22 August 2010


For my research to continue it is imperative that I get more samples of barnacles. Which means that for the past couple of weeks I have spent every other day or so going on long drives and visiting a stack of different Irish beaches. First down County Clare way and then up Galway County. And of course for me this sampling is just a great way to get to know the beaches that are in driving distance. This first picture was Doonbeg. It was interesting and pretty and there was a really friendly dog there. But not the right type of beach so have only visited it the once. But that was enough time for me to sink into anoxic smelly black mud up to my knees.

Next was a gorgeous sandy beach that remined me a lot of our own Oreti beach, except there were a lot of rocks out in the water. Ireland is just full of rocks. So these two pictures are a beach that in general is in an area called Tromora, but it probably has a more specific name than that. And look at that blue sky, and the sand and the dunes. At least it was a good day for it.

Next was Spanish Point, a real touristy wee place. Lots of rocks. There were a lot of people on this beach and it seemed unlikely that there would be any animals. Off to the side were some ruined walls, so we went to investigate.

So anyway, on the way across the rocks I saw a gumboot just sitting there, and I was on my way past so I stopped to take a look, and what would you know but there were two small (dead) barnacles on it!

And of course I pick up the stupid gumboot and as I hold it up to point out the stupid barnacles (it was exciting because these were the first that we had seen you see) I lose my balance and slip on the copious layers of wet seaweed, my feet slip out from beneath me frighteningly fast and before I know it I have hit the rocks, leaving many bruises that have only disappeared about a week or so later. So after all that excitement it was time to take it easy and head up to Doolin.

Doolin has a pier from which you can take a ferry to the Aran Islands. It is very rocky and has a lot of debris washed up. Which is good news for those looking for stranded oceanic barnacles. Such as myself. And again we came across some debris with stalked barnacles. A lot more of them this time.

So this is all good news for me and my sampling efforts, it just means that I have to be there at the beach at the right time and things might wash up. Next stop was Fanore.

Gorgeous place Fanore. No matter how often I go there I always want to take more photos. And again I found some barnacles washed up. This time stuck to seaweed.

So not wasted time, all these days of walking up and down beaches. And swimming. Way better than being in the office.

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