I'm an author. That much is probably obvious by now. However, it took me a long time, and a challenging wavy journey to get there. But now I have arrived, and I love what I do. . . I create thoughts and words that may help to change someone's perspective when they most need it, and may even make the world a better place in the long run. Who could ask for more?
I can. That's who.
You see, I am not perfect. I am human. I sometimes don't have the patience that I need to. I frequently think that I should be doing more. I even on occasion think that others know more than me about me. And I sometimes get some crazy idea and try to see if it should stick.
This week was one of those times when something crept in, was bright and shiny, and distracted me from what I want to do, what I need to do. It distracted me from doing what I needed to do to continue shooting for the stars. This week, thoughts I had previously were fortified by the words of others and I was off and running with a potentially crazy idea. I received a large number of unsolicited compliments on the design of my website, which I designed, created and currently maintain on my own.
"You should create a small business making websites." said one person.
"You are really good at it. You have a great eye."said another.
"Wow! This is amazing. You should do this professionally." said someone in the biz.
There I was, on my laptop, creating a logo while googling potential domain names for a web design business. It's my downfall, give me the remote possibility of creating something and I run with it like the bulls of Pamplona.
Thankfully, on the news came the story about about a manta ray being rescued by a boat crew off the coast of Myrtle Beach. Living close to Myrtle Beach, and being a lifelong lover of rays, intrigue got the better of me. The next thing I knew, I had switched from logo making to manta ray Googling. Once again, a bright and shiny thing distracted me, but this time I think it needed to.
You see, the manta ray is precise when it directs its attention where it wants to go.
An adult manta ray is an amazing creature and considered one of the worlds largest fish, yet they do not live in schools. They appear to live solitary lives, only coming together to feed and mate, having developed intricate techniques for both. When they do come together, a special kind of magic happens.
Mantas form social groups with non-family members and participate in a circling behavior way of eating. Manta ray individuals line up behind one another while feeding. The one in front uses its wide gaping mouth to filter feed the most plankton. While swimming, the leader will switch places with another so that each one gets a turn to be in the lead, plankton hoarding position. Each manta swims forward as if on course with destiny, and gathers its plankton.
When it is time to mate, manta rays mate just 3 feet below the surface while bathed in the light of a full moon. If successful, after approximately 12 months, one live miniature version of its parent is born, and left to live on its own, effortlessly gliding in and around the currents of water, determined to live out its life.
Eventually, this pup will soar his up to 5000 pound body through the sea using its 12-29 foot wingspan. This graceful flight, his only form of defense. Thanks to his large pectoral fins (wings), his maneuverability and his ability to have bursts of high speed, he becomes quite the challenge for a shark or whale on the lookout for a meal.
He uses what he has, stays focused on his goal, and gets where he needs to be. He lives a long life, gracefully soaring through the water, feeding, mating and successfully avoiding predators.
So the next time you get thrown off track on the way to where you want to be, do what I did and think of these beautiful giants of the sea. Stick to what makes you who you are while keeping an eye out for potential dangers so that nothing stands between you and your dreams’ destination.
Manta rays have two fins that protrude from their head that give them the appearance of having horns, Its because of this they have earned the nickname “devil fish”. A surprising name given they are friendly and harmless to humans.
Just like our fingerprints are unique to each of us humans, the natural spot pattern on the underside of each Manta Ray is unique to the individual ray. I'm not sure if it helps in solving underwater crimes, but it sure does make it easier for researchers to track the Mantas movements and monitor the health and welfare of the species.
Regular stops at Reef “cleaning stations” are a must for hygiene loving manta rays. Mantas will patiently wait for a whole hour while smaller wrasse ( a brightly colored fish), clean dead skin and parasites off the bodies of the visiting animals. Mantas enjoy their cleanings so much so that they often return to the same reef location over and over again.
It is believed that Manta rays can live upwards of 100 years, yet we know very little about them.
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