This afternoon on Mustang Island I found my first Gray Sea Star (Luidia clathrata). Since the tube feet were still wiggling I waded out aways before tossing it back into the surf. You’ve probably heard a version of this story, which is based on Loren Eiseley’s essay, The Star Thrower:
“While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die. I said to him that I thought he was foolish; there were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. He smiled as he picked up the next starfish and hurled it into the sea, “It makes a difference to that one.”
Live long little one!