This little flatfish, one of those pesky pleuronectids, the righteye flounders, was just a babe, washed up as so much sea wrack when I noticed its perky eyeballs protruding from the smooth, featureless surface of a sea of swash zone sand.

The experts I consulted believe it’s a juvenile starry flounder, or maybe a curlfin sole. Such a fish, patrolling soft bottoms from the intertidal to depths exceeding 1,500 feet would spend much of its life, a life on the tightrope between predator and prey, concealed in vast negative space.


A drop off to the anemones in the distance, into enigmatic negative space, adds drama to a limpet on the edge.

If you’re curious about the limpet, it’s probably Lottia pelta. There are other possibilities, and that’s the way I like it.

Negative Space

18 thoughts

  1. Love the little flatfish with those eyes keeping watch!
    I’ve recently moved from southern France to the Isle of Lewis on The Outer Hebrides – living on the edge, wild and windswept! It’s the most wonderful landscape with unspoiled beaches and open moorland. I’m gradually learning about the plants and creatures on the shores. The marine life will be quite different where you are I would think, but I’m still hoping to learn from your blog.

    1. It will be different, but there will be lots of analogous forms in your new location, and even lots of close relatives (in all three places!). Enjoy the learning adventure and I’ll follow along.

    1. I apologize for being so slow on the reply (wish I could say it was the first time), but thank you so much for your encouraging words. And, yes, quirky, both of them- good description!

    1. A coincidence you took the time to say a few words. Thanks for that. I’ve been meaning to let you know I’ve been learning a lot, and enjoying, your recent posts on photography.

      1. Gosh – I am so humbled to read that…. and I was an elemntary art teacher for five plus years and so some of that experience is helping me as a photographer – still Learning so much with all of you – but I had some fun lessons for students regarding positive and negative space and I find that much (not all) of the art info applies to some photography.
        Thanks again for the nice reply and looking forward to staying connected
        😊

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s