Belly Floppin’ Manta Rays

Everybody is posting their anticipated books posts this week. I still need to work on mine now that I have returned to the land of internet. In the meantime, I’m posting cute animal videos!

But not just ANY cute animal videos. My wonderful mom took me on a cruise of Baja/Mexico. On our port days we parasailed in Mazatlan and zip-lined in Puerta Vallarta. I spent my ship-days editing Chiaroscuro (because that’s my version of fun!), and I took lots of pictures of the coast because Central/South America is (along with the Cinque Terre in Italy) my geological/environmental inspiration for Chiaroscuro (seriously, Puerta Vallarta in particular was so perfect). But the best port day by far was the whale-watching by zodiac that we did in Cabo San Lucas. And while the whales were cool (I’ll post vids another day), the best part of the whale watching was the manta rays.

Entirely by luck, we happened on a huge (what is the collective noun? School? Pod? Flight?) of manta rays, and a bunch of them were leaping out of the water and flapping their little ray fins so hard before belly-flopping back down onto the surface. There’s probably all sorts of biological reasons why they do this, but sitting there on the bouncy prow of the zodiac, all I could think was that they were little skiffs trying to break atmo to return to the mothership.

I mention my friend Sam in one of the vids, and how I can’t wait to send these vids to her. That’s because she has a series of stories centered around marine-life inspired living spaceships. And seriously… there need to be more of those stories in the world.

So I give you all the belly-floppin’ manta rays, and I’ll save my thoughts on the privilege of media avoidance and the excessive consumption of resources involved in cruising for some other day.

This first one has a brief glimpse of the school/pod/flight below us:

More flopping on this second one:

The third one has some of the clearest and closes ones:

And the rays actually staged a grande finale for me!

New Hair!

I’m sad that the camera doesn’t pick up all the gradients of blue and purple. In real life, it looks like octopus tentacles sprouted from my head. Also, my timing is totally off. It’ll be faded by the Nebulas, and I’ll need to redo for Wiscon.


Deepsea Dark Space Unicorn


I have blue hair!  Not just blue, but what I’m calling ‘Antikythera Blue’.  The woman who did my hair did this layering process where she bleached some bits (in a way that the roots mostly won’t show, which means fewer touch ups!), and then did the blue in a second process, getting four or five colors for the work of two.  So I have my own golden-bronze color, intercut with bright aqua blue, light gold-blonde, and verdigris.  My head looks like some ancient mechanism that has been sunk to the bottom of the Mediterranean for aeons.

Hence, Antikythera Blue!

Some pics, taken on a cloudy day with my phone camera, so they really don’t do the full wash of color any kind of justice: