Kelp beds growing offshore at Ringstead Bay in Dorset are normally underwater but they are revealed at very low tides. A seaweed-covered rock platform, extending seawards from the beach, provides a precarious access to the exposed and partially submerged kelp of a type called Oarweed, or Tangle – Laminaria digitata (Hudson) Lamouroux.
The kelp fronds feel like butter-soft leather and have a surface sheen like satin – gleaming or glistening according to how wet the straps were. The colours vary from a deep olive brown of drier blades, in the shade, or high and dry – to greeny yellow ochres of wetter fronds, part-submerged in water. Occasionally the kelp is decorated with intricate, fleeting patterns of golden reflected sunlight that dapples the fronds as they move gently in the lapping water.
COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011
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5 Replies to “Satin-textured seaweeds at Ringstead”
Aren’t they absolutely lovely?! I was plodding around in the washed-up seaweed on our nearest beach yesterday, feeling very happy that it’s ‘this time of year’ again.
We are very fortunate in Britain to have such an interesting variety of seaweeds with all their colours, shapes, and textures, washing up on the beaches where we can easily see and enjoy them.