Saturday, August 22, 2009

Stingers and Zingers

These are the sea nettles of hot summer that like soft and gentle bubbles come floating in on the tides to all parts of the river from the Chesapeake Bay. They look so innocuous and carefree, but a brush against the little white tentacles will induce a fiery sting to tender skin. They come in tiny and large sizes; the one above being about 3 inches and they can reproduce when only 2.5 inches wide. They can grow as big as your open hand. They pump just below the surface of the water in search of food. This one was trapped in a tidal pond that was only a few inches deep. If the water is compromised (not healthy) the jelly fish are greater in numbers for some reason. The population is determined by both temperature and salinity but some scientists say the increase may be due to more nutrients being dumped from towns and cities running into the Bay to create more floating creatures to sting and eat. This year we do not have a huge population. If people are very concerned about these they can check the population movements for our area here.

My grandson was lying belly flat on the dock to look at some fish and crabs the other day and came away with a burn from some sea nettle slime that had landed on the deck falling from the crab traps placed there. He is a drama king but the sting must not have been all that bad, because after a wash with ammonia and a spray of Benadril he was A-OK and on to a new adventure.

I have been stung by jelly fish (NOT the Portuguese-Man-Of-War) in the South Pacific and while it really burned, the pain did not last long. Like many of the stinging/biting creatures of the world, the reputation sometimes exceeds the actuality.

P.S. Yes, this belongs on my 'other' blog but I have several posts waiting there already.
P.P.S. Logged into my email at 4:30 AM this morning when I found I could not pretend I was sleeping any longer and found a note from my step-nephew who is arriving for a weekend visit today with his girlfriend. The note said "I think I forgot to mention that A**** is a pescatarian." NOW he tells me?!!


  1. Agghh! Don't you just love little bombs like this? Good grief. Like we need another challenge.

  2. My son picked up a small Portuguese man o'war when he was about 6 or 7. He held it close to his chest and got stung on the chest, arms, hands and wrists. We call an ambulance, but by the time it got to us, he was beginning to feel better. They gave him aspirin. That happened just after we had told our kids not to pick up anything they saw on the beach - especially if it looked like a balloon. He said he thought it was a toy boat.

  3. A favorite potato soup

    28 oz. can tomatoes with juice
    3 cups cubed potatoes
    2 cups chopped onions
    1 15 1/4 oz can light kidney beans, drained.
    1 1/2 cups frozen peas
    3 cups water.
    Mix all ingredients, bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer about 45 minutes until potatoes are tender.

    We love it and the grandchildren do too.

  4. they look scary....

  5. They look harmless but I certainly wouldn't want to touch one.

    You've been busy with lots of company the last month of so. Don't you just love it?

    BTW, your blog is one of my favorites to read.

    Have you finished looking through your old trunk?

  6. Sea Nettles look so innocent, but I don't think I would like to touch one. Of course, there is no danger of my doing that in the desert. ;-)

  7. I have to look that one up....pescatarian? Goodness. You can always say no. :)

    Here in the summer, you will see lines of young folks at the lifeguard towers soaking their feet in hot water. Yes, ammonia helps with ever sting.

  8. My ex got stung once and though it was nasty for a while, it eased considerably in a fairly short time. It was enough to make the rest of our beach stay a bit less enjoyable.

    I hope the visit turns out well despite the change in menu you probably had planned.

  9. I'm happy to report I have never been stung. They won't even let us on the local beach if they spot them in the water.

    Let us know what meals you served over the weekend. I'm curious.

  10. When we went snorkeling in Palawan, I got scared every time I saw a jelly fish. Sometimes, I even panicked. They're pretty to watch but scary to touch.


Take your time...take a deep breath...then hit me with your best shot.