that, in the blue face of nature, are clearly oversimplified by too much time in the lab, in front of the screen. It’s all foolishness, even when the experiment works.