Nature Talking

I like to think about nature. Why? I guess because it makes me feel alive, and part of something. It also makes me feel small – in a good way. I feel small but part of things as well. Not all of it, just a tiny, tiny part. Like a take it or leave it part. I like to think that’s nature’s talking.

I imagine it’s saying, ‘We’ve got other creatures besides you. You’re not even in the top one-hundred. You might as well join the queue. You know what? You’ll never even reach the queue. I wouldn’t bother joining.’

Ok. Well, maybe nature’s not that harsh. But you get the gist. Today I swam past two tiny squid hiding under a rope. As big as pinky fingers, they matched the brown colour of the rope exactly. Just past them, a sea turtle had seen me coming and went off. By the time I noticed it, it was just visible and fading fast.

So much of underwater life is like this. I wonder what was there until I turned up. Way smarter than me – and long gone before I’d notice.

Lu and I cleaned coral this afternoon. Of course, I didn’t have my camera – so all the good stuff turned up. In the very shallows, we saw a huge rainbow parrotfish. Wait, rather the rainbow parrotfish let us see it. It’s probably been watching us for months now and thought, ‘Meh, those two. I don’t care anymore.’

Rainbow parrotfish are the biggest parrotfish in the Caribbean. Stocky, with fleshy tails and humpy heads, this one was at least a metre long. They are mostly bi-coloured, starting with red and ending with green, with the red popping up again at the tail, Hold on. I’ll find a stock photo.

So, Lu and I were just cleaning the coral, the usual scrub-a-dub-dub with the parrotfish ambling in the background, when something silver caught my eye. Two large trevally, one bigger than the other, were swimming towards us. Again, no camera. Hold on.

They were coming up from the deep, perhaps from the wretched shipwreck down the slope from the Harbour Village coral trees. That rust bucket has to hold a huge fish or two. Anyhow, they were coming straight towards us. I was working on the tree in front of Lulu, so I was first in line. I’m really not food for you guys. Right? Friends, guys, friends!

Needless to say, they weren’t interested in me. They could have been, you know… courting. I did have to duck as they went past though. At that point, I definitely could have stuck my hand out and felt their silvery muscular shimmer. Nah, actually you’re good. Carry on lads.

I turned around as they were going past Lu. Underwater communication is so pants in moments like these. All we could do is huge eyes at each other and hands apart to show how big they were. Like going to a rock concert and pointing at the speakers. Yes, there is music. Doh.

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