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.

Ringstead Bay Rock Textures & Patterns – Part 3

Another gallery of close-up photographs showing natural colour, textures and patterns in an assortment of rocks on the beach at Ringstead in Dorset, England, illustrating the great variety in the geology of this stretch of World Heritage Coast.

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Ringstead Bay Rock Textures & Patterns – Part 2

This is a gallery of some of the rock textures and patterns found in material brought down to the seashore by land-slips on the eastern half of Ringstead Bay in Dorset, England. Some might say that the geology of this half of the bay is much more complex and interesting than the western half. In addition to a natural progression of strata from older rocks in the west to younger rocks in the east, there are faults and land-slips that result in much of this variable material appearing in mudslides at the top of the shore, and as boulders on the beach.

The pictures show details of the textures and patterns in some of the rocks and sediments that were laid down after the Ringstead Formation rocks that were illustrated in earlier posts. These later strata include those from the Jurassic Period Kimmeridge Formation (shales and clays), Portland Limestone Formation (Portland Freestone, Portland Cherty Series, Portland Sand), and the basal part of the Purbeck Formation. The layers can be seen in exposures west of Holywell House on top of the ‘cliff’; and boulders from them often end up rolling down to the beach below.

A bit further east the geologically more recent Cretaceous Period strata are exposed. These include the Gault, Greensand, and Lower, Middle, and Upper Chalk. All of these rock exposures are subject the slippage and land slide so that boulders frequently end up on the beach. I haven’t yet reached a complete understanding of the geology in this location. I have attached a description to each image that you can see if you click to enlarge the pictures. However, I cannot say with absolute certainty the identity of each of the rocks I photographed – but I am working on it with the help of the references listed below; and I’m hoping to visit the Dorset County Museum to look at their rock collections soon.

REFERENCES

West, I.M. 2013. Ringstead Bay to White Nothe: Geology of the Wessex Coast (Jurassic Coast, Dorset and East Devon World Heritage Site). Internet field guide. By Dr. Ian West, Romsey, Hampshire and Visiting Scientist at Southampton University. http://www.southampton.ac.uk/~imw/Ringstead-White-Nothe.htm. Version: 19th December 2013

British Geological Survey (2011) Geology of south Dorset and south-east Devon and its World Heritage Coast, Compiled by M. A. Woods, Special Memoir for 1:50 000 geological sheets 328 Dorchester, 341/342 West Fleet and Weymouth and 342/343 Swanage etc, NERC, ISBN 978 85272 654 9.

Melville, R. V. and Freshney, E. C. (1982) British Regional Geology: The Hampshire Basin and adjoining areas, 4th edition, Institute of Geological Sciences, NERC, HMSO, ISBN 0 11 884203 X.

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Weathered Harbourside Timbers 1

Cross-sectional views of weathered wooden posts on the harbourside, showing remnants of green paint that highlight the wood texture, and also with patterns of radial and concentric splits appearing along the wood grain as the wood dries out and begins to rot.

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Natural Patterns on Rhossili Beach – Part 3

Natural abstract patterns and textures in compacted beach sand caused by the scouring and subsequent deposition effects of wind-blown sand driven across Rhossili Beach on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales.

Patterns and textures created on the seashore by wind-blown sand

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Sheep Fleeces

Curly wool sheep fleece

Who knew there were so many kinds of natural sheep hairstyles? The woolly fleeces on the different breeds of sheep competing for prizes at the Dorset County Show were amazingly varied in texture and the degree of natural curliness – looking like anything from bubble-cut curly perms to ringlets and dreadlocks, and not counting the numerous breeds whose wool seemed to have been shampooed and blow dried to fantastical soft fluffy bouffant styles.

Curly wool sheep fleece

Curly wool sheep fleece

Curly wool sheep fleece

Curly wool sheep fleece

Curly wool sheep fleece

Curly wool sheep fleece

Curly wool sheep fleece

Curly wool sheep fleece

Curly wool sheep fleece

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Chicken Feathers

Natural patterns and texture of feathers on a chicken

I went to the Dorset County Show yesterday and saw more types of chicken than I ever knew existed. Some of the breeds were purely ornamental and many of them had plumage of attractive colours, patterns and textures – as you can see from these pictures.

Natural patterns and texture of feathers on a chicken

Natural patterns and texture of feathers on a chicken

Natural patterns and texture of feathers on a chicken

Natural patterns and texture of feathers on a chicken

Natural patterns and texture of feathers on a chicken

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