I first spotted this bale of rubber washed up a few weeks ago. Today is the first time I’ve been back with a camera.
A rubber bale on Llanddwyn beach (with my size six foot for scale))
A quick scout round the internet shows that similar bales have washed up on the west coast in England and also in northern France.
A couple of years ago, the BBC ran a feature on rubber slabs that were washing up around the coast and they were traced back to a Japanese ship that sank off the Isles of Scilly in World War One. But those blocks were clearly stamped with the word Tjipetir. It looks like this block at Newborough might once have had some writing on, but it’s long since worn away. So, for the time being, the origins of this year’s beached rubber bales is a mystery.
No writing is visible on the rubber bale, but the imprinting of what must have been its burlap wrapping is clear to see and quite pretty.
Banners in the forest are advertising an upcoming art exhibition at the Pritchard Jones Institute in Newborough from 21st to 28th October.
These two jellyfish were washed in on the high “spring” tide this morning. I flipped one over, and I think they are barrel jellyfish (aka dustbin lid jellyfish – although these were only about 16″ across).
The last few nights have seen the highest tides of the year – and it will be a few years before they are so high again. But, because the weather has been so gentle, the tides have done very little damage; hardly even altering the shoreline.
The term “spring” in spring tide comes from old northern European languages meaning to burst (like a pipe springs a leak). The opposite is the “neap” tide, which means pinched (like nip) or scanty.
As well as the main footpaths and tracks throughout Newborough Forest, there are a lot of smaller orienteering routes waymarked. These trails take you into some of the nicest and less visited parts of the forest. On the weekend of 22nd and 23rd October 2016, there is going to be an open orienteering competition on these routes. See the poster below for more information:
Hot on the heels of the Sandman Triathlon, Newborough Forest and beaches have now been somewhat taken over by crew and their vehicles shooting for a “horsey teen mystery”.
Cast, including beautiful horses, and crew by Llanddwyn Island this morning
Metro has an article about the production here: there is no name for it yet and it will be aired in 2017.
Newborough’s enjoyed a good spell of warm sunny weather recently. The biting fly season has also just begun. The ponies on the warren find some relief from both the heat and the flies by loafing in the bare sand areas.
…a lump of sand makes a nice place to rest your head…
Storm Imogen has coincided with the new moon spring tides. The waves are being blown hard against the sand cliffs on Penrhos Beach, eating away the faces that had already become unstable from the incessant rains and winds.
Storm Imogen driving the waves onto Penrhos Beach
Sand slip – before the storm (now gone)
The sea has come right through one of the breaches NRW dug last winter and is now onto the Postman’s Path
Although the winds are set to ease and the waves get smaller, the tides over the next few days will be even higher, so there will probably be more changes to the shoreline before the week is out.
Amongst the flotsam washed ashore by the storm was one of the pink HP printer cartridges the BBC reported on at the start of the year. The cartridges went overboard from a shipment more than a year ago and have been washing up on shores around the UK and Europe ever since. This is the first one I’ve found.
HP cartridge – the first I’ve found
The stormy tide seems to have swept away much of the goose barnacle covered flotsam and jetsam that was accumulating on the beach. Each year there seem to be more and more of these barnacles washed ashore.
Goose barnacles on a glass bottle
Goose barnacles on a plastic bottle