A week of nature photos

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.

Sea campion at Mawgan Porth mine
Sea campion at Mawgan Porth mine

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.

Common lizard at the Eden Project
Common lizard at the Eden Project

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.

Close up you can see the rough skin (that used to get used as sandpaper) and the cat-like eyes
Close up you can see the rough skin (that used to get used as sandpaper) and the cat-like eyes

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.

30 July Port Nadler velvet swimming crab devil necora.jpg
Velvet swimming crab showing its distinctive red eyes

 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.

Tompot blenny - a fantastically photogenic fish
Tompot blenny – a fantastically photogenic fish

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.

A cushion star - Asterina phylactica - among the coral weed
A cushion star – Asterina phylactica – among the coral weed

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.

Strawberry anemones on a partly submerged rock
Strawberry anemones on a partly submerged rock

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.

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4 thoughts on “A week of nature photos”

    1. Thank you. They’re such colourful and curious fish aren’t they? It’s amazing how long the common blennies can spend out of water, hiding in holes in the rock waiting for the tide to come in. They have a lot of character and a fine set of teeth – I’m sure they’d give a feisty nip if you upset them.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great photos! I love the blenny! I’ve been doing my own challenge at Strumpshaw and I’m looking for 40 species found on the reserve. Managed to get the smallest of the 40 species this week, water fleas. I had to use a microscope to get photos of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Sean. Your 40 species challenge sounds like fun – I’m enjoying your posts. I love discovering things under the microscope too. I sometimes bring tiny seaweed samples home to look at and it’s amazing how many creatures can be living in the smallest space.

    Like

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