Autumn is already here, and with it, the lack of daylight. But that cannot stop us for being active and love the outdoors!
I read once that only the breavest survey during the autmn/winter, I must be one of those crazy (brave) ones. It is funny how you stop feeling cold when you’re having fun (or when you’re too cold that your body preferes to ignore it) can’t decide.
Lucky me, I went on my first macroalgae survey after a master class ffrom a retire professor from Heriot-Watt, Dr. Martin W and Dr. Clare S, from SEPA. One hour on the shore with them, and I learnt more than I had imagined! I cannot express how much I appreciate their time enough times (thanks thanks thanks thanks….).
A few things I learnt on my first day out are:
1. If it’s raining and water is not clear, there’s no way to see all seaweeds unless you put your hands in that cold water, beg for them to survive, and you take your time to check all species.
2. Narnia is in Joppa. Stop looking inside old wardobres, you’re wasting your time!
3. Sometimes I wonder what’s wrong with some people, what is in their head to decide the ocean is the best place for dumping litter. First, I have never flushed anything but toilet paper. It doesn’t feel right, does it? Well, I guess not everyone think the same. I feel very (extremely) ashamed of humans for being such a horrible and destructive animal (yes, I said animal and not in a pejorative way). So, I decided to be a good multitasking human being, and collect litter when I’m surveying. At least what I can hundle withouth harm myself. I truly believe that, if all of us clean what is in front of our noses, we help the ocean to be a bit cleaner.
After a green macroalgae lesson, I felt ready to take all my samples and start identifying them!
I must say I love doind that, I love spending hours with my ID guides and loads of seaweeds. A secret, if I’m alone in the laboratory, I talk with my seaweeds, a regular conversation
– Are you this specie? I think you are, you must be.
– Wait no! How stupid I am, you are THIS specie. Beautiful.
It is a key part of my project, I’m making a list of current seaweed distribution, so I need the time and knowledge to be able to identify as many as I can. I give you a few examples.
What an amazing place! I can honestly open a folder full of seaweeds from Scotland, and imagine a 19th century person, with nice (no waterproof) clothes, maybe high heels, on a rocky shore, collecting seaweeds. Well…THAT was brave.
I’m learning a lot about how to upload information to be available to everyone interested in herbarium specimens. I am looking for Joppa and Granton specimens, so I can have an idea of what was there before and after land reclamation and sewage pollution.
Thanks to this opportunity, I already have a list of places I want to visit in Scotland, just because of the seaweeds I could find there!
That’s all for now. Thanks a lot to every single person helping me and getting involved in this project, I really appreciate all the help and effort.
I can definitely see myself spending my life looking for seaweeds, cleaning the coast, and teaching everyone why this is so amazing!