Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Treasure Hunt

We have the Suffolk branch of our family up here at the moment and, every time they visit, we go on a treasure hunt to a secret location to the north of Sanna.  This is serious work: the fact that there was a force 5 blowing, carrying with it raindrops as cold and hard as bullets, did not deter.  Mind you, on the outward journey we did have the wind behind us.

This is the secret destination, a lonely beach at low tide exposing sand which has to be sifted grain by grain for its treasure....

 ....which involves sitting or squatting with ones nose as close to the ground as possible, ignoring the wind which, by this time, had risen to force 6, and the rain which, somehow, seemed even colder, wetter and more beastly.

Job done, fingers frozen, the journey back to the car was even more unpleasant, with the wind now touching force 7 and gusting to gale 8, hurling icy canonballs of rain straight into our teeth.

Even the drive home had its obstacles.  At Achnaha, with the rain pelting down and the windscreen misting up, a Highlander chose to stand in the middle of the road and showed little sign of moving.

The sheep have a simple solution to heavy rain, tucking themselves into the lee of a bank and waiting for the worst to clear.

And here is the reward for one treasure-hunter's labour, twelve beautiful little cowries.  They are all of the genus Trivia, but there are two species in British waters, Trivia arctica and Trivia monacha.  From the descriptions - see the Marine Life Information Network site here - the only major difference is that monacha has spots along the back of its shell.  So it does look as if most of the ones we found today are monacha rather than arctica.

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