Storm Beach Boulders & Coral Fossils at Broughton [2]

Close-up detail of coral fossils in Carboniferous Limestone boulder on the Gower Peninsula

This is the second in a series of posts about coral fossils in Carboniferous Limestone at Broughton Bay on the Gower Peninsula.  See the earlier post Fossil Coral at Broughton Bay for more details.

These fossils belong to a group of colonial corals of the lithostrotionid type, probably Lithostrotion junceum.

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Giant Polypore

Giant Polypore fungus - Meripilus giganteus

Preferring to grow at the base of beech trees, these fungi look like the biggest brown open-leaved cabbages you ever saw. They are apparently quite a common British fungus and grow up to almost a metre across. The common name is Giant Polypore; the Latin scientific name is Meripilus giganteus (Pres.) P. Karst (formerly known as Polyporus gigenteus or Grifolia gigantea).

They are described as a massive compound rosette of soft brown, fan-shaped caps with pores on the undersurface, arising from a common base. They grow annually, usually from the extreme base of broad-leaved trees and stumps, and often from shallowly submerged roots running some distance from the trunk, favouring beech (as in this case) but also found with oak. They grow in summer through to late autumn and are inedible.

[There is a similar species, Grifola frondosa, but that does not achieve such a great size as M. giganteus.]

I photographed these specimens last week in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, London, in the UK.

The information about this fungus  was gleaned from the copiously illustrated and comprehensive The Encyclopedia of Fungi of Britain and Europe by Michael Jordan, first published by David & Charles 1995, and later in a revised edition by Frances Lincoln 2004, Hardback ISBN 0 7112 2378 5, and Paperback ISBN 0 7112 2379 3.

Giant Polypore fungus - Meripilus giganteus

Giant Polypore fungus - Meripilus giganteus

Giant Polypore fungus - Meripilus giganteus

Giant Polypore fungus - Meripilus giganteus

Giant Polypore fungus - Meripilus giganteus

Giant Polypore fungus - Meripilus giganteus

Giant Polypore fungus - Meripilus giganteus

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013

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Wind-sculpted sand & shells at Rhossili

Beach surface textures carved by windblown sand

Strong winds dried the very top layer of the wet sand on Rhossili beach, lifted the grains just above the surface, and drove them with great ferocity across the vast expanse of shore. The gusts of sand-laden wind  scoured the beach  into contour patterns and left buried seashells stripped and exposed to windward. Beautiful, natural patterns were created.

Beach surface textures carved by windblown sand

Beach surface textures carved by windblown sand

Beach surface textures carved by windblown sand

Beach surface textures carved by windblown sand

Beach surface textures carved by windblown sand

Beach surface textures carved by windblown sand

Beach surface textures carved by windblown sand

Beach surface textures carved by windblown sand

 Revision of a post from 24 December 2009

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Sad strandline bird at Oxwich

Dead bird of prey washed up on the beach - the foot and talons.

What this bird is, and how this bird died, I do not know. It was lying high up on the shore on the strandline among the usual debris, both natural and man-made. But it was magnificent despite being sad! Such lovely feathers. Such incredible talons. What a glorious bird of prey it must have been – soaring high above the cliffs. Perhaps someone reading this will help me out with its identification? I have lots of other photographs of it that might be useful.

Dead bird of prey washed up on the beach

Dead bird of prey washed up on the beach - the underside of the wing.

Dead bird of prey washed up on the beach - the head.

Dead bird of prey washed up on the beach

Dead bird of prey washed up on the beach

Dead bird of prey washed up on the beach 

Revised version of a post from 21 March 2009
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