I did my first Facebook challenge this week: #challengeonnaturephotography. One nature photo a day for a week.
I normally operate a ‘just say no/ pretend I haven’t seen it’ policy when it comes to nominations for social media challenges, but this one caught my eye. It was hard to know what to choose, but, of course, I majored on photos of the Cornish rock pools.
Given how much I squirm when I’m nominated for anything, I haven’t tagged anyone to carry on the challenge. But, if you’d like to share photos of wild things and places you love with your friends, please do take it up.
So here’s what I picked…
Day One: Sea Campion at Mawgan Porth
I love walking on the springy clifftop turf among the carpets of sea pinks and other spring flowers. Sea campions have always been one of my favourites and this photo shows how hardy they are, growing on the rocks by an old mine working.
Day 2: Common lizard at the Eden Project
Not a marine species, but the sound of clawed feet scuttling away into the undergrowth is familiar to anyone who walks the cliffs and heaths around Cornwall. The transformation of the clay pit at the Eden Project into a thriving wildlife community is as impressive as the biomes themselves – well worth a visit.
Day 3: Lesser spotted catshark
Occasionally these small sharks (also known as dogfish) become stranded in shallow water at low tide. It’s a real privilege to get this close to one.
Day 4: Velvet swimming crab
Not my favourite crab to pick up as they’re naturally aggressive, but velvet swimming crabs are striking creatures with their stripy paddle-shaped legs, sharp toothed shells and soft velvet backs. They have bright red eyes – my son calls them devil crabs.
Day 5: Tompot blenny
What’s not to love? Tompots are some of our most photogenic fish, with their large eyes, feathered headgear and toothy grins. In spring they lay their eggs in rocky crevices and the male stays to protect them until they hatch.
Day 6: Asterina phylactica – a small species of starfish
These little starfish are a joy to hunt for. They like to hide among the pink corallina seaweed in pools towards the top of the middle-shore. They’re so small that I may never get a brilliant picture but they have such lovely colours that I never stop trying. The darker star pattern in the centre is a good identification feature.
Day 7: Strawberry anemones
Strawberry anemones are common on the middle shore in fairly exposed environments and their colouring is unmistakeable. I love the summery feel of this photo, the way the anemones merge into the clear water of the pool.
There you have it – my week of nature photos. If you have photos of marine life, please do share them on my Cornish Rock Pools Facebook page.