Ripples but not raspberry

Wonderful sand at Newborough beach on Anglesey. Tothe left as you walk down the beach are fantastic dunes and forest. The sea to your right is framed by Snowdonian mountains . There are beautiful vistas everywhere and with eyes down there is a lot going on , with the sand , in the sand and on its surface. Barefooted is the best way to explore a sandy beach, these ridges are firm and the water chilly to start with but eventually you don’t want to leave it.The light on the water surface forming patterns of refraction above the ripples below.

Across this expanse of sand with an incredible backdrop of snowdonia there are lots of great finds. Seaweeds freshly spat out at low tide like this wrack.The ripples that we walk over on the beach , sometimes firm on your bare feet occur because the sandy seabed is subject to wave orbital motion which moves the sand grains to form ripples. These ripples are called ‘wave ripples’ and are different from ripples formed by a current and flow. They are usually very regular.

As you walk along the sand the ripples change from flat and soft to hard and relatively tall and then to areas of none at all. All the while at every step there are plenty of interesting thing to see. Pebbles of all sizes and rock types , crab shells , tiny shells and lots more.This is an egg case from a whelk blowing along rather like the tumble weed of the sandy shore.

These tiny holes and mounds are evidence of worms in the sand , there are many animals living in the sand, worms, molluscs and sea urchins to list a few.We are walking above whole communities as we stroll across the sand.

I loved the birds footprints in the slightly drier sand it gave the impression of a dance off!A few finds from the walk, a slipper limpet worn by the sea , interesting showing its internal structure. A lovely pure white quartz pebble, a dark pebble very smooth and a mother of Pearl Oyster, again very worn,the tiny gastropod shells are netted dog whelks whole and in section.

A walk along a long sandy beach is fantastic especially in bare feet moving in and out of the water, moving through soft squishy sand to firm mounds on your instep.

Not only is the walk bracing with the sea breeze and with your water cooled feet it is jammed packed of animals and plants and their habitats to explore. Brilliant!


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