Poet, Playwright, Workshop Facilitator
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Welcome to daily nature photo and creative writing blog, #NewThisDay

Welcome to my daily nature blog

Writing from My Photo Stream ~ Kelly DuMar

 

#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream

 Woman in Seashell

Woman in Seashell

A return to island life. I have the luxury, this early morning, (after Charleston wakes me at dawn with his eagerness to walk), to wander without limits of a schedule or guests, or anyone needing or expecting me. On the beach we walk at low tide under clouds. The air is cool, not cold, and I think I probably won't take a dip when I reach Great Rock Bight on this sunless beach scape. 

We encounter all the familiar sights and sounds - the rock sculptures crafted so mindfully by people we don't meet. And then, sadly, the dolphin, freshly beached, at Great Rock Bight - a majestic mammal, mysteriously deceased. No apparent signs of injury. The dogs, awed by its presence, don't approach. 

I've seen many dolphins in Florida, but I didn't know there were dolphins here on this Atlantic coast. On Youtube, I find this 2016 video posted by boaters, probably very near from where I walk, of this school of dolphins swimming cheerfully about a year ago. I feel a little as though I'm watching this dolphin's prior life - the shape and sound and company and community of its life at sea.

It feels like a large loss has overtaken the peace and quiet of morning. We walk home, a little bit stunned and very sorry there is one less Atlantic white-sided dolphin in the sea.

 Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin, Great Rock Bight, Martha's Vineyard Morning

Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin, Great Rock Bight, Martha's Vineyard Morning

Atlantic white-sided dolphin
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Class: Mammalia

The Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus) is a distinctively coloured dolphin found in the cool to temperate waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.


The dolphin is slightly larger than most other oceanic dolphins. It is just over a meter in length at birth, growing to about 2.8 m (9.2 ft) (males) and 2.5 m (8.2 ft) (females) at maturity. It weighs 200–230 kg (440–510 lb) once fully-grown. Females reach sexual maturity at between 6 and 12 years, and males between 7 and 11 years. The gestation period is 11 months and lactation lasts for about a year and a half — both typical figures for dolphins. Individuals are known to live for up to 22 years (males) and 27 years (females).[3]

The key distinguishing feature is the white to pale yellow patch found behind the dorsal fin of the dolphin on each side. This colour variation is unique amongst the mixtures of white, greys and blues of other pelagic cetaceans. The rest of the body’s coloration is well demarcated: the chin, throat and belly are white; the flippers, dorsal fin and back are dark grey to black with the exception of the yellow patch; there is a further white patch below the dorsal fin, lying above a light grey stripe that runs from the beak, above the eye and down to the tail
— Wikipedia
 Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin, Great Rock Bight

Atlantic White-Sided Dolphin, Great Rock Bight

Dolphin footage off Vineyard Sound, posted on Youtube 9/21/16 by Patrick Deane

Dolphin footage off Vineyard Sound, posted on Youtube 9/21/16 by Patrick Deane

All photos and text copyright Kelly DuMar 2017 unless otherwise attributed