Sea slugs cast a spell on me…and it all began with fake news. Well, semi-fake. Okay, it was actually two photographs, and the one that cast the spell wasn’t exactly fake, but it wasn’t of “the” sea slug. It was a vibrantly-colored red-tipped, black and white version of the same sea slug species taken underwater in all its flowing cerata glory. The actual sea slug, fully exposed to the air because it hadn’t paid attention to the tides, was smallish, blobbish, and its orange-tipped cerata were all clumped together like a minuscule bowl of purple sauce spaghetti with shredded cheddar cheese on top.
When I learned that these small snail-relatives live in the Salish Sea, I went looking for them. I had no luck beachcombing at Bowman Bay last summer, but I didn’t give up. Months later, my perseverance paid off. I spotted my first one. Since then, I’ve observed about two dozen individuals of six different species in three places: Cornet Bay, Bowman Bay, and the Anacortes Marina. My first encounter was my favorite.
To read Julee Rudolf’s complete blog, go to https://juleerudolfblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/25/nudibranch-whisperer-of-deception-pass/