Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Beach Jellies

We finally got to the beach at the weekend.  I think that is our first trip to the beach in 2014, and that means that the summer holiday is coming soon!


While the boys were busy paddling in the sea or building tunnels in the sand,


I went scouting for interesting wildlife to see on the shores.  There were plenty of shells and plant life, but the following caught my eyes that day:

  1. oystercatcher - despite its name, this bird doesn't actually eat oysters!
  2. what's left of a green crab or shore crab
  3. what's left of an oyster
  4. razor shells

The boys had better luck in the shallow parts of the sea.  They saw quite a few of what I thought was the common jellyfish.  After reading my blog post, Tiger promptly corrected me by telling me that what he had seen was actually the compass jellyfish, according to this jellyfish ID chart.


The compass jellyfish the boys were still alive, but we wanted to see what it would look like in its natural state, i.e. in the deeper water.


I then remember Tiger and I used to read a lovely story called Night of the Moonjellies, which tells about a boy's magical experience of seeing the moonjellies under the moonlight.  Unfortunately, our experience isn't as magical.   The squiggy and legless creature just doesn't appeal.

video

However, that doesn't mean that we can't learn about how jellyfish work, or about the moonjelly's life cycle,


or that the jellyfish isn't interesting in its own right:


More importantly, not only did we learn about the dangers of a jellyfish's sting, we now also know that its venom may have some medicinal value:


16 comments:

  1. Hwee,

    What a beautifully sandy beach! Trips to the beach are always so special. There is nothing like the salty smell of the breeze blowing off the sea. I can see your boys wading in the water. Was it too cold to swim?

    Jellyfish, although fascinating, can be a hazard on beaches here. We have bluebottles along our coast, and they can washed ashore in huge numbers. I was just reading about box jellyfish. I remember vinegar used to be recommended for these jellyfish stings. Now the treatment seems to have changed. I guess it pays to keep up with the latest first aid techniques because they don't always remain the same.

    I reckon I get a good education just from reading your blog!

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    1. It was quite a cloudy day that day, but we were determined to get to the beach even though we knew we wouldn't be able to get swim because of the cold water.

      There are so many exotic wildlife in Australia. The UK species, in comparison, are very mild. :-) We have hardly any venomous creatures here. We are totally fascinated by the types of deadly jellyfish found in Australian waters. Box jellyfish is very danagerous, apparently, so I'd avoid going near it! I remember hearing about using vinegar with its sting, but I think it's only a temporary solution until the victim gets full medical help.

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  2. I love it when you can link a trip out to some learning value too. Lovely video's to back up your beach journey. I've not seen razor shells in years but our beach has too many jellyfish for my liking this summer! Thank you for lining up with Country Kids and I hope you have many more beach trips this summer.

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    1. It's the first time we saw jellyfish on the beach here. It's strange how large groups of different creatures get washed up to shore each year. One year the beach was full of starfish, then another year it was full of seaweed, yet in another year it was full of ladybirds! It seems that this year it's going to jellyfish.

      I expect we would be going to the beach in August and September. :-)

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  3. we are fortunate we live 10 mins away from the beach, and the kids have grown up with it on their doorstep but every trip brings something new to see. We get masses of jellyfish at certain times of the year as well, not sure if they come in to breed and maybe die off

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    1. How lucky of you to be living near the beach! It's the first time we saw jellyfish on the beach here, so that's quite fascinating. It seems that the warm weather has brought them in from the oceans. Hope you have a good summer! :-)

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  4. Yes, summer has certainly reached the UK! I'm even thinking about taking some time off this summer. I know I'll regret it but I just love the idea of long summer days stretching ahead of us.....

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    1. Isn't the weather glorious? We aren't in much of a mood to work, but it seems that we will be continuing through the summer, albeit at a much slower pace, with plenty of time spent outdoors!

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  5. Yes we have had a very light week, too. I didn't want our "term" to fizzle out, like it did last year, so we are trying to be quite intentional about doing our last maths and English today ... but most of this week has been spent in water ... so much fun.

    I love your beach pics and jellyfish vids. I'll be sharing them with J(9); he loves jellyfish. Have a wonderful weekend. :-)

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    1. Enjoy the videos! I'd love to know how you're going to spend your summer. Have fun! :-)

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    2. (Since I probably won't get around to writing about it on my blog...) We'll be spending lots of time at our house at the beach. Also lots of camps (film & sporty) - especially for my energetic extrovert. Then in late August my lovely parents-in-law are taking us on a cruise from Venice to Istanbul and the Greek Islands which should be very exciting. I'm not sure how much sight-seeing C and J will manage in the heat, but I will certainly be making the most of it!

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    3. Wow!!! The cruise sounds really exciting! How fantastic! I've not been on a cruise so I imagine I'd be checking out every single deck and facility if ever I go on one for the first time. :-) Do have a great time!

      The film and sporty camps are what I have in mind for Tiger too. How interesting that we share similar summer ideas for our children. Won't it be funny if our children were to meet at one of these camps?

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  6. I always do love all the videos you find. Are the jellies in your area poisonous and do they sting? In Texas we are rather nervous of ours because they can sting, and if you run into a crowd of them in the ocean itself you can end up with stings all over your body and be in quite a lot of pain.

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    1. The jellyfish here do sting and those stings are painful and very unsightly but they are not lethal. I still won't go near them though. :-) Hope you enjoy the videos and your summer!

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  7. Jellyfish stings do hurt. Last time we went to the beach we observed them but didn't research types. Thanks for the lesson!

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    1. You're welcome, Jennifer! Thank you for stopping by! :-)

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