Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Colourfield

Now you know those things you find on the beach, the things that are like a kiwi-fruit that has mated with a coconut. No one thing has inspired so much speculation, wrong speculation, as to what it is or where it comes from. Bamboo, pine needles, algae - all have been proffered and all have been wrong. It was, therefore, with some considerable delight, not to say relief, that Gordon mailed me with a link that solved the issue once and for all. Those balls are in fact the waste-product of the Posidonia Oceanica, a sea grass as opposed to an alga. The good news is that this grass only grows in clean, unpolluted water and is therefore indicative of a healthy sea. The bad news is that it is a threatened species.

How do I know this? Because of that link, which took me to the really rather wonderful Mallorca Photo Blog. This is a real labour of love, with loads of photos, as the name suggests, and a host of informative bits and pieces on all sorts of subjects; plant life being one of them. Anyway, I mailed a comment to the blog, which, unlike the comments thing here, is not anonymous and consequently got a reply, a reply from Klaus who seems to be the one who is labouring over his love.

After all this time and all this debate as to the origin of the balls, I have to offer a hearty thanks to Klaus, and let me commend to you the blog, which is now linked but is at If you go to this blog and look up plants and scroll through, you'll find the entry for Posidonia Oceanica, and see a photo which shows that this grass is a multi-coloured thing that exists in what are effectively fields. Extraordinary stuff.

And ... I can hardly let it pass. In today's "The Bulletin" in the Lash column is a photo. The caption mentions a German Island dentist (itself a rather strange usage) by the name of Dr. Peter Dentacare. Now, I don't know, is this a joke, is it some post-modernist irony, is it actually his name, has he changed it by deed poll? Maybe he has - great move. I suspect it's none of these things.

QUIZ: Yesterday - Steve Wright. There was a character called, I think, Cap'n Fishy who had the line about the great smell of fish which was something of an innuendo. But please don't expect me to tell you what for. Today's title - the best known of this group was?


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