During a walk on the beach in the national park on Prince Edward Island recently, we did not have to worry about social distancing. The beach on the north shore of the island had only four other people over several kilometres. We had a section of beach to ourselves.
The sandstone cliffs are always of interest along the coastline.
In the distance, a sea arch grows a bit every year.
The star of the day however was the Lion’s Mane, a purple starfish which is common in the waters around the island. On this day at low tide, it was common on the beach too.
This year the numbers of Lion’s Mane around the island are more than most islanders have ever seen. On the north shore, they were everywhere. Some were left stranded on the sand as the tide receded. Others floated in the waters which lapped the shore.
I stepped on one, slipped and fell on one knee from not watching where I was walking. Those stranded purple gelatinous creatures are slippery. While I didn’t hurt myself, I watched where I walked after that experience.
Thousands of the jellyfish floated in the water. In places they mingled with seaweed so it was difficult to distinguish them from the algae. Others advanced and retreated with the gentle lap of the waves. Needless to say, we stayed out of the water. Their sting hurts.
I watched some larger specimens are they moved up and down in the water, contracting and expanding the umbrella. The trail of hair-like tentacles from the underside of the bell shape give the jellyfish its name. A 24 second video shows its movement here. Their dance is like a slow twerk.
As we left the beach several people headed down to replace us in the sand and the jelly fish.
Watch your step!