ORGANIC LIVING SCULPTURES
Call them what you may–– jellyfish, jellies, jellies, sea jellies, Medusa, MAN OF WAR–– to my mind, they are the oldest body artists on this planet. They have roamed the seas for 500 million years. Shaping themselves from some magic substance, wrapping themselves around air in miracles of design. Transparent. Fragile. Ephemeral, yes, but eternal in their capacity to re-invent themselves.
Tossed up from the tide, strewn along the Florida beach, jellyfish force walkers to move gingerly around them. They will sting badly if you step on their thin thread of a streamer. But if you respect them, they leave you alone. And they are so beautiful.
These that I have photographed are from salt water. I am not sure they are any more benign than Man O’War, but I wouldn’t test them. So far as I know only the fresh water species don’t sting.
These transparent creatures probably do–– Harmless as they appear. When I look down into them, study their mystery, I feel properly humbled. Awed. Right before me, I have stumbled upon some ultimate truth.
Nature in its unfathomable eternal mystery reminds you of the limits of human artistry.