Thursday, August 28, 2014


Island Sunrise, 6 x 8 oil
Hawaii has an octopus that is active during the day.  Which means, if it's there, you can see it.  Sometimes.  Three days ago, I saw my first octopus.  Now I see one most days.  It's like my eye-brain has figured out how to see them, and so it does.
   Octopuses are not very good at holding still.  So if one is out and about and sees you, it kneels on its skirt and only sort of freezes.  Then it looks like a dark brown lump that is gently swaying.  I've spotted quite a few of them by looking more closely at a suspicious brown lump.
  The octopus has quite a few other strategies to make up for not being able to freeze.  It can change color to blend in with its surroundings.  It can sort of shrinks itself, and little bumps and protuberances appear all over its skin.  It can make a radiating dark/light pattern that pulses out from its head, looking vaguely like scattered sunlight on the ocean floor.  I watch one being approached by a fish, and it uses a tentacle to flick the fish away.  When I approach, the octopus seems to melt into the coral, taking no space at all.  I haven't bothered any of them enough to make them spray ink.

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