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Autumn in the Cornish Rock Pools

Autumn is a time of great change in the Cornish rock pools, but on the surface this could be mid-summer. The water is warm, the sun is blazing and an immense low tide is beckoning. I accompany a group of under-fives and their parents as they set out to investigate.

On land, the yellow tinge of autumn is only just creeping across the woods, but in the rock pools, the seaweeds have already died back. The invasive Japanese wireweed (Sargassum muticum) that clogs the pools all summer with long tresses like knotted hair all summer has thinned away, making it easier to see into the water.

A daisy anemone in clear water
A daisy anemone in clear water

There are many species that visit the shore in spring and summer to breed and some of these are long gone, but there’s still plenty to see. I was surprised to find a worm pipefish (Nerophys lumbriciformis) with eggs this late in the year. The pipefish are closely related to the seahorses, so it is the male that carries the eggs in a special groove on his belly. Continue reading Autumn in the Cornish Rock Pools