ABOUT

Avid outdoorsman and underwater photographer, Barry Brown has spent the last 12 years documenting life above and below water in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. He is currently working with the Smithsonian Institution documenting new Caribbean deep-water species and building a one of a kind database. His underwater images can regularly be seen in Sport Diver, Scuba Diver and on the Ikelite website. His image of a "Collage of Corals" seen under blue-light at night recently placed in the TOP 10 images for the 2014 NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Association) photo contest.

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Archive for November, 2012

Nov 30, 12     Comments Off on Deep Water Cusk eel, Ophidiidae, Eel Like Marine Fish
Nov 29, 12     Comments Off on Deep Water Starfish, Nine Arm Starfish, Starfishes
Nov 28, 12     Comments Off on Deep Water Toadfish, Batrachoididae, Toadfishes

Hi friends, here is yet another unbelievable find by the new Curasub in Curacao, a beautiful deep water Toadfish. This strange looking creature was found at depths close to 1000 feet, is that cool or what?? The fish is able to injest large amounts of water and blow itself up to the size of a soccor ball, I have seen it for myself!! He or she measures around 10 inches in length (uninflated) and is capable of changing colors.

Toadfish species are found in the family Batrachoididae in the order Batrachoidiformes. Toadfishes will typically inhabit sandy and muddy marine bottoms and are found in many different parts of the world. There are however a few toadfish species that live in freshwater, including Daector quadrizonatus that is found in the River Arato in Colombia, and Thalassophryne amazonica that is native to the River Amazon.

Shared characteristics among the toadfish species are the broad head and a drab coloration. Their resemblance to toads is what has given them their name. Toadfishes can also make a characteristic sound using their swim bladder. Most toadfish species are without scales. They have large heads with a large mouth, and the eyes are set high. The pelvic fins of the toadfish are forward of the pectoral fins, and are usually located under the gills.

Had a fun bike ride last night, it was short but sweet. It’s now dark here at 6:15 which means we have almost zero time after work to do anything, I will have to start leaving much earlier on ride days.

Not much else to report, we are slowly getting our house ready for our Rapid City Christmas guests that will arrive on the 23rd and stay for 2 weeks, we are very excited!

I am off to the deep water labs, they found a bizzar 9-arm starfish yesterday and some other cool crabs that I will spend the day shooting.

Have a great day all!!

Barry

Nov 27, 12     Comments Off on Deep Water Stargazers, Odd Looking Fish, Uranoscopidae

Good morning friends, by request I have another cool fish called a Stargazer that we found a few months ago at 800 feet with the new “Curasub”. And when I say “we” I mean it was a combined effort with the scientists from the Smithsonian and our crew both working together with one goal in mind, “find new creatures”!! This little beauty here was around 6 inches in length and another 1st for most of us!! The pilot Bruce remembers that it was almost completely buried in the sand when they accidently found it, just it’s head was sticking out! He also said, there are most likely many more but because they spend their days buried in the sand waiting for unsuspecting prey one will rarely ever see them!

The Stargazers are a family Uranoscopidae of perciform fish that have eyes on top of their heads (hence the name). The family includes about 51 species (one extinct) in 8 genera, all marine and found worldwide in shallow waters.

In addition to the top-mounted eyes, stargazers also have a large upward-facing mouth in a large head. Their usual habit is to bury themselves in sand, and leap upwards to ambush prey (benthic fish and invertebrates) that pass overhead. Some species have a worm-shaped lure growing out of the floor of the mouth, which they can wiggle to attract prey’s attention. Both the dorsal and anal fins are relatively long; some lack dorsal spines. Lengths range from 18 cm up to 90 cm, for the giant stargazer Kathetostoma giganteum.

Stargazers are venomous; they have two large poison spines situated behind the opercle and above the pectoral fins. Some species can also cause electric shocks. They have an electric organ consisting of modified eye muscles. They are one of the few marine bony fishes that are electogenic. They are also unique among electric fish in not possessing specialized electroreceptors.

We got hit with another massive tropical downpour again last night at 3:00 in the morning! It again came down so fast and so hard that our street and driveway instantly turned into a miniature version of the Amazon, the only thing missing were the rare pink river dolphins and crocodiles, it was truly insane! Try to picture me outside on our back porch, in the dark, holding a plastic dust pan scooping water off the porch as fast as one can to avoid it from coming inside, that was my night!

Here is something ULTRA Cool for my folks out there that want to help save the planet and know that every little thing we do does matter. Thanks Jessica!! http://www.learnstuff.com/suffocating-the-world/

Here is my Squid Photo on the NANPA site today. http://www.nanpa.org/

Lots to do, have a great day!!

Barry

Nov 26, 12     Comments Off on Two Baby Dolphins, Baby Bottlenose Dolphin, Dolphins
Nov 23, 12     Comments Off on Abstract Water Designs, Water Reflections, Water
Nov 22, 12     Comments Off on Baby Dolphins, Baby Dolphins Underwater Curacao
Nov 21, 12     Comments Off on Colorful Water Reflections, Crazy Water, Water Designs
Nov 20, 12     Comments Off on Baby Dolphin, Baby Bottlenose Dolphin, Baby Animals
Nov 19, 12     Comments Off on Jeroen Boelen in Curacao, Milka Mountain Bike Team

Good morning fellow Earth people, how was your weekend?? Mine was again go, go, go from Saturday morning till sunday night, it went by so fast but left a wake of great memories in it’s place!! Saturday morning I got my bike ready and went to meet this years winner of the hardest, longest, most difficult race in the World “The Crocodile Trophy in Australia” Meet Jeroen Boelen from “Team Milka” in Holland, one of the fastest men alive on wheels!! Jeroen was here for a week on his Honeymoon so I asked if he wanted to go riding and of course he said yes!! I met him and his lovely new bride Simone in front of Lions Dive Hotel at 8:00 and off we went, Jeroen decked out to the gills in his beautiful purple Milka outfit and me with a smile on my face!! I first took them both out for a tour of the 2006 World Cup course then we took off to ride my new, still un-opened trail, it was such a beautiful morning for riding!! After about an hour I told “speed racer” that I would take Simone back to the Substation and he can go exploring and tearing up the trails on his own, I mean really, I can’t keep up to this guy and few on this planet can! So we went back and he took off for another hour of exploring every trail we have out there and came back with a big smile glued to his face and countless scratches from the nasty thorn bushes, I think it’s safe to say, he had a blast! We parted ways at around 10:30 but I told him I would see him and Simone tomorrow at 8:00 for a swim with the dolphins that Aimee and I set up for them.

Sunday morning we met them again as planned and off they went to do their swim while I raced around shooting high-rez photos of the reflections in the water, they were beautiful. After the swim they came back over to Substation and we arranged to meet for a photo-shoot at 4:00, I mean really I would be crazy to not take advantage of having him here. The shoot went great and was soooo much fun! Todays photo is Jeroen racing at high speed under and through one of the most famous spots on my trails, called the “Overhang”, this is where most proffesional photographers hung out during the 2006 race. We had about an hour of nice light so after playing around here we went down to the beach and up to a rocky outlook for a really cool silouette shot as the sun was setting. We hated to say good-bye in the evening but all good things must end, he gave Aimee and I each a team Milka uniform that we will both charish, what a great guy!! Best of luck in 2013 Jeroen, we are sure you will do great things!! Here are a few links to Jeroen and his winning the Crocodile Trophy, this is around 1200km of racing in 10 days, can you imagine!! Check out the videos to see just a little of the course.

http://www.crocodile-trophy.com/trophy/the_race/reglement.html

Lots to do today, Barry

Nov 16, 12     Comments Off on Curacao Coral Reef, Diving the Reef at Superior Producer
Nov 15, 12     Comments Off on Flock of Flamingo’s, Curacao Flamingo’s, Flamingo’s

 

Good morning friends, Aimee and I got up at 5:30 this morning and dug up one of our Frangipani trees in the back yard and took it all the way over to the new trail and re-planted it. Why you ask?? Good question. Our uneducated gardeners or butchers as we call them have been leveling each and every yard in the neighborhood starting with “topping” all the beautiful trees! So before they can get their hands on any of our stuff, which we planted we are taking matters into our own hands and just replanting them in a safer area away from humans. This was no easy task, we dug it up by the roots, wrapped them in plastic and hauled it in the car over to Jan Thiel. From their we hauled it in by wheel-barrow for 20 minutes to it’s new home and into it’s new awaiting hole that had been pre-dug by Aimee a week ago. About the time we got it in the ground it started to rain, good for the plant, bad for us, we then had a very cold, wet walk all the way back to the car. I think the planting was a success, we are both glad it’s done and as you can see we really didn’t want to have the “butchers” chop it down like they do everything else. 

Here is a new “hot off the press” photo of a big flock of beautiful Flamingo’s that are currently feeding in the salt ponds. There are only six species of Flamingo’s, but they are found around the world from the Caribbean and South America to Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Curacao and Bonaire both have large flocks year around, not really sure about Aruba, I know there are a lot of plastic ones!! I won’t even tell you how difficult this photo was to get and how much crawling on the ground I had to do, these birds are so hard to get close to! The word “flamingo” comes from the Spanish and Latin word “flamenco” which means fire, and refers to the bright color of the birds’ feathers. While flamingos are considered wading birds, they are most closely related to grebes genetically. Flamingos are strong but rare swimmers and powerful fliers, even though they’re most often seen just wading. When flying in a flock, the top speed of a flamingo can be as high as 35 miles per hour. Flamingos hold their bills upside down while feeding, often for several hours a day, so they can filter out their food while skimming the water. A flamingo chick’s bill is small and straight, but will develop the distinct “break” curve after a few months. Flamingos are monogamous birds that lay only a single egg each year. If that egg is lost or damaged, they do not typically lay a replacement. Parent flamingos feed their chicks exclusively crop milk for 5-12 days after hatching. This high fat, high protein substance is not like mammalian milk, but is excellent nutrition for growing chicks. Flamingo chicks are born gray or white and take up to three years to reach their mature pink, orange or red plumage.

I just did a deep dive down to 140 feet in search of some new sponges, I found them and will now go back with a camera in the next few days.

Have a great day, Barry

Nov 14, 12     Comments Off on Superior Producer Wreck Dive in Curacao

Have a wonderful day, Barry

Nov 13, 12     Comments Off on Apricot Bass, Plectranthias garrupelus, Pygmy Perchlet
Nov 12, 12     Comments Off on Chapman Progress, Research Vehicles, Mini-Subs

 

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