Rock Pools and Seaweed

As I went for a walk at sunrise this morning, my eye caught the sunlight shining on the seaweed that hung from the groin at low tide.  Fucus serratus or more commonly known as The Toothed Wrack, it is usually harvested for cosmetics or seaweed baths but can also be used to make tea or Japanese noodle soup. 

Another thing I discovered recently was the joy of rock pooling.  It was something I hadn't done since I was a child when we would visit the seaside for a day trip or our annual summer holiday.  I could spend hours staring ignorantly at the creatures and seaweed in the pools but with no book or expert to identify them for me, I remained totally ignorant until I found myself on a guided walk last weekend to Horse Ledge near Luccombe on the Isle of Wight, one of the best places on the island for rock pools.

Fucus serratus The Toothed Wrack Seaweed

The sea mist was so thick, it blanked out everything more than 20 metres in front of us.  It was as though someone had forgotten to paint the scenery in that day but it concentrated our vision on the ground and not on what would have been stunning views.

There's a whole other world in a rock pool

The life in the rock pools amazed me once again, it took me back to my child hood, only this time I had the expertise of Ian Boyd, environmental conservationist with Arc Consulting and Dr Robert Herbert, a marine biologist from Bournemouth University who had come with his research student to study our rock pools.  We also had members from the Isle of Wight Natural History Society join us for the walk and volunteers from the IWatchWildlife.  With so many experts on hand I knew I would finally find out what everything was called.  Remembering it though, was another thing.  But there was one find that day that didn't really need an expert to identify it.  A Starfish!  What I didn't know was how unusual it was to see a starfish in the waters around the Isle of Wight.  They are quite common in other parts of the country but not so down here, it seems, so unusual, it was decided to measure it, photograph it and log it.

Rare sighting in Isle of Wight Waters
You can see what else we found while Rock Pooling on the Isle of Wight.

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