Sunday, 4 May 2014

Dartmoor: Day 3: The Sea and Rock Pooling

The headache had receded and I dumped a lot of the kit from my bag to make it lighter to carry for our third day in Dartmoor. Before we left that morning I got everyone to stand for a Group Photo....



This was to be a seaside rock pooling day, which brought out the Inner Child in all of us. The Gods of Dartmoor must have been smiling on us, because we dodged all the rain and managed to get a sun-shiny day by the sea.

We started with an ID quiz, walking along the coast a little inland to work out what various coastal plants were that were growing there. I tried eating some Alexanders and on the strength of how tasty they were have decided to include some in the garden here. I don't much like shop-offerings when it comes to salad leaves and much prefer sorrel and other wild leaves, so Alexanders will be a good addition. 

I was working with Dave, who is my guru when it comes to all things wild plants and birds (hi Dave :-)), and he identified these beautiful and rare White Rock Roses. Here's a snippet about them from the Countryside Trust: 'this species is part of the Torbay Biodiversity Action plan – the limestone of Torbay and Brean Down in Somerset are strongholds for this nationally rare and beautiful plant. It is under threat from invasive scrub and trampling.' It was a real treat to see it.....

White Rock Rose
I
I'm a bit of a sucker for Campions, we have the Red variety growing at home, and it was good to see this Sea Campion growing in the verge....


After the ID walk we stopped at the cafe for lunch...


Before heading on to the beach to go rock-pooling for the rest of the afternoon.....







We saw tonnes of interesting Sea People, including.....Caviar, hiding beneath a rock and pretending to be droplets of golden amber.....



A Very Small baby Sea Urchin-in-the-making. 



A Common Blenny...


A Common Starfish...


A Cowrie Shell....


A Cushion Starfish...


And another one....


An Edible Crab....


Me, walking up an edible crab (thanks for the pic, Matt :-))...


Everyone asking Des and Andy questions....


A Cuttle Fish being passed around...


General Rock Pool Activities....


Mat(thew) Looking For Things...
 

A Painted Topshell...


More pooling...

A Shore Clingfish...

Small Yellow Spiders. I hope you appreciate the Level Of Bravery it took to get this shot for you all...
 


An unfortunate Road Sign....


My Favourite Type of Anemone...The Beautiful Snakelocks. 



 And now, something I have never seen before and it took me ages to find out what it was (despite Des telling me on the beach and me promptly forgetting. I wish my brain did not so closely resemble a sieve...).  Anyway, this is Botryllus schlosseri or Star Ascidian. A type of Sea Creature. Bit Gorgeous, no?



Strawberry Anemone with a Green Leaf Worm wriggling about beneath it....
 

Another Strawberry Anemone...


And another one....


Still rock pooling...
 

Another Great Day out with so many Interesting Creatures to look at and admire. We got back to the hostel tanned and fresh-aired up to the eyeballs, had supper and headed off to the local pub, but not before having a few friends round to our room for some gin and hilarious photographs, including what for me is The Selfie Of The Trip and just about sums up perfectly what a Great Time we all had....















6 comments:

  1. I wanna go rock pooling too....

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    1. I reckon it was the best day- everyone loved every second. Big kids all of us really, aren't we?

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  2. Amazing what you managed to find! I have never seen so many different creatures the Star Ascidian is so pretty! Sarah x

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    1. I don't know whether it was because there were so many of us looking, or because we had expert ecologists with us, but we were all chuffed at the variety of species we found. My favourite day I think x

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  3. Brilliant photos again., you saw so many interesting things, the wildrock roses are very pretty, amazing shot of the small yellow spiders and well done for getting so close, I don't like spiders!!!
    And the Star Ascidian is gorgeous.
    xx


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    1. A brilliant day out which we all enjoyed. I think the White Rock Rose and the Star Ascidian were especially beautiful. I'm not a fan of spiders either :-) x

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