Walk On Coral Beach

Yesterday, the forecast promised the best of the weather would be in the North, so we decided to visit Coral Beach. This bit of coast just north of Dunvegan is known for the white beaches that are created not by coral, but by bits of seaweed. Unusually for a seaweed, maerl grows a hard outer skeleton by depositing lime in its cell walls, forming underwater beds made up of little branched nodules. These beds provide shelter for marine animals, young scallops in particular. Living maerl is a beautiful magenta colour, but when fragments of it are washed up on the beach they are dried and bleached by the sun. Slowly these bits are broken up and turn the beach white.

Maerl

Maerl

 

Coral Beach #1

Coral Beach #1

 

We engaged in a bit of beachcombing and I was struck by the beautiful forms and patterns created by the seaweed on the beach.

Seaweed On Coral Beach #1

Seaweed On Coral Beach #1

 

Seaweed On Coral Beach #2

Seaweed On Coral Beach #2

 

Seaweed On Coral Beach #3

Seaweed On Coral Beach #3

 

In one of the rockpools there were some jellyfish that survived until the next high tide would set them free.

Jellyfish

Jellyfish

 


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