Pickle Jellies (Beroe Cucumis)
(Nature Studies series)
9″ x 12″ ink, pencil & paint on paper. 2015.
This original mixed media artwork on heavy watercolor paper showcases my favorite cnidarians. I first noticed these creatures paddling in a bay in San Juan Channel. Not knowing what they were actually called, I christened them pickle jellies. Ghostly pickles, with lines of little rainbow cilia hairs that propel them through the water. Later that same summer on a moonless night I noticed flashes of green in the waves on a pebble beach. I grabbed a bucket and my galoshes, waded out and captured some of those green flashes to investigate further. Bringing my bucket inside, I was astonished to find two Pickle Jellies. I took the bucket back out into the dark night. Touching one of the jellies, it momentarily glowed under the pressure of my finger. OMG! I hadn’t been this excited about a new creature discovery since the Hooded Nudibranch! Rainbows in the daylight, bioluminescence at night: pickle jellies were my new favorite thing!