Luminous Limpets

Strolling down the beach seeing what has been washed up is one of life’s pleasures.
Every single day is different.
Different patterns in the sand, different bits of driftwood and seaweed.
The humble limpet is often overlooked – they’re common and may not be exciting to most people – however if you look closely they have such a variety and richness of colour.
I took these shots at Croyde Bay as I saw the late afternoon light shining through a few shells lying on the ground….IMG_7337

I tipped a few up into the low light which revealed detail that I’d not seen before:


Next step was to collect a few and line them up in the sand. You can see that the sun was almost setting which meant that it was shining at a very low angle across the sand.

Close up they became totally luminous – new respect for the humble limpet!






and from the other side in the sunlight, they return to ordinary limpets!



(for the geeks amongst you, these are a mix of common limpets (Patella vulgata) and black footed limpets (Patella depressa). Both species show an astonishing variety of form and colour. The most certain way to tell them apart is to look at the live animal.

You don’t have to be Sherlock – the black footed limpet has a black foot! Just sayin’ !)




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