The Flying Rays of Mexico (and Planet Earth Live Mini-Review)

The great ocean migration… thousands of majestic stingrays swim to new seas | Mail Online

Like autumn leaves floating in a sunlit pond, this vast expanse of magnificent stingrays animates the bright blue seas of the Gulf of Mexico.

Taken off the coast of Mexico’s Holbox Island by amateur photographer Sandra Critelli, this breathtaking picture captures the migration of thousands of rays as they follow the clockwise current from Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula to western Florida.

Measuring up to 6ft 6in across, poisonous golden cow-nose rays migrate in groups – or ‘fevers’ – of up to 10,000 as they glide their way silently towards their summer feeding grounds.

Rays

Arc: The rays, swimming in a long line, was spotted by amateur photographer Sandra Critelli

Some pretty amazing pics there and a cool phenomena.

On a slightly related note, I spent last night in Downtown Big D watching this special…

The Blue Planet Live rolled into the Meyerson Symphony Center for the first of three shows Tuesday night and delivered big in offering one of the coolest, most creative escapes yet to the summer doldrums. Under the baton of composer-conductor George Fenton, it makes deft use of the 76-piece Dallas Symphony Orchestra in carrying 2,000 viewers on an oceanic expedition.

It does so with a mesmerizing score that swings from calming to exhilarating to terrifying, only, in the end, to return home again. Mr. Fenton composed the music and flew in from London to conduct the DSO, which makes splendid use of horns, strings, percussion and a trumpet soloist to enhance the emotional current.

[more info]

A good show that could use a couple tweaks (the preaching at the end needs some “action items”) but overall a very moving experience.

As a pirate with long experience dealing with unregulated Nature, it was fun to see some of the incredible images highlighted by professional musicians and air-conditioned joy.

Biomimetics Or How I Got So Cool

Biomimetics – National Geographic Magazine

This the thorny devil knows, with an elegance and certainty that fascinated Parker beyond all thought of snakebite or sunstroke. “Look, look!” he exclaimed. “Its back is completely drenched!” Sure enough, after 30 seconds, water from the dish had wicked up the lizard’s leg and was glistening all over its prickly hide. In a few seconds more the water reached its mouth, and the lizard began to smack its jaws with evident satisfaction. It was, in essence, drinking through its foot. Given more time, the thorny devil can perform this same conjuring trick on a patch of damp sand—a vital competitive advantage in the desert. Parker had come here to discover precisely how it does this, not from purely biological interest, but with a concrete purpose in mind: to make a thorny-devil-inspired device that will help people collect lifesaving water in the desert.

Great article over there on how re-engineering nature is the next step to figuring out how to get along better with it.   The ninja learns these skills in order to be both and invisible and deadly as nature itself.