Rocks with Copper at Bunmahon

Colour and texture in quartz with copper minerals

Beautiful green-blue stained rocks are frequently found in stone walls at Bunmahon in southern Ireland. The small  village was at one time home to a successful copper mining industry. The copper is thought to have formed 354 million years ago at the beginning of the Carboniferous Period but possibly even earlier. The village is now the centre of the Copper Coast GeoPark and has a lovely roadside rock garden illustrating the geological history of the area. The copper mineral chalcopyrite (copper-iron sulphide) occurs as veins in white crystalline quartz and alters to copper carbonate forms such as green malachite and blue azurite.  Weathered stones show these colourful blue-green variants of the mineral, with the rusty patches representing the iron component. Stones of this composition are found in walls all around the area.

Saltwater Corrosion in Iron

Abstract rust art

Macro-photography of the natural patterns, textures and colours of the corrosion or oxidation products (rust) on a piece of seaside ironwork –  caused by saltwater as the structure is alternately washed by the sea and dried in the air with the rise and fall of each tide.

Abstract rust art

Abstract rust art

Abstract rust art

Abstract rust art

Abstract rust art

Abstract rust art

Abstract rust art

Abstract rust art

Abstract rust art

Old Whiteford Boat Wreck

Remains of a small boat wreck in the sand

I revisit things I have found on the beach to see how they change with time.

I hadn’t walked along Whiteford Sands for quite a while. My last visit was a few months ago – in December, I think. I was surprised at how much the seashore had changed when I went there again a couple of weeks ago in mid-March. There have been some very striking large scale changes as a result of the winter storms (and I will talk about what has been uncovered very soon).

I have photographed the remains of the small wrecked boat at Whiteford many times over the past ten years. Despite the major transformations to the Whiteford Point area over winter, the little wooden boat wreck remained untouched. This time the planking of the upturned hull was mostly covered by dry sand. However, part of the keel or mast-housing was still above ground. The timbers a little more weathered and etched – providing a great place for yellow lichen to flourish. The rusting old ironwork staining the adjacent timbers but the rivets still holding all the pieces together. The wreck looked very picturesque against the pristine wind-blown sand and the cold blue sky.

Remains of a small boat wreck in the sand

Yellow lichen on weathered timber with rusty ironwork on the remains of a small boat wreck

Yellow lichen on weathered timber with rusty ironwork on the remains of a small boat wreck

Yellow lichen on weathered timber with rusty ironwork on the remains of a small boat wreck

Remains of a small boat wreck in the sand

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013

All Rights Reserved

Limpets on rusty iron

Limpets on rusty iron (1) -  Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to rusty iron seaside pier.

I like the appearance of rust and I’m always looking out for interesting colours, patterns, and textures in oxidising iron. A good place to look is the metalwork on seaside groynes and piers which are invariably corroded by seawater. I find it amazing that small seaside creatures like limpets settle in these seemingly inhospitable locations where they eek out a living by grazing the microscopic algae that coat the surfaces. In their turn, as the limpets cling on to these man-made objects, the shells become stained by the orange of the rust and the green of the algae so that they blend into the overall constantly evolving design.

Limpets on rusty iron (2) -  Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (3) -  Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (4) -  Living limpets (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (5) -  Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (6) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (7) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (8) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (9) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (10) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

Limpets on rusty iron (11) - Living limpet (Patella sp.) attached to highly coloured, patterned, and textured rusty iron seaside pier.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013

All Rights Reserved

What Leonardo said about nature

 

Though human genius in its various inventions with various instruments may answer the same end, it will never find an invention more beautiful or more simple or direct than nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking and nothing superfluous. Leonardo da Vinci

This statement by Leonardo da Vinci is open to debate …. but it is incorporated into the Head of Invention, a wonderful sculpture by Eduardo Paolozzi, located on the South Bank of the Thames, London, near Butler’s Wharf and the Design Museum. It also provides the inspiration for the creation of the sculpture.

You can click here for more information about Eduardo Paolozzi.

 

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2012

All Rights Reserved