Thursday, 22 July 2010

2010:365:203 Starfish

"An old man, walking the beach at dawn, who noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Catching up with the youth, he asked what he was doing. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun. 'But the beach goes on for miles and miles, and there are millions of starfish,' countered the man. 'How can your effort make any difference?'  The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it to safety in the waves.  'It makes a difference to this one,' he said."
A friend and I were reflecting on that story recently and it ties in nicely with today's 365Project photograph.  This rather ancient starfish has been in the china cabinet for so long that I've forgotten when it was found!  Sand still sticks to it as it is too fragile to touch very much at all.  It had a quick excursion out today for the camera!

It is less than three inches from ray tip to ray tip.  The only measure I could find was the marker from my diary which actually made quite an interesting contrast.  The little plate is local pottery from the Bangor area in County Down and is used as the paten in a Holy Communion set.
There's all sorts of information available about starfish.  One BBC site begins by describing how they can "push their stomachs out of their mouths in order to digest prey that is too large to swallow"!  That conjures up a picture I'd rather not have in mind.
They can grow up to 50 centimetres across - that's just a bit short of two foot!  Wow - I'd not want one of those to creep up on me. 

King of kings and Lord of lords,
making the true light to shine:
lighten our darkness now and evermore
that with our lips
and in our lives
we may praise you;
for you are our God, now and for ever.  Amen. 

Celebrating Common Prayer
Night Prayers - Thursday

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