After a brief and frosty walk at home this morning, I decided it was such a beautiful day – with pale blue skies and swirling cloud patterns – that Bert and I should head for the seaside again. So we packed our bucket and spade (well, Bert’s ball and brand new thrower – purchased because Graham ran over the old one and broke it) and headed west.
It truly was a glorious day, the mountain tops still smattered with snow, late cloud drifting in the valleys, and sunshine sparkling on frosted grasses and the slush still piled high along the roadsides. The beach was busy – it was a Saturday, after all – but after a while I began to realise that it was crowded not only with humans and dogs, but also with dead jellyfish.
At first a few lumps here and there caught my eye – big ones, worth a photograph – but then at one point I looked up, and stared down the length of the beach and realised that there were literally hundreds of them, of all sizes, scattered like stepping stones across the sand. It’s such a strange phenomenon; what would cause these odd, alien creatures to be washed up in such numbers on one beach?
At one point I spotted a huge, blue lump, in the surf, right on the edge of the water and went to investigate. This was one that had obviously only just come in, and it was beautiful in a strange, macabre way; unsquashed and undried, still with frills on its tentacles and a beautiful cool blue colour, with a deep purple edge to it.
It was rather sad, really, to see so many dead creatures on one beach, with people just walking by and not seeming to notice or care, or just telling their curious dogs to leave the creatures alone. (Do dead jellyfish sting?)
But how many beaches are there where you can park your car, take your dog and look at castles and mountains as you stroll along? As well as being fascinated by strange, natural phenomena…