Day 5: Wells Beach – Common whelk with Acorn Barnacles
(Buccinam Undatum, Balanus Balanoides)
A late afternoon walk, which at the beginning of January means about 3.30 in the afternoon just before the sun sets. As we walk onto the beach the low sun breaks through the clouds and illuminates the surf which is running diagonally across the water on the outgoing tide. It is quite spectacular .
There is still not much to find here on Wells beach. It is surprising how little material, both natural and man-made washes up. I choose something that could be picked up any day – a common whelk (Buccinam Undatum). This one is encrusted with large, sharp acorn barnacles (Balanus Balanoides). Acorn barnacles are the most common barnacle found around our shores. They attach themselves to hard surfaces such as rocks, wooden piers, buoys and the bottom of boats. Razor-edged, they remind me of summer, bare legs and feet and scratchy cuts.