Monday, March 10, 2014
Portuquese Man O’War
I shoot photos wherever I go. This is one from my picture file or Morgue.* I took the picture in 2010, but when I looked at it accidentally this past Saturday I was taken by the Portuquese Man O’War’s sinister beauty. The really dangerous part is the darkest ink-blue-black shape collapsed beneath and behind the inflated sail. People have been known to drown when becoming entangled in the creature’s tentacles, not because they couldn’t get away, but because of the numbing pain. Some of the tentacles are visible around and over the shells. The blue colors shaded from deepest charcoal-navy to cobalt, and gradually shifting through transparent into pale shades of magenta and rose make me want to reach out and touch even though I know better. That magnificent inflated sail would have been almost invisible as this particular small but deadly creature floated in the warm gulfstream water.
When these are found grounded on south Florida beaches you swim at your own risk. At such times there may be many more, some much larger and almost invisible with twenty-foot tentacles dangling beneath the surface and often well away from the sail.
*A morgue is an alphabetical file of photos that an artist uses as an aid in creating his/her artwork.