Borne by the wind sailors

Velella velella – borne by the wind sailor. Sporadically, lots of these little creatures will be blown ashore on  Newborough’s beaches. It must be about 10 years since I last saw a big batch of them, so I’d been keeping an eye open for them all through the winter, thinking a stranding must be due. Today,when I thought we were too far into spring for me to spot them, here they were. Not in huge numbers, but quite a few.

velellas

Velella velellas washed ashore by the tide

velellas3

Velella velella – borne by the wind sailor

Clearly when I found them today, they’d already been ashore for a few days: if they were fresh, they would have had a deep blue-ish colour to their footplate, the colour of a blue mussel shell. But by today, they were more or less deliquesced leaving just the clear chitinous structure.

velella5s

The structure that remains when the living parts of the sailor have washed away

The jellywatch.org site has lots of information and lovely pictures of these fascinating creatures that spend their lives sailing on the oceans at the whim of the wind.

(Incidentally, I’ve always known them as Velella-velella-borne-by-the-wind-sailors; the scientific and common name combined to make a little rhyme, but I notice that the ‘borne’ bit isn’t usually included.)

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Borne by the wind sailors

    1. Kay B Post author

      No, sadly, this was the end of the line for them.
      I often think as I look at all the beautiful things along the beach how ironic it is that so many of them are the result of a death…it’s a funny old world.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s