Culture

Slime Mold At Marwick Bay!

By Bernie Bell

Pics by McB

We parked in the small parking space at the far end of the Bay, under Marwick Head, and looked across to Hoy and the Old man…..

I noticed something down among the stones on the beach, which turned out to be a big old bottle encrusted with Goose Barnacles – very pleasing shapes and patterns…

Coincidentally, when Mike was walking Dog Papay that morning, he’d seen some Barnacle Geese in a field by the Bay of Hinderayre. Smart birds in shape and pattern. It used to be thought that Goose Barnacles ‘grew up’ to be Barnacle Geese. I suppooooose they kind-of-sort-of look a bit similar, but one growing up to be the other is a bit of a stretch!

We strolled along the edge of the sea, then cut up and walked along a short way towards the Fishermen’s Huts in Sand Geo…

Along the side of the path there  were Slime Molds in abundance……

Slime molds fascinate me.  They aren’t fungi, though named ‘mold’.  There is an explanation of what they are….https://appvoices.org/2019/10/11/slime-mold-intelligence/#:~:text=Scientists%20have%20found%20that%20a,though%20there%20are%20many%20kinds.&text=But%20unlike%20a%20jelly%20fungus,retain%20its%20shape%20when%20touched.

…….but, for me, it doesn’t make them any less befuddling to think about.  Imagine if they were huge!  The stuff that old Sci-fi films were made of.

Walking back along the Bay behind the wall which shores up this section of the beach, and, on this short stretch of path we saw FIVE bags of dog shit….FIVE!!!  Why?  Why take the trouble to bag it up, then leave it there instead of taking it away to be disposed of .  ‘Nowt so queer as folk.

Back at the car, eating sandwiches and watching an Iceland Gull feasting on something…..

These gulls aren’t rare, but they’re not commonly seen in Orkney.  We remembered a few years ago when a dead Fin Whale washed up in Sand Geo – we could smell it right along the path and the rotting carcase attracted a lot of Glaucus Gulls and Iceland Gulls, which in turn attracted a lot of birdwatchers who were prepared to put up with the smell!

Home and curry for tea.  Life can be just fiiiiine, if you remember to take time out from the madness.

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