Under The Mediterranean Sea. June 2022 Part 2. JellyFish ID and Sightings App

If there’s one thing I’m learning this year is that the sea changes more than nature on land.

Saddled sea bream

I mentioned in my last Under The Mediterranean Sea winter storms had changed the sea floor where I snorkel. The previous 2 years the floor didn’t change much. There hasn’t been any bad storms in the past 2 weeks however already the sea floor has changed. The sand in parts is being replaced by pebbles where it was once sandy. Those pebbles have increased a little. A few more old industrial bricks have been uncovered or maybe pushed around albeit smaller. Usually around Easter the sea retreats exposing more beach while about 50 meters up the beach, it eats the beach only to settle back a few weeks later. Some years the council dregs sand to widen the beaches but I haven’t see that this year and I haven’t cycled along the other beaches to know if they have this year (little research later, they did to widen boat access to Port Olympic) The retreat and eat of the beach is happening now the end of June so I’m curious for the next few weeks. Barcelona Council along with Port Olympic, Zoo Barcelona and the Barcelona Aquarium are involved in an artificial reef project to support the boost the existing dykes at Port Olympic from storms, however I don’t go to the those beaches as they’re too crowded. 

Striped sea breams and mullets
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April 2022. The Sunny Month Part 2

To be honest I can’t remember much about the second half of April. My excuse, my photo stream stopped loading to my mac from my phone. It did save photos from Instagram stories and nothing else. Looking back on my phone I didn’t compared to normal take as many photos. I did however on my Fujifilm XT20.

Trees started to get dressed

The second half of April wasn’t as sunny, however the flowers made up for it. I saw my first ducklings of the season and Firea de Abril was held for the first time in 2 years so I knew most covid19 restrictions were lifted. Wearing masks inside stopped after Easter Monday. Aside from wearing them in health centres, pharmacies and on public transport, life has returned to how it was pre covid. I think most people have forgotten it ever happened. Scars are still there, I get random flashbacks every now and then of should I be wearing a mask leaving the house, in the lift?, Is the park open past 20.00? It’s amazing how humans adapt.

Flamingos at Barcelona Zoo started nesting.

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Under The Mediterranean Sea June 2022. Changes

I’m back in my summer world saying hi to the fish! All winter long I’ve been waiting for when the water was warm enough to go in. The way the water wraps around you as soon as you get in makes you forget about everything. Salt water on a hot humid day is sometimes the only thing that cools you down. Maybe that’s because Earth is 70% water and humans are too. We’re just drawn to water and if you can peek into life in the water a completely different world opens up. 

The wrong setting can be good sometimes. Day white balance instead of underwater white balance

A world where that has no idea about cryptocurrency, she said, he said this, shopping, roads, cars, tv shows. A world that just is, unchanged for millions of years taking away evolution. But it is changing. 

Saddled sea breams

I couldn’t find the rocks on the sea bed. I thought maybe that’s because the beach is wider than it used to be. Maybe I have to go further out. But I was looking in the right place. Looking above from the walk way I couldn’t see the darker shadows in the water where the rocks were. Looking back I hadn’t seen them for a few months but didn’t think anything about it. Every thing was covered in sand. So much sand the depth is shallower. I think the storms in January and March wiped everything out. When I cycled past I often wondered how the fish were doing in the storm waves. That world gone, the landscaped changed. When I realised I got upset. All winter long I’d been looking forward to snorkelling again. I don’t care it’s city beach. I just wanted to be in the water pooping my pants if a fish bigger than a mullet swam below. I felt like the one thing that had been keeping me going all winter gone in an instant.

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February 2022. The Long Short Month. The Second Half

The second half of February I used my mobile camera more than my camera. I’m not sure why. Maybe my camera was buried in my bag, maybe I didn’t want to seem like tourist. 

Sunrise seagull commute

Maybe I didn’t think the shot was worth my camera. I do that a lot only to later regret why I didn’t take it with my camera. My phone is just easier. Sometimes I can’t be bothered to get out my camera. Behind every photo however is a story. Be it basic as a reminder to go somewhere, a reference for later out shopping, evidence, the light, the scenery you wanted to capture forever. Even though most of the second half of February’s photos are from my mobile which in my eyes I can tell straight away they’re not as good, they have tales to tell. 

I have a thing for birds as they make me laugh and are free to do, come and go as they please
Sunbathing in the winter sun. Western Lowland Gorilla Barcelona Zoo
Seagull snacks

There are parts of Barcelona even now and then I re explore only to be reminded why I don’t go there very often. Maremàgnum Centro Comercial is one of them. A mall in Port Vell, that’s always had a weird vibe to it. Sadly this time when I went about 1/3 of the shops had closed down. I have always though liked walking around wharf side. One of my favourite views of Barcelona is the row of buildings along Passeig de Colom looking from the port.

Some of the buildings along Passeig de Colom. The one with the 2 towers is the most fanciest post office in all the lands! Correos Via Laietana. The inside has frescos and a huge glass dome roof!

Every year the boating lake in Parc de la Ciutadella gets drained for maintenance. Last year someone released goldfish in the lake. You could see them flashing orange feeding the ducks. The seagulls as the boating lake drained, were going crazy fighting mid air for fish. I think more goldfish died out of shock being dropped multiple times than being eaten. Some the gulls, black headed gulls I think were amazing divers. They jumped a little in the air to dive head first into the water only for the larger gulls to steal the fish.

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Under The Mediterranean Sea: Late July 2021

I think there’s a British Seagull on holiday in Barcelona at the moment. 

Striped sea bream

Que? For about 2 weeks occasionally I’ve heard a different sounding seagull. I’m used to hearing and seeing yellow legged gulls who sound like they’re laughing at you. This gull sounds like the UK, or rather beaches in the UK. That’s the first thing I noticed when I visited my parents last year back in the UK, the beach didn’t sound right. The gulls had a different voice. Maybe I’m imagining it, made they got swept here with the storms in March, maybe they’re just exploring for a while.

Striped sea bream
Striped sea bream and the mystery fish. You can see their tentacles fangs in the group of 4 fish. Read on the help me id them! 

I’ve also seen more of a type of plover, I think ringed plover (I swear not I’m a bird geek! I just like to know the names of birds like I do animals!) at a spot where I run too. There was 1 and now there’s 4. I’ve never seen them before here so was curious. Same way that I’m not a bird geek, I got a bird ID book as I kept seeing different coloured gulls from the balcony last year. Turns, out they’re teenage gulls 🤦‍♀️.

Anyway, back in July last year baby fish clouds were still around and I was getting more comfortable being in the water. The visibility wasn’t so good most day. I was getting a little frustrated that I could never focus the camera on what I was shooting and that most of the shoots were grainy. Nat, you’re in the water and the water’s moving! Photography works differently in the water to on land. I still didn’t want to use flash to disturb the fish or to attract larger scarier fish! 

On good vis days I had fun watching tiny fish who only kept the the bottom not bothered by the drama higher up in the water column.

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