Seaweed Strands with Crinkled Kelp

Thick mats of seaweed wash ashore on beaches along the Jurassic Coast. Dead seaweed is often automatically viewed as horrid, unsightly, and a nuisance – but if you pause and look, there is beauty in it. There are many types of seaweed to be discovered in the masses on this strandline. Their fronds intertwine in a kind of accidental natural weaving. Each species has its own characteristic shape, texture, and pattern. Their combined presence forms greater abstract designs of infinite variety, the individual fronds making strands or threads as in a tapestry. The puckered patterns of the crinkly Sugar Kelp stand out as the most decorative features of the assemblage. The colours change from deep olive brown to golden yellow and cream as the algae decompose. The textures range from leathery to satiny, from slimy to crispy depending on moisture content. Opaque and hardening on exposure to air; or translucent and soft when floating in shallow water rock pools.

Knotted Wood

Maybe it was something to do with the way that the planks were drying out, or something to do with the type of timber that had been used, but the cracked knot holes were really distinct in both shape and colour on this wooden pier, and looked like some crazy kind of deliberate decoration.

Patterned Sand RB April 2017b

Patterns on beach sand

Patterned Sand 8 – 14: Naturally formed patterns of black sediment on yellow sand were photographed on the beach at Rhossili Bay, Gower, in April 2017. The black sediments were mainly composed of minute pieces of rotten wood, coal dust, and miniscule fish bones, with a small proportion of seeds. The images have been digitally colour-enhanced to emphasise the patterns of this natural abstract art.

Patterns on beach sand

Patterns on beach sand

Patterns on beach sand

Patterns on beach sand

Patterns on beach sand

Patterns on beach sand

Rippled Water BH 2016b

Rippled Water 7 – 15: Natural patterns of shallow wind-rippled water in sandy pools near the tidal island of Burry Holms, Rhossili, Gower, in South Wales. The original photographs have been colour-modified to highlight the lines of reflected sunlight that trace the surface sculpturing of the water.

Patterned Sand RB 2017a

Patterns on beach sand

Patterned Sand 1-7 – Naturally formed patterns of black sediment on yellow sand were photographed on the beach at Rhossili Bay, Gower, in April 2017. The black sediments were mainly composed of minute pieces of rotten wood, coal dust, and miniscule fish bones, with a small proportion of seeds. The images have been digitally colour-enhanced to emphasise the patterns of this wonderful natural abstract art.

Patterns on beach sand

Patterns on beach sand

Patterns on beach sand

Patterns on beach sand

Patterns on beach sand

Patterns on beach sand

Rippled Water BH 2016a

Natural patterns in wind-rippled water

Natural patterns in wind-rippled water

Natural patterns in wind-rippled water

Natural patterns in wind-rippled water

Natural patterns in wind-rippled water

Natural patterns in wind-rippled water

Rippled Water 1-6 – Natural patterns of shallow wind-rippled water in sandy pools near the tidal island of Burry Holms, Rhossili, Gower, in South Wales. The original photograph has been colour-modified to highlight the lines of reflected sunlight tracing the surface sculpturing of the water.

Sand Patterns near Picquerel Point 2

Some more images showing the subtle colour transitions and delicate branching patterns that characterise the low relief natural sculptures in the fine clean sand on the shore near Picquerel Point at Grand Havre in the Channel Island of Guernsey. The dendritic patterns have been created by sea water draining down the beach as the tide recedes; and this has led to a sorting out of particles by size, weight, and colour. The darker sediments that outline and emphasise the design may be organic remnants or different darker minerals. These patterns are the best of their type that I have seen – perhaps due to the very fine sand. The patterns are so delicate they could almost be drawings.

Click on any image to view in larger format in a gallery.

Sand Patterns near Picquerel Point

Natural abstract art showing dendritic drainage patterns in sand on the beach

Natural abstract art showing dendritic drainage patterns in sand on the beachSubtle colour transitions and delicate branching patterns characterise the low relief natural sculptures in the fine clean sand shown in this photograph. It was one of many taken on the shore near Picquerel Point at Grand Havre in the Channel island of Guernsey. The dendritic patterns have been created by sea water draining down the beach as the tide recedes; and this has led to a sorting out of particles by size, weight, and colour. The darker sediments that outline and emphasise the design may be organic remnants or different darker minerals. These patterns are the best of their type that I have seen – perhaps due to the very fine sand. They look like pencil sketches. I am definitely going to frame some of the images.