Friday, June 27, 2014

The stones are alive

I love beach stones. Wading along the shoreline, I often pick up one to marvel at its colour or pattern, to wonder about its history. Sometimes one is too beautiful to throw back, and I drop it in my pocket. And later find it has turned a nondescript grey, all its life and lights left back there on the shore.

But stones underwater, or with the waves washing over them; what a dazzling variety of colour and texture and pattern!

"Dead" stones, out of the water. Mostly dull blue-gray.

"Live" stones, under a couple of inches of water.

Some of the patterns are a feature of the stones themselves, the end result of millennia of mixing and melting, crumbling and compressing. The water itself, even standing still, makes its own ephemeral designs; circles where a stone distorts the surface, stripes and swirls as wavelets sweep by, shadows from floating bubbles and weeds. All of these show up in the photo above.

Boring blue-grey? No! (It's worth clicking on this to see it full size to appreciate the detail on the two stones on the left.) 

Textured stones.

Water rippling over a mottled peach and grey stone.

More variety. Every colour of the rainbow, including violet.


  1. They are, indeed, beautiful stones. We have many stones where I live in Dorset - and lots of have fossils in - but I'm not sure they are as varied or as colourful as the ones you show here.

  2. A simple but nice observation.


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