Bladder Wrack

 bladder wrackWhen I picked up this piece of bladder wrack at Sandsend it looked fresh but it has dried out so much that I doubt it would plump up if I soaked it in water.

As I mention in the note, it has pairs of gas-filled bladders on either side of the midrib of the frond.

It is found in the middle of the intertidal zone on rocky shores.

Blast Furnace Slag

blast furnace slagblast furnace slagI picked up what I think is a piece of blast furnace slag from the beach at Sandsend last week. It looks a bit like a motorway chipping with the contrast of limestone fragments and black coating but the top surface is hard and pockmarked with bubbly holes, so this fragment has been subjected to intense heat.

There were ironstone workings at Sandsend.

Frog Fest

frogfrogs1.40 p.m., sunny, 51ºF, 12ºC; I counted twenty-seven clumps of frogspawn yesterday and assumed that was it, the party was over, but today the frogs are back in action.

I sneak up on them with an iPad and attempt to record the sound of them croaking and to film them. I find that the iPad is a bit cumbersome to hold steadily so, without making any sudden movements, I retrace my steps to collect camera, tripod and sketchbook.

Hope to upload the movie later.

A pair of siskins feed on the sunflower hearts, just a few yards from me as I sit sketching the frogs.