Sea Sparkles

Sea ripples & reflections off Portland (2)

More natural colours and abstract patterns of reflection on the gently moving water surface of waves lapping ashore over pebbles on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, UK.

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Stormy seas at Burry Holms in June

Photographed today at Rhossili Beach on Gower Peninsula in South Wales, this video clip shows the beautiful weather we are having this June – and proves I am no ‘fair weather’ naturalist. The sea was a maelstrom which even the keenest of surfers did not enter. The waves were driven with such force against the rocks of Burry Holms that they seemed to explode into giant clouds. It was fantastic to be there.

[I could barely stand upright in the wind so there is some camera wobble. It was pouring as well so I had to keep wiping the lens; and you can hear the rain drops falling in the camera even with the thunderous roar of the waves.]

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Winspit Waves 4

  

CLICK ON THE IMAGE FOR A SHORT VIDEO OF WAVES AND REFLECTION PATTERNS

Waves washing onto a seashore rock ledge, with dynamic patterns of reflected light each time the water retreats. 

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Pierside reflections

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Reflections of metal supports and white-painted railings from a seaside pier upon the surface of the surrounding sea - with glimpses of eel grass beds seen through the clear shallow water.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

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Masked Crabs living at Rhossili

Living Masked Crab, Corystes cassivelaunus (Pennant), braced in the wet sand to meet the on-coming waves, Rhossili, Gower, South Wales (1)

This living small male Masked Crab, Corystes cassivelaunus (Pennant), with a carapace no more than 39mm long, was sitting with its hind legs dug well into the wet sand to brace himself against the incoming waves. The chelipeds or front legs are twice as long as the body in the male crabs. As the crab holds these long limbs up in front of him, the sun seems to shine right through them. The two long antennae are held together to form a long tube which helps the crab breath when it is entirely buried in the sand.

The carapace or shell has a fine granular texture. The colour can be anything  from pale red, through orange, to a yellowish-white. The markings and indentations on the back sometimes resemble a face; that is why it is called a Masked Crab.

The Masked Crabs shown in these photographs were engaged in some kind of purposeful behaviour, the meaning of which I am uncertain. They were at extreme low tide level just as the tide was turning. They dug their rear end into the sand and faced the sea with their front legs (chelipeds) held up bent before them. It seemed as if they were bracing themselves to meet the impact of the incoming waves. When the waves struck, the crabs rolled over and over backwards in the water, until the wave retreated again. This had the effect of moving the creatures slowly but surely higher up the shore. It seemed a deliberate manoeuvre but I do not know the purpose of the action.

They are a very common species of British seashores where they like to live on soft, sandy bottoms from Low Water Spring Tide down to 90 metres under water. Seeing these delightful seashore creatures alive and in action was a real privilege. More frequently, it is the empty crab shells that are seen on the strandline. I will post some photographs of these later.

Living Masked Crab, Corystes cassivelaunus (Pennant), braced in the wet sand to meet the on-coming waves, Rhossili, Gower, South Wales (2)

A living male Masked Crab, Corystes cassivelaunus (Pennant), on its back in the wet sand after being hit by a wave, Rhossili, Gower, South Wales (3)

A living Masked Crab, Corystes cassivelaunus (Pennant), seen through the clear, sun dappled, rippled water as as the tide washed over it, Rhossili, Gower, South Wales (4)

The same living Masked Crab as shown above (Photo 4) after the wave retreated, Rhossili, Gower, South Wales (5)

Living Masked Crab, Corystes cassivelaunus (Pennant), bowled over backwards by an incoming wave, Rhossili, Gower, South Wales (6)

 Revision of a post first published 19 December 2009

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

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Winspit Waves 3

Waves breaking on the rock ledge at Winspit, Dorset, UK, on the Jurassic Coast

Waves breaking on the rock ledge at Winspit, Dorset, UK, on the Jurassic Coast where stone was quarried from the cliffs in times gone by and loaded onto boats.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW FOR A SHORT VIDEO OF THE WAVES

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

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Winspit Waves 2

The waves breaking on the man-made rock ledge at Winspit, Dorset, UK on the Jurassic Coast.

The waves breaking on the man-made rock ledge at Winspit, Dorset, UK on the Jurassic Coast, where stone was quarried long ago and loaded straight onto boats.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW FOR A SHORT VIDEO OF THE WAVES

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

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Winspit Waves 1

Sparkling waves seen from the rock ledge on the shore at Winspit, Dorset, UK, on the Jurassic Coast - site of ancient quarrying activities.

Sparkling waves breaking on the rock ledge of the shore at Winspit, Dorset, UK, on the Jurassic Coast – site of ancient quarrying activities.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO SEE A SHORT VIDEO CLIP

Studland Bay ripples & reflections (2)

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Natural patterns of ripples and reflections in waves gently lapping ashore at Studland Bay on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast – digitally modified photographs.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2011

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