Thursday, 27 September 2012

Time off in Looe

A break was needed, so me and the lads spent a few days in a caravan in Looe.  Good times were had, mead and scrumpy were drank, scones were eaten, the usual Cornwall kinda stuff.  I know my audience, however, so when I went wandering I was sure to take in plenty of fauna and interesting stones.  In many of the photos I've included my inhaler for scale.  It's about 4 inches in length by an inch and a half in diameter (metric to follow, when I can find my ruler).

This is Polperro harbour, where the first lot of snaps were taken.  The local beer and cider were well worth the trip.  If you're ever in that part of Cornwall, try the Rattler.

Caloplaca marina, an orange lichen.

Patella depressa - the Black-Footed Limpet.

The next set of snaps are from a natural bay, roughly two miles west of Looe Harbour.  Here's the bay, with some oddly balanced stones, such that I can't quite tell if they were stacked by natural forces or drunken students.

The rocks here were clearly stratified, as though they'd been a loose sediment of mud once, but the strata are stuck together tightly, so that they don't come off in sheets like slate does.  Many of them were streaked with veins of what appeared to be quartz.  In most, the veins of quartz ran parallel to the main stone strata.  Some defied this trend, and were more interesting for it.

And these two were gnarled up by forces I have not the wit to begin measuring, but they look cool.

We also found an awesome waterfall.

This unidentified arthropod had missing feet and claws, it's shell had turned entirely to firm jelly whilst (presumably) retaining most of it's shape and colour, and the thing had a stone stuck fast enough to it's bum that I didn't dare prise it off for fear of tearing the entire corpse in half.  
Dorsal view:

Ventral view:

Lastly, I realise that I've been off the topic of gardening these past couple posts, so here's Mike.  I've given Mike a taller pot - taller, but not wider - to encourage downward root growth, pruned him and given him a bamboo stake to grow against.  

I've also finally given the arbour a much needed functional upgrade - discreetly placed, of course - which should make it equal to the needs of a working garden...

Until next time :)


  1. Looks like a great trip - I love Cornwall, though we tend to head to St Ives so Him Indoors can indulge his inner artist.

    That area of Cornwall is Devonian sandstone and siltstone - much of it was subjected to a load of metamorphism, during the Variscan orogeny, which also accounts for the quartz veins.

    And I've just asked Paul why we don't have a bottle opener in the garden. He's puzzled by this too, so I think we might be rectifying this soon.

    1. I don't yet know St. Ives as the last time I was in Cornwall I was a babe in arms, though it probably was St. Ives.

      Variscan Orogeny, eh? I'll comment further once I've had the chance to look it up and learn what on (or in) Earth that is. Orogeny sounds like "the making of stones" or similar, so a process of the rock cycle, but the naming suggests this happens as major events rather than as a fluid cycle. Almost as though Cornwall one fine morning sprang from the magma as a lump of hot rock, then sprouted fudge shops and a billion entitled seagulls within a tick of said rock having cooled enough.

      Edit: have just looked it up, and mon dieu! That's like, like a tropic or something! How much force does it take to shove up rocks over that huge an area?