Saturday, December 13, 2008

South Cottesloe Beach - octopus

Today is a spring tide day - types of tides, king tides, spring tides, neap tides, etc, are something that I have just come to learn about (and still try to understand) lately. So over these few days, there will be a high tide that's higher and a low tide that's lower than usual.

The low tide at Cottesloe was at around 7.45 am this morning. This being a Saturday means that I could get to the beach by public transport very early - no such luck on a Sunday. I got to the beach at 7 am. Anyway, many areas of the rocky shore at South Cottesloe was either already exposed or submerged only in very shallow water when I arrived.

Today's beachcombing was fun - considering that I have seen two octopi (one still alive and crawling; the other dead), around ten sea hares, numerous other invertebrates (which I have taking some beautiful macro shots that I must blog about) but also for the first time, what must be a nudi (!) (a nudibranch).

Anyway, this post will be about the live octopus I sighted. The red arrow in the photo above shows the spot on the rocky reef where I saw the beautiful mollusk.

The octopus when I first found it.

What's really fantastic is that when I got nearer and nearer, the octopus didn't care to run away and thanks to him/her, I could take some really cool close-up shots. My camera was just a few cm's from it's face for some shots - what an experience!

This last photo is the one I like the most - and it was the one that when taken, I was thinking hopefully it won't suddenly turn aggressive and raise it's arm and snatch my camera or try anything nastier, whatever it may be. The octopus was fully cooperative!

But well, after watching and photographing the octopus for about 10 minutes, I thought I should make a move. If it wasn't tired yet, I was. That's when the octopus started moving again.

Perhaps it knew when the photography session was over : ) Or more probably it knew it's safe to move now that the blogger who kept pushing a metal box near its face was satisfied and would go away. We're talking about a highly intelligent, although a spineless, animal here!

Anyway, in the photo above you can see how well-camouflaged it was.

This is a cropped version of the photo above.

Watching an octopus crawling across the algae-covered reef, making its way to the deeper water, was really amazing! You would agree if you have seen it. Such agility!

And the way it used its arms to maneuver itself around the reef was amazing too.

And this last photo shows the last moment I saw it before it disappeared. The animal was about 60 cm long.


ria said...

What a gorgeous octopus!! Can't wait to see your nudi photos.

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi Ria,

It's not one of those exotic, sushi-like nudis. But still, it's my first nudi.