Monday, 26 August 2013

The Beauty of Seaweed

For the past six(?) seven(?) years we have holidayed in the most perfect little cottage on the shores of Loch Fyne, spending our time boating, eating, paddling, swimming (them, not me- I am not totally mad), eating, reading and spending hours between the tide lines looking for things.

Mostly it is the crab hunting which gets the most excitement and enthusiasm, lifting up rocks and seaweed and finding The Biggest. But we like picking up interesting pebbles, skimming flat stones, feeding mackerel guts to the hermit crabs and generally mucking about by the water.

In the past, the vast seaweedy areas have been largely ignored by me, except when I am cursing on it as I slip carrying a heavy boat down the the water's edge, or when I am throwing little bits of it onto a beach fire and watching it change colour to the brightest green. They are not the most inspiring colours and really do stop you from moving with any speed over the shore.

But this year, one sparkling sunny morning before breakfast I took a mug of tea and wandered down to do some beach combing. I didn't get very far because I was suddenly over-whelmed by the beauty and variety of the weed. Instead of just trudging over it I crouched down and really looked at it. It twinkled and shone in all manner of colours from darkest black to acidic lemon yellow. Reds, oranges and greens. Really quite stunning.

 Of course I didn't have my camera with me and had to finish my cuppa and go back for it. By which time the light was quite different.

egg wrack


black bladderwrack

green bladderwrack
toothed wrack

 I did have the bonus of seeing some deer prints in the sand though. They run over to a tiny island across from the cottage at first light and are cut off when the tide rises. I have never seen their prints before. And loads of moon jellyfish which were bumping against me wellies.

There must have been about ten different varieties just in our little patch of shoreline. And they are so beautiful to watch from a boat when the tide comes in and they sway upright in the water.

What were your holiday surprise moments?