Every piece starts with a specimen & comes with a story. These seaweed pieces involved collecting washed up algae on the beach in San Diego & bringing it home in my carry-on (where it still shockingly thrives in my refrigerator). They involved dear friends who helped me dig through piles to find a variety to take home & press & madly running to the ocean which has always felt like running home. The stories don’t always get to involve frolicking on the beach & these moments aren’t always captured, but I’m grateful for the times I get to travel with dear friends @beachglassbingo (& gene who likes to document!), and come home to find these captured moments in my inbox. Looking at them reminds me of why I’m particularly fond of this series.
Side note: while several species of algae were collected, a large part of it is Sargassum (S. muticum, S. horneri) - both invasive species thought to have been originally brought over on a Japanese cargo ship. It’s wreaking havoc on the native ecosystem in southern California, also displacing the beloved Macrocystis (giant brown kelp). Having spent a few years living & working on Catalina Island, introducing kids to the breathtaking kelp forests that have long flourished around the island, it’s heartbreaking to witness the vanishing of such an extraordinary underwater landscape.
personal side note: Gene points out in his message to zoom in on my hair in the photo of me running to the water (and please don’t zoom in on any other parts of that photo). I’ve been known to forgo showering for almost any other activity, but dreadlocks suggest this time might have gone on a little long.