Monday, 29 July 2013

Weekend in Devon!

I didn't do any drawing over the weekend as I was away visiting friends in Devon. We had a super time! Our friends Andy and Ellie had moved to Barnstaple a few months ago to start new jobs and this was the first time we'd been to see them in their new home. I'm pretty jealous, they live right in the middle of the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, so designated due to its range of wildlife-rich habitats and cultural heritage.Here are a few of the cool things that we saw:

This Bottlenose Dolphin was something of a local celebrity, hence the crowd of admirers. It had been hanging around near Watermouth for a while.
The Bottlenose Dolphin in front of our boat. We also saw a few Harbour Porpoise on this trip.
Lovely dark iris on this juvenile Herring Gull in Ilfracombe Harbour.
Six-spot Burnet (Zygaena filipendulae) in Ilfracombe.
Very pretty Sand Spurrey (Spergularia rubra) on the cliffs at Ilfracombe.
Saunton Sands had been invaded by Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita)! The highlight here though was a small flock of around 10 Dunlin which flew past, still in their breeding plumage :o)
Sea Spurge (Euphorbia paralias) at Braunton Burrows.

Lovely Hare's Foot Clover (Trifolium arvense) at Braunton Burrows.
Cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae) caterpillar on Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) at Braunton Burrows.
Rock Samphire (Crithmum maritimum) at Braunton Burrows. I did try a bit (once I had ascertained its identity), it was rather salty but not unpleasant.
Barricane Beach - I love how rockpools are like little miniature self-contained worlds.
Miniature rockpool landscape on Barricane Beach.
Geology time, yay! Barricane Beach looked pretty slaty to me, with the rocks showing pronounced slaty cleavage and a high mica content - the flat surfaces were quite reflective, showing that low-grade metamorphism had cause the platy minerals to align. I looked it up when I got home, apparently these rocks are the Upper Devonian Morte Slates. Nice!

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