“Mushroom.” “Coral.” “Pipefish.” It sounds like three random words thrown out there in a Pictionary game. As unprofessional as it sounds, it took me several days of repeating the name to remember what these unusual, snakelike, wormy thingies were called. They are so named because they belong to the pipefish family and live in mushroom coral. They are very small, but move very fast. In fact, the following images are three of only a few I was able to salvage out of 126 images taken of the little beasts. The second they come into focus, they are gone again from the frame.
When I first saw these guys, they were happily swimming around their little mushroom coral home, dodging in and out of the tentacles, hoping to get a meal. I spent about fifteen minutes photographing them, but it was toward the end of my dive, and I didn’t have enough air to stay longer.
A few days later I returned to the same dive site and asked the guide to find that mushroom coral for me so I could spend my dive photographing the pipefish. I spent another forty five minutes snapping away and leaving the scene hoping I got at least a few shots in focus.
After spending so much time with one subject (well, two in this case,) I fell in love as I usually do. They are so cute with their mad little old man frowns. I hope to cross paths with them again someday.
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