Yu looked up to the sky as he began to walk along the Samegawa. The sun was warm and welcoming, and the bright blue sky was accompanied by several light, fluffy clouds. A somewhat crisp breeze fluttered along to remind him that it wasn’t quite summer yet.
“A perfect day to be out and about!” Yu said, drawing in a deep breath of fresh air. He looked along the Samegawa, not seeing a single person around. His eye’s narrowed a little, thinking it was a bit strange that no one else was around on such a nice day. He quickly shrugged the thought off, as he walked down the hill a little bit, laying down to watch the clouds roll by.
After a few minutes of watching the clouds, Yu heard a bit of noise a little further up the river. He stood up, noticing a figure, who appeared to be admiring some flowers along the shoreline. He looked around again, seeing no one else nearby. He decided to approach the figure. As he got closer, he was able to tell it was a young girl, with pale skin, and white hair.
A few steps closer, and she looked at him, her pale blue eyes seeming to match the sky. Yu paused in his tracks for a moment, a bit shocked at her appearance. He figured the white hair may have been a wig at first, but that clearly was not the case. The way she looked made him briefly think of an angel. He took off his sunglasses as he got closer, kneeling down to her level when he got fairly close.
“Hey there, little miss. Are your folks somewhere around here? I haven’t seen anyone else in the area. Would you like some help looking for them?” He asked, with a gentle smile. A moment later he planted his face in his palm.
“Duh! Where are my manners? My name is Yu Narukami. How about you, little miss?”
Red tides, a common term for the more proper name of “harmful algal blooms” (HABs), occur when colonies of algae—simple ocean plants that live in the sea—grow out of control while producing toxic or harmful effects on people, fish, shellfish, marine mammals and birds. The human illnesses caused by HABs, though rare, can be debilitating or even fatal. As the name suggests, the bloom of algae often turns the water red.
But not all algal blooms are harmful. Most blooms, in fact, are beneficial because the tiny plants are food for animals in the ocean. In fact, they are the major source of energy that fuels the ocean food web.