It's been a mixed bag of a weekend. A mixture of late nights and slow mornings. Calm and chaos in the home. Laughter and arguing in equal measure. Alfie is intent on pushing his boundaries to the outer limit, which in turn makes for Marc and I squabbling. Whoever blithely suggested that parents need to stand united at all times, obviously didn't ever experience the daily grind of hormonal pre-teens and their ability to subvert!
Marc, Olly and I went for a walk with Honey over the Towans. We stopped and bought pasties and coffee. They were deliciously warm and filling, and fantastic fuel for stop/start running. We had been forecast rain, but the sun was peeking through the clouds. It was coats and hats weather, the sea breeze whipping around our face.
We made our way onto the beach. There were kite and kart surfers and a few dog walkers. The tide was out, and we raced Olly to the sea. I noticed that there were these discs scattered in abundance along the beach. We stopped to look at them, and Marc thought that they might be bits of plastic. I wasn't so sure. Some were rolling along the beach and lifted into the air by the breeze.
Then we noticed that there were similar ones, but this time they were blue and gelatinous. We decided that they must be some kind of jellyfish that had been washed up on the shore. They were very beautiful, but looked out of place stranded on the sand. They were not alive, and we picked them up to have a closer look. There were no tentacles, just a flat disc.
When we got home I looked them up in my trusty DK pocket nature book. One of a series that I bought in the summer. It said:
"The ocean may not seen to hold many opportunities for life, but the strandlines can demonstrate otherwise. Some of the ocean-drifting invertebrates can be very abundant, especially after sustained periods of onshore winds, which carry surface floating species for considerable distances.
By The Wind Sailor, is a colonial hydrozoan, each colony having a chambered float and an erect sail. Fresh specimens are a transparent blue, but they soon decay to the chitinous float and sail."
What a lovely name for such an unassuming creature.