I'm not who I was.
Our beach trip landed during our third week of school. Because when Poppa’s doctor allows him a week off of chemo for a brief stint away from it all, you just go when you are able. We did bring a light load of math with us so as not to fall too far behind, but the rest of what could be counted as school came from the experience itself. Fear not: we were still able to accomplish our fill of beach bumming.
Orange Beach was lovely, wonderful, and full of jellyfish. Over the course of the week, J was the recipient of a couple dozen stings. (She was stung on a handful of occasions, but many times multiples stings occurred). You may wonder if she would just learn her lesson and stay out of the water. But in her defense, the stinging kind weren’t around so much on the second or third days. After that she would hardly wade in, or even not be exactly in the water, but a wave would wash up on shore over her foot and she would get stung. It was almost comically ridiculous if it weren’t for the pain part. Thankfully, I came armed with the medicated stick that I keep in my purse for post bee-sting experiences, which minimized the trauma. (Ironically, J was also stung by a yellow jacket the day after we got home. Bless.) Throughout all of this, J became rather interested in jellyfish. Here is what she wrote from what she learned.
Because: homeschool writing prompt.
“What I learned from Orange Beach were the types of jellyfish.
Pink jellyfish are called Moon Jellyfish and they don’t have a strong sting. You would barely feel it!
Clear jellyfish are almost see-through and they have a sting similar to Moon Jellyfish.
Sea Nettles can look clear, but they’re not. They have very faint or really noticeable brown lines on them. They have a much sharper sting than moon and clear jellyfish.
Blue Button Jellyfish are made of kinds of polyps. They don’t usually harm you, but can sting slightly. Blue Buttons live together as a colony. Some form the central disc while others form the tentacles.
Portuguese Man O’ War is very dangerous. I think it’s a polyp or a blue bottle. (Did you know that the fin-looking part on top is its bladder ?) Its name is what it feels like! ‘I’M IN THE CIVIL WAR!’ But besides that, they are very beautiful.
Irukanju jellyfish are like a Box jellyfish, but not as strong. It is only 0.2 inches and transparent. It’s 100 times more poisonous than a cobra! Deadly, that’s what it is. 1 sting = treatable. 2 stings or more = close to death, so watch out! You need to consider a Box jellyfish sting before getting into Irukanji’s territory. But they aren’t on Orange Beach.”
Jellies weren’t the only critters that we encountered. There were the sand crabs which we would chase at night, and then there were the mole crabs which I am so regretting not having taken a video of. They resemble a tail-tucked crawfish, and they bury themselves backwards.
We were particularly entertained by the silver mullett fish leaping out of the water in droves. Here is a video of some crabs that J caught, and some jellies and mulletts that some neighboring beach-kids captured: