Holdfast the beauty

February 2014
Nahant, Massachusetts

Holdfast the beauty. Photo: Alison Gould, http://agould.carbonmade.com/
Holdfast the beauty. Photo: Alison Gould, http://agould.carbonmade.com/

It’s just a piece of seaweed in February. Too cold to pick it up.

Brown kelp on the beach. Note the blades and holdfast. Photo: Alison Gould, http://agould.carbonmade.com/
Brown kelp on the beach. Note the blades and holdfast.
Photo: Alison Gould, http://agould.carbonmade.com/

But you do pick it up despite your gloveless hands. You look at the rubbery leaf-like structures (which you later learn are called ‘blades’). You notice the root-like structures (which you later learn are called holdfasts) are holding something. It’s a shell. You hold it against the sky. Look at how those holdfasts hold fast onto the shell. How they curl and melt around the contours of the shell and of each other. How it looks like a soft claw clutching a stone.

You learn later that this is kelp, a large brown algae. And that algae are plant like, but not plants. They sit low on the Tree of Life and plants should really be called alga-like because algae were here first. But we don’t give bouquets of kelp for Valentine’s Day, so we are plant biased. But it was from algae that plants learned to harvest energy from the sun; holdfasts became roots and blades became leaves. But kelp found their formula for life suitable and hold fast to their primitive forms. A form that rivals that of any rose.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Holdfast the beauty

Leave a Comment

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s