Beautiful Jelly Death

I’m sick with jealousy when I meet people who live close enough to a real beach, on a real ocean. But you knew about that lust. There is so much to see and photograph and just gasp over at a beach. Like beached jellyfish…

I can’t get enough of these.

If I lived near these beaches, I’d stake them out. I’d try and pick up what I could learn about the annual cycling of population blooms and when the creatures reach maximum size and ESPECIALLY, the weather and climate conditions that increase the likelihood of strandings. Oh, oh, oh, I’d keep a tide chart under my pillow.

Just, you know, so I could shoot this shit. I’d obsess on them. They are SOOOOO beautiful. And photo fodder? They are at their MOST beautiful when they are beached.

That beauty comes from the watery tissues that drink in and pour out the light, sometimes after gentling it. It comes from the failed architecture, the fallen domes of these temples, undone by gravity, by the desiccation of the air, by the pummeling of the wave action that deposits them, with so little ceremony, on the sand.

The beauty comes from the novelty of being able to look death right in the eye and not flinch, the death of a fellow animal. But an animal so removed from us, it seems hardly more sentiate than a cantaloupe. Even PETA ain’t having marches for Scyophozoal rights.
But it was alive. These are animal tissues. Look closely. Peer right on in.

Few things leave me as flabbergasted by their beauty as do the marine jelly invertebrates. Even battered by the waves and thrown out of the sea’s embrace, they are captivating.


Sting they might, all jellies, whatever their phylum, are lovely. Like clear or stained or frosted glass, like Italian blown-glass ornaments, like quivering Jell-O, they catch the light something marvelous.

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One Response to Beautiful Jelly Death

  1. Doug says:

    These pics are simply wonderful, thanks for posting.

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