Inching Up To a Delicate Red Seaweed

There is enough variety among the small, branched, and somewhat similar tufted red seaweeds to keep them forever interesting. The reds I’m talking about are delicate and limp when exposed by low tide, which adds difficulty in observing the details of undisturbed tufts.

On August 19, 2020, I inched up to Microcladia borealis (I’m pretty sure about that). Its dark, densely branched, purplish- or brownish-red fronds grow to around six inches (15 cm) long. Branchlets come off only one side of the main axis, and their tips are curved inward, resembling pinchers.

From any distance at all, tufts of exposed M. borealis are inscrutable dark patches. On my belly, up close, there is beauty.

It’s a Small World


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