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Posts Tagged ‘geology’

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Yellow lichen and broken red rock on the wall of Porthcawl Pier

This time last year I took lots of pictures of Porthcawl on the Glamorgan coast, one of my favourite places, but somehow I never got around to “processing” the photographs and blogging about them. Now I have put together many Porthcawl pictures into a gallery or two, but I decided to pick out in particular the images of lichen and rock on the pier. (more…)

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Face to face with William Smith – a bust of the man by Joseph Brogden Baker of Scarborough and a portrait painted in 1837 by Hughes Forau

Have you heard of William “Strata” Smith? Well I hadn’t until 2001, when I read a review in a weekend magazine and bought Simon Winchester’s book about him, called The Map that Changed the World. He has been one of my heroes ever since. (more…)

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Rinjani

The Indonesian volcano of Rinjani in 1994, by Oliver Spalt on Wikimedia Commons

STOP PRESS: Moments after I published this, reports came in of a volcano erupting in Sumatra – so best wishes to everyone struggling there…

Did you have an irrational fear of something when you were a child? In my case, for a while at least, I was terrified of volcanoes. You might say that’s not so crazy. But as I lived in Wales, where an eruption would be pretty near impossible, I think it was.

So this post is all about what (more…)

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The red stones of Ross…

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The old lock-up in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire…

Although I had been to Ross-on-Wye many times, I had never been as impressed as I was on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year. It was a lovely sunny day and I was surprised to find how many shops were open and welcoming in this very “low” season.

As there was not much traffic, it was the first time I (more…)

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View of Strumble Head Lighthouse, Pembrokeshire, from the car park...

I think this is the last post from my summer vacation and it’s a quick visit to Strumble Head, a rocky (more…)

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A drawing of Mary Anning's ichthyosaur, used to illustrate a paper by Everard Home in 1814

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My 1969 Hamlyn guide to Prehistoric Animals

OK, I know that’s a ridiculous headline, as an ichthyosaur was a fish-like reptile with no legs, but I wanted to draw the comparison with the BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs and its latest Planet Dinosaur

There are so many “new” prehistoric creatures these days and I can no longer keep up with all the names. My reference guide as a child in 1969 was Prehistoric Animals by Barry Cox and I could probably still identify 80% of the species illustrated, if I spotted them in the wild. That’s a Stegosaurus and an Ankylosaurus on the cover…

In Mary Anning’s time (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) things were even simpler – and it must have been so exciting, naming the first fossils found.

As of last month, I have now seen Mary Anning’s ichthyosaur fossil in the flesh (if you know what I mean) – but I am so kicking myself because I didn’t take a picture!

I hadn’t realised at the time that the ichthyosaur isn’t usually at Mary’s home-town museum in Lyme Regis, Dorset, but has been brought back from the Natural History Museum in London for a couple of months to celebrate the 200th anniversary of her find – on Mary Anning Day, September 24.

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A portrait of Mary Anning with her dog Tray. A landslide from the blue lias cliffs killed Tray in 1833 - and almost killed Mary, too...

Mary Anning was (more…)

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The Cobb at Lyme Regis, Dorset

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Meryl Streep - and the Cobb at Lyme Regis - feature on the cover of The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles...

I recently visited Lyme Regis, right on the western edge of Dorset where it meets Devon, a county Lyme seems to gravitate towards, rather than looking back through masses of green countryside towards the east of its own county.

I went there hoping to look for fossils, thinking of my childhood heroine Mary Anning, but in September 2011 it’s the 200th anniversary of her ichthyosaur find, so I will leave it until later to blog more about her and about fossils.

Instead, I will look this time at the Cobb, a harbour wall that featured in Jane Austen’s Persuasion and more recently in John Fowles’ book The French Lieutenant’s Woman – it was made even more memorable by the image of Meryl Streep standing, windswept, on the said wall in the movie.

I bought an old (more…)

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