I’ve been hoping to find one of these for ages.
I used to imagine perplexed mermaids swimming about wondering where their purses had gone.
It is also known as a Devil’s purse.
I was quite disappointed when I found out they were empty egg cases. This one is most likely from a skate, but could be from a ray. Sorry I can’t be more precise.
Darn. So no such thing as mermaids after all? Or is there?
I didn’t know a great deal about the egg cases so I looked it up. Apparently they are attached, by the parent fish, to weed growing on the sea bed and sometimes a storm will dislodge the weed and the egg case complete with eggs or babies which is when you find them on the beach.
The cases are made of collagen. I’m glad to say I’ve only ever found empty ones.
The best time to catch crabs is as the tide is going out. The seagulls all know this and sit patiently waiting for the water to recede.
They’d had a feast one day. I saw hundreds of footprints and dozens of bits of crab on the sand bank. It was quite sad really, but the seagulls have to eat. This is a feast on a smaller scale. It appears only one poor old crab was eaten here.
These ripples in the sand were quite close together. They change depending on the weather. Sometimes the ripples are very wide and flat.
This morning I saw a man digging up lugworms (Arenicola marina). They can live for 5 or 6 years (if a fisherman doesn’t dig them up for bait or a hungry sea creature doesn’t eat them) and live in a burrow under the sand.
The casts in the photo are close to the beach and are from very young lugworms (and yes that is a Dusty footprint). The bigger, older ones can be found nearer the low tide line. The cast is made from worm poo as they burrow into the sand, eating nutrients and expelling what they don't need!
So where is this all leading?
I took a photo of the man digging for worms because I thought it made a great shot – silhouette of a man against the sea with shovel. Bear with me – this is where the spooky bit comes in.
This is what I got – and I took several photos of him. So where did he go? He wasn’t there when we walked back. Perhaps he was never there at all.
Maybe he was a merman looking for his girlfriend’s purse…
Cue Twilight Zone music!
Am I making it up? I'm a writer, what do you think? There was a man there and I did take photos and he wasn't in any of them - but it was very bright and I couldn't see my screen, so I might just have missed him.
Speaking of making things up, I have a new book on Kindle, Gold Digger & Other Stories. You can read more about it (if you want to of course) by clicking the short story tab at the top of my blog. It contains fifteen tales with a twist.