Alda and the Octopus

 

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Alda the huntress Brown eyes You can't see me You can't see me 2 Let go, you brute OK smile 

Alda always carried the spear gun, in case we found a fish worth eating.   If so, I'd hand her my Nikonos camera, take the spear gun, cock it, shoot the fish and put it in my goody bag.  I carried the camera and the bloody fish in my goody bag; she carried the spear gun.

We saw this small octopus, scaring him off the bottom near the end of the Coastguard pier in Monterey. He and I were doing the same thing - I was hunting shrimp to photograph; he was hunting shrimp to eat - unusual for him in the daytime. 

It's hard to believe what great chameleons these guys are, unless you've actually seen them. He would jet off from the sandy bottom, squirt some ink and then settle back to the bottom, his color matching the bottom perfectly, colors rippling like a TV changing channels. If I hadn't followed him exactly, I would never have found him in his new location. He was so sure that I couldn't see him that he let me take these two close-up pictures using a 3:1 close-up lens with my Nikonos. I then  picked the critter up and handed him/her to Alda, hand-signing that I wanted a picture.

He flared from red to white to blue, flailing around in Alda's hands and finally settled down, posing for my final picture. I took this great picture of them  and put my prize in my goody bag, intending to take him home to my cold water aquarium. Hah! He had no problem getting through the 1/4 inch gap in the goody bag. When I crawled up on the beach at the breakwater, he was long gone. Octopus can pull their bodies through any hole larger than their eye.  It's probably just as well. He would have eaten all the shrimp, my prized abalone and the other mollusks in my cold water aquarium and then crawled out in a futile attempt to walk back to the Breakwater.