Wednesday, 5 March 2008

At the beach

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The tide was on its way out when I arrived at Williamstown this lunchtime. Having been stuck indoors for what seems like months, I decided to get out into the sunshine. Because I was working at home (still wretched from yesterday's migraine but needing to get through a stack of paperwork without interruptions), I had the chance to make a break for the water's edge. I wasn't there for long but it didn't matter. I was outside and there were birds, snails and large ships.

Rather less curious gulls soaking up the midday sun in the company of a little pied cormorant

Basalt boulders are not a popular substrate for intertidal animals, especially on the upper shore. (Doubly so for the upper shore near a busy dock.) But Bembicium (Littorinidae) occurs in fair numbers, unperturbed by the heat and the … stuff … in the water. Their shells are tough enough to withstand crab claws and the seagulls generally leave them alone. At high tide, they have the shore to themselves. Bembicium is endemic to Australia.

The massive dredging vessel, Queen of the Netherlands, was on the horizon. It is deepening the shipping channel through Port Phillip Bay from the Heads to the docks. You can see the suction pipes deployed over the side. That's one big operation.

And then I had to go back to my home office. But I felt refreshed.


sarala said...

I'm still having summer and ocean-envy. It makes me want to cry as the snow flakes drift down yet again. I'll come by and gloat in July, though.

Sherrie said...

(sigh) Sun. Surf. Snails. Ships. er... Gulls (hmm.. doesn't start with S unless we use that "sea" word at the start, and we do NOT want to go there).

Anyway. It's cold here. And gray. And I'm tired of it. The largest patch of green is that of my envy.

Snail said...

The weather on that day was beaut but it's back to stinkin' hot. That just isn't right in March. It should be lovely and mild.

Island Rambles Blog said...

I love your pictures of the shore, so similar to where I am..well kinda. I love this post anyway. Sorry you have it too hot there.

Snail said...

Rocky shores are lovely, wherever they are. Yep, it's hot at the moment. Just a bit too hot for me. It's time to move back to the tropics where it's just a bit cooler!