Saturday, February 6, 2016

Live Sand Dollar

Live Sand Dollar

I love this little video although I have no recollection, whatsoever, of how I came across it. By the way, I am only it's creator's 5th subscriber, although after subscribing I discovered, as well, that this appears to be the only video this guy has posted... so far. With close to 5,000 views, though, either his mother has accessed this one over and over  :) or other people like me see the appeal of this simple, straightforward, but wonderful little video capture of a brief experience he had while wading in the shallows and making an enchanting discovery.

No doubt, other folks have found a Sand Dollar (Wikipedia: "...extremely flattened, burrowing sea urchins belonging to the order Clypeasteroida."), and have derived an equal amount of surprise and joy from the experience. This guy, though, through his very simple, very direct use of photography and his 'in the moment' narration shares beautifully a moment of exhilarating wonder as he encounters an infrequently seen little marvel of Nature. Pure and uplifting, problems with the wind bouncing off the camera's on-board microphone, and all, this video is a little gem. 
All we see is the creator's left palm holding the living little Sand Dollar that he has just plucked out of the ocean to examine, glimpses of his feet half buried in wet sand as he shuffles along in a few inches of ocean water, and the shadow he casts in the strong sunlight. But when he gently returns the little creature to its natural environment, the magic begins in earnest. We are treated to a sun drenched close up of a living star, a snowflake-like like little dancer who pushes along, scooting ever so slowly along the floor of the gentle shore line surf.

The Sand Dollar is delicate, like a butterfly in slow motion. It burrows into and pushes its way through the surface of the sand, leaving its temporary wake trailing behind. As this happens, we are mesmerized by the balletic performance of a creature that seems to me to be Geometry incarnate. And then, after a mere  2 minutes and 15 seconds, this miniscule magician that makes no effort to hide its secrets, aided by the lulling action of the gentle, repeated inflow and outflow of tiny waves, succeeds in disappearing back into the medium from which it had emerged. Gone! The grand finale.

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