This is a walk we did earlier – i.e. back in early October when we staying at Borthwnog Hall on the Mawddach Estuary in Wales. The beaches along this part of the coast from Barmouth to Harlech (where these photos were taken) are stupendous – sandscape heaven with much of the area designated nature reserve.
My only quibble (as a life-long beach-comber and shell gatherer) was the tide had swept the shore so clean, there was hardly a thing to find. So this is my main sighting: the skeleton (test) of a common heart urchin Echinocardium cordatum, also known as a sea potato.
You can see what they look like in real life HERE. When they have all their spines they’re rather hairy entities. They burrow several inches into sandy sea bottoms and both feed themselves with passing particles and avoid getting completely buried with a mobile feeding tube that keeps a clear shaft of water above them.
So there you have it: a heart urchin test. And some rather pleasing red seaweed.
Walking Squares #18 Today Becky is wondering what kinds of things we notice when we’re out walking.
6 thoughts on “Beach Walking”
I had no idea that sea urchin skeletons were also known as sea potatoes. Like you, I am an inveterate beach-comber, and finding one of these is always a treat.
I only discovered ‘sea potato’ name today. When we were in Anglesey last Jan. the beach at Aberffraw was covered in waves of tiny sea potatoes about 1 centimetre across. Highly wantable but v. fragile.
Yes. None of my finds exist any longer.
I never find anything exciting on Cornish beaches or in the rock pools. Doesn’t stop me from looking though.
The looking is a good pursuit though, isn’t it; a pleasing meditative sort of a process.
that’s such a great name for them – I love finding things on beaches apart from the dreaded plastics and fishing lines