The calm after the storm

Yesterday storm Doris swept through Anglesey. For the first time I remember, the forest (and ostensibly the whole of the Nature Reserve) was announced to be “closed” due to dangerous conditions…

This morning, the sea was so calm it was hard to believe how powerful yesterday’s storm was.


Llanddwyn Bay

There was little detritus washed up on the beaches: there were a few clumps of dead man’s fingers (Alcyonium digitatum)* – some of them were quite large. Usually when I see these it is just single lobes, not whole “hands”.


Deadman’s fingers (I think) – Alcyonium digitatum

There were lots of branches, twigs and cones blown down; quite a few trees leaning with their root plates lifted; and a few of the dead trees along the postman’s path had blown over. Other than that, in the parts of the forest and the beaches I’ve visited so far, the storm seemed to have left little by way of destruction.


One of the small dead trees blown across the Postman’s Path

One nice thing is that after each storm, the wind banks up the sand more and more, repairing the cuts that NRW cut through the dunes along Penrhos Beach.


One of the cuts made by NRW in the dunes along Penrhos Beach – nature is working hard to block these off again…


*I struggled to find where the name Alcyonium originated from until I found a lovely old book in Google called The Nature Displayed in the Heavens and on the Earth, written by Simeon Shaw in 1823. He says that the Alcyonium part of the name comes from a supposed resemblance of some species to the nest of the kingfisher (halcyon). And I think this is what these blobs are, but wouldn’t know for sure.


7 thoughts on “The calm after the storm

  1. michael george jackson

    I’m sure NRW will soon be back playing in their big yellow diggers to open up the gaps in the dunes once again.

  2. Chris Thomas

    Lovely blog! Regarding the Dead Mans fingers – as with most soft corals it may be worth returniong them to the water near the rocks. You may save them!

    1. Kay B Post author

      Thank you for the comment & especially the advice about returning the corals: it’s always a puzzle to know what to do for the best, but in future I’ll know :)

  3. barry

    Alcyone was the daughter of Aeolus and the wife of Ceyx, son of the Morning star and king of Thessaly. After her husband was killed in a shipwreck,she threw herself in the waters but could not sink. The gods were moved enough by their love to turn them into birds, Alcyone is the name of the brightest of the Pleiades, which the Japanese call Subaru, the seven sisters in Taurus.

    1. Kay B Post author

      I don’t know if there is a particular time of the year when the dead man’s fingers wash up – but mainly it seems to be big storms, especially big storms that come in from the west, that throw them up.


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