on vacation with a literary type

You know the simile “clinging like a limpet”? Or is that one of those expressions I learnt in a novel and no one actually says? The line between conversational savvy and irritating (or worse, amusing) literary obscurantism has been fuzzy for me since age six, when I pronounced the word “lingerie” linger-y.

Anyhow, they have limpets here in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  They’re hat-shaped shells with radiating stripes, and yup, they cling mightily to the rocks.

Another literary-sounding sea creature down here is the Hydromedusa, so named for–I imagine–its snakelike tentacles and its ability to stun hapless swimmers.  The species we’ve seen look like puddles of melted glass on the beach and are called, far too benevolently, Moon Jellies.

It’s killing me not to know the official name for the Sand Ticklers the kids have been digging up at low tide.  These clawless little crabs scrabble themselves back in after each wave and poke their V-shaped antennae into the surf.

You know you’re on vacation when you have nothing better to do than Google echinoderms…

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