So Much More than Trivia

On the morrow we drove north again, to Anglesey, this time crossing the bridge and turning southwest to reach Ynys Llanddwyn, a small presqu’ile, a tidal island, which projects southwest and being accessible at certain tidal states to the mainland by means of a relatively flimsy sandy bar.  Before you walk round the sandy bay to reach the island you might be distracted by the extensive flat reef-like platform of cobbles and associated pebbles which are sitting stably but are not deeply embedded on the sand.  Blog-Llanddwyn1      Blog-Llanddwyn3On the upper shore the smooth cobbles are heavily colonised with barnacles; limpets are scarce as are dog whelks.  Blog-Llanddwyn2As you descend to midshore level, weeds and small shallow pools, no more than puddles feature.  And then you are crunching your way over large barnacly mussels, crowded together in secure byssally attached beds.    The substrate type is continuous but larger rocks and boulders are more common as you reach the lower shore and when these are rolled they are harbouring diverse sponges and ascidians.  The life under these larger rocks is teeming.  Cancer pagurus, Velvet swimming crabs, and shore crabs scuttle out of sight.  There are sea anemones, starfish, brittlestars, and rockpool fish splatter out of the way when revealed to daylight.  I find an Aeolidia papillosa and an Onchidoris bilamellata but I am mostly charmed by the small ‘families’ of Trivia nestling amongst the ascidians.  Blog-Llanddwyn5  I have never seen so many juveniles ‘at a sitting’!

I find it impossible to wander over this huge shore without stopping to collect the very fresh pairs of Venerupis pullastra.  All these will have to be rinsed and bound with thread to dry them closed. Blog-NucellaAndEggs

VenerupisPullastraInternet2Blog-Llanddwyn4

I have spent so much time on the flat reef that there is not time to walk over to the island although I would have liked to see it.   Nick takes a photo of me and I am a dot in the distance.  Before the tide reaches its full ebb it is time to leave the shore.   I am on duty in the kitchen and although the meal is very straightforward, consisting of a large jar of Cassoulet bought at St Vaast market a few years ago, it needs to be padded out with 16 large pork sausages and served with vegetables.  And before I serve it I will need to deal my daily haul.

 

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