Beautiful Barnacles


One thing I miss living on a stretch of chalk coastline is a good old boulder. The best we manage in Broadstairs is a knobbly, football-sized flint. Today I am in St. Agnes, Cornwall, where gigantic rocks are ten-a-penny. Their smooth, static hulks litter the shoreline where they have been torn from the cliffs, molested by the waves and then abandoned in the sand. 


Studying the intricately patinated granite strewn across Trevaunance Cove, I note how tiny barnacles have taken hold in the faintest of striations, whether they be straight, criss-crossing or gently meandering. In places they are joined by limpets and glistening sea anemones.


Sparkling in the sunlight the barnacles transform themselves into chains and clusters of finely cut gems on the surface of the stone. They are strange and beautiful with their split centres and clasp-like protrusions. Having observed them up-close, I will never look at barnacles in quite the same way again.