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#273 Sunflower Seastar

Critically Endangered

Around the World in 80 Days - Day 64

Our trip with Phileas Fogg has made landfall finally! We've docked in San Francisco, and need to hop a train across the country now. I really should have done the California specific grasshopper today, and the sea star that is mainly in coastal water of Alaska and Canada anymore. I just really liked the idea of doing something with sun in the name for when we got to California. The biggest threat to these is the "sea star wasting syndrome". It seemingly takes a healthy sea star into a pile of goo in as short as a matter of hours. Sadly, 2013-2014 was a bad time for sea stars. Populations were decimated by 95% or more, and an estimated 5.75 billion sea stars (of all types) died at that time. Though these used to be found through Alaska down to Mexico, from what I've read, the farthest south you are likely to find them is now Puget Sound, Washington. Even up into Alaska they are only there at a fraction of their numbers. These are big, up to 3.3 feet across and weighing over 11 pounds. They are considered very quick for sea stars. Their top speed is somewhere around a mile in 27 hours which is much faster than other sea stars. The loss of these sea stars is horrible for the health of coastal habitat because their appetite is as big as they are, and they were key for helping keep sea urchin and mussel populations in check.

I need to get back into baking bread. I used to make bread quite a bit. In fact I had gotten to where I could make a pretty good pumpkin and beer bread without measuring or using a recipe, I just kind of guessed and made what seemed right. Because I'm Celiac, there are very few good beers out there I can use, and I just haven't gotten to where I am confident with my bread making skills again. Hopefully I can get started again though. Gluten free bread is really rather scary when it comes to the budget. You can spend $10.00 or more for a loaf of good bread. I just don't eat bread because of that. Before my Celiac diagnosis I would happily live on bread and coffee most of the time, with an occasional soup thrown in. Hmm, now I'm getting hungry just thinking about bread! I absolutely need to get cracking on making some. I will let you know how it goes of course, because I am all the time sharing stuff that has nothing to do with anything else I'm posting about. I know my blog posts are very random, but that really is kind of how my brain works. I bounce around from topic to topic in my head all the time, and when I've finished with writing the information about the animal, you kind of get stuck with wherever my mind lands at the moment.

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