Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bahamas - Diving and Snorkeling

So, I went to the Bahamas over the holiday weekend for some relaxation.  Did some diving and snorkeling while out there - Atholl Island, Runway Reef (Stuart Cove).  One of the dives was a cage-free shark dive where a dive master in chain mail was feeding the sharks while all the divers sat in a ring to watch the activity.

Anyway, here are all the different creatures for which I was able to snap reasonably good photos.  There is a sponge and also some translucent jelly-like creature that I wasn't able to identify with any confidence.  If you happen to know what they are, please let me know!


Atlantic Blue Tang (Acanthurus coeruleus)

Bar Jack (Carangoides ruber)

Black Sea Rod (Plexaurella homomalla)

Blue Chromis (Chromis cyanea)

Bluehead (Thalassoma bifasciatum) and Stoplight Parrotfish (Sparisoma viride) - Initial Phases

Bluehead - Terminal Phase (Thalassoma bifasciatum)

Bluestriped Grunt (Haemulon sciurus)

Brown Chromis (Abudefduf taurus)

Caribbean Reef Sharks (Carcharhinus perezii)

Christmas Tree Worms (Spirobranchus giganteus)

Creole Wrasse (Clepticus parrae)

Erect Rope Sponge (Amphimedon compressa)

Foureye Butterflyfish (Chaetodon capistratus)

French Angelfish (Pomacanthus paru)

Gray Angelfish (Pomacanthus arcuatus)

Green Razorfish (Xyrichtys splendens)

Grooved Brain Coral (Diploria labyrinthiformis)

Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus striatus)

Netted Barrel Sponge (Verongula gigantea) - maybe?

Nurse Shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum)

Ocean Surgeonfish (Acanthurus bahianus)

Sea Plumes (Pseudopterogorgia)

Shark Arena - Cage-free Shark Dive at Stuart Cove

Slippery Dick - Juvenile (Halichoeres bivittatus)

Smooth Trunkfish (Lactophrys triqueter)

Social Feather Duster Bristleworm (Bispira brunnea)

Spanish Hogfish (Bodianus rufus)

Spotfin Butterflyfish (Chaetodon ocellatus)

Spotted Goatfish (Pseudupeneus maculatus)

Stoplight Parrotfish (Sparisoma viride) - Terminal Phase

Tobacco Basslet (Serranus tabacarius)

Trumpetfish (Aulostomus maculatus)

Unknown Translucent Creature (?) - maybe Pyrosoma atlanticum

Whitefin Sharksucker (Echeneis neucratoides)

Yellow Stingray (Urobatis jamaicensis)

Yellow Tube Sponge (Aplysina insularis)

Yellowtail Damselfish (Chrysiptera parasema)

Yellowtail Snapper (Ocyurus chrysurus)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Jumping Frogs of Calaveras County

Years ago, Mark Twain wrote a short story titled "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County."  From what I understand, this was the work that made him famous initially.

Anyway, the annual fair in Calaveras County pays tribute to his story by hosting frog jumping competitions.  After thinking about checking it out for years, I finally got the chance to go see it in person.  I thought it was fun and quite silly, but most importantly, it was entertaining.  I think this event is a great one for families with kids.

The world record of 21' 5.75" was set in 1986.  This year's winner jumped an impressive 20'10".  The jumps are measured from origin to the landing spot of the 3rd hop (or step).  So, if a frog decides to u-turn, you are pretty much screwed.

Okay, here are pictures of the frogs.  There was a lot more to see there, but I find these frog pictures hilarious.