Mermaid’s Purse on frosty Broughton dunes

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An empty skate egg case, or Mermaid's Purse, caught up in marram grass on frozen sand dunes at Broughton Bay, Gower, South Wales, New Year's Day 2010 (1)

An empty Skate egg case, or Mermaid’s Purse, caught up in marram grass on frosted sand dunes at Broughton Bay, Gower, West Glamorgan, New Year’s Day 2010. Looking a bit like a fat beetle clinging to the vegetation, the egg case was frozen into position where the wind had blown it from the water’s edge. Minute ice crystals glistened on the dune in the early morning sun. The blades of marram grass and the lower ‘horns’ of the egg case seemed to have been arranged in ready-made holes where the sand grains had frozen together instead of drifting snuggly up to them.  

An empty skate egg case, or Mermaid's Purse, caught up in marram grass on frozen sand dunes at Broughton Bay, Gower, South Wales, New Year's Day 2010 (2)

An empty skate egg case, or Mermaid's Purse, caught up in marram grass on frozen sand dunes at Broughton Bay, Gower, South Wales, New Year's Day 2010 (3)

Sand ripples frozen solid with a surface frosting on the dunes at Broughton Bay, Gower, South Wales, 1st January 2010 (4) P1210281aBlog4

Frozen sand, with ice crystals on the grains, in the dunes at Broughton Bay, Gower, South Wales, New Year's Day 2010 (5)  

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4 Replies to “Mermaid’s Purse on frosty Broughton dunes”

  1. Nature takes interesting shapes in your part of the world. The mermaid’s purse reminds me of some kind of seedpod we have here, but my memory hasn’t yet snagged it precisely. You have sand dunes, we have sand dunes, but right now all we are seeing is snow drifts, very similar in shape and wind-blown patterns to dunes.

  2. I don’t envy you your snow drifts – except that it might be interesting to photograph them. I guess it won’t be too long before we share your severe winters. Here in the UK we are almost on the same latitude but the Gulf Stream keeps us warmer at the moment. However, with global warming, it is likely that the melting freshwater ice from the poles will cause this conveyor belt of warm water from the southern hemisphere to stop running. We are already getting more extreme fluctuations in the weather.

  3. Marram grass is a particularly hardy type of plant that can withstand a lot that the elements can throw at it. It does seem to change colour in the winter, the tips especially fade, but the bases of the leaves reamin green.

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