Sunday, 21 March 2010

Dead interesting

What a pleasure it was today to lie back in the dunes with the sun on the face. Not a sound bar the twittering of the skylarks high above. Shelley enjoyed a similar experience and penned, 'Hail to thee, blithe Spirit! Bird thou never wert - That from Heaven or near it, Pourest thy full heart, In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.'  Wordsworth had a bash too and managed 'Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky! Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound?' Undaunted not, here's my go.
Oh little browne job! Flick of wings!
Beguiling high above the grass
No break for breath thy song thou sings
I thinkest thou breathe through thy ****

Moving swiftly on to dead stuff...  having past a deceased shag with a neat pile of fox droppings on its head (I'll spare you the photo) I walked another 50 yards along the beach and came upon a dead grey seal.

A sad sight but a rare opportunity for a really close look at the different design of the front and rear limbs.

and also to note just how much hair there is on the animal's back - so different from the sleak, hairless appearance in water.

Then, to complete a trio of corpses, another 50 yards along the beach was this.

The shape of the skull is so characteristic - it's a cetacean and the peculiar little peg like teeth confirm this to be the common porpoise.  I was going to bring it home but it was more than a touch on the whiffy side. You can never find a washed up fertiliser sack among the strand line junk when you need one. 


  1. Really interesting Allan. The photo of the skull is fascinating!
    As for your poetry skills......!!

  2. Hi Steve. Thank you and so glad you liked the ditty! Stand aside William McGonagall.....

  3. Amazing teeth on that porpoise - didn't realise they were like pegs..

  4. Hi Phil. I've been trying to get to the bottom of why their teeth are blunt ended compared say to the very similiar common dolphin - whose teeth are pointed.
    Somebody somewhere must know the answer but I've not found it yet.

  5. You are as bad as me for bringing home dead things! My husband complained like merry hell about the bagders stinking skull, with some flesh still attach, soaking in a bowl in the kitchen!

    You have an interesting blog and I shall definitely explore more when I am in less of a rush.

  6. Thanks for tuning in and for your kind comments Kerry. The time I had a dead bat in the fridge and forgot to mention it was a particular problem I must say. Cleaning skulls by putting them under plant pots in the garden and forgetting about them for a year is slower but a tad more socially acceptable I think.