The Great Hatching beneath the sea |

A grass shrimp mother carries its fertilized but unhatched eggs in a translucent pouch beneath its body. This shrimp, from Weeks Bay, carried the eggs for a few days before they hatched into free swimming larvae. In a matter of weeks, the larvae will be as large as their mother. (Ben Raines/

The Good News: another great piece by Ben Raines.
The Bad News: Ben is leaving the employ of the
The Good News: he is going to work as the executive director of the Weeks Bay Foundation and may still have the opportunity to do nature writing like this from time to time.

The Great Hatching beneath the sea | Just as spring is unfolding on land, with flowers bursting open and trees flush with vibrant new growth, so it goes in Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

But in the water, spring isn’t measured in green leaves and flower buds. It is measured in tiny bodies.