The pebbles that lie at the base of Rhossili Down in Gower, and extend along Rhossili beach at the foot of the sand dunes known as Llangennith Burrows, are amongst the most colourful and varied that I have ever encountered.
They are mainly quite large but not exactly cobble sized. They range in colour from reds and pinks, orange and yellows, to buffs and greys – many blue-greys. The rocks from which they are composed include limestones, sandstones, grits, and conglomerates. Some come from local strata of the Carboniferous and Devonian periods. Others could possibly originate much further afield and have arrived embedded in massive sheets of ice that once covered most of the Gower Peninsula.
The pebbles range from the smooth and glossy to fine and coarse grained. Occasionally you find ones made up of many smaller chunks and pieces of all types, textures, and hues. The shapes vary from the very irregular to approximately geometric shapes such as circular, spherical, discoid, rectangular, square, and cuboid. Patterns in and on the stones can include stripes, layers, lines, and abstract designs. The pebbles are endlessly interesting and beautiful. These photographs are part of a series showing their immense variability.
The weather was unsettled when I took these pictures; the raindrops of the first shower account for the speckled egg-like appearance of the shots at the top and bottom of the post. After that, the rain came down more steadily and worked in some ways to my advantage by intensifying the colours and imparting a gloss to the surface of the stones.
Revision of a post first published 22 February 2010
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