|Sunrise Cottage, 9 x 12 oil|
A lot of the time, coral doesn't appear to be living. When you see it during the daytime, the polyps are closed and it doesn't move, doesn't even flex as the water surges past. The creature I am looking at is a four-inch disk, with radiating spines like the gills of a mushroom. In between the spines, little pips like the arms of a small anemone protrude. As I dive down, I see that they are gently moving. This single, large coral polyp behaves more like an animal than any other thing anchored down there on the bottom.