Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Coastal Cinnabar

Walking the beach in summer this stripy creature wiggled into view, a cinnabar moth caterpillar.  I wondered what it was doing out here on the shingle bank between channels and shore and nowhere near its usual haunt, feeding on the bright yellow ragwort.  It takes in poison from the ragwort leaves as it feeds so maybe a bird had picked it up and then gone, yuk ,with the foul taste, and dropped it. You can only see a couple of its spines on my photo but they are venomous enough to create a itchy rash on human skin if one were to pick it up.     
Like the caterpillar the shoreline is on the move and the shingle bank keeps changing and growing
and is now popular for a walk along and night fishing.
Rattle your way down the pebble banking and sand is soon reached again.  Returning to the cinnabar moth seen all along the coastal area here
Creative Commons : Sharp Photography
it takes its name from the red mineral (which used to be ground and used by artists as the red pigment, vermilion).  Whichever naturalist named it in the mists of time must have known both minerals and moths because the mineral contains mercury so like the moth is poisonous.
Creative Commons: Sharp Photography
An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet this week sojourning at C here 



Melody Steenkamp said...

Wonderful photo's and choices for c.... the first one i like most

Have a nice ABC-Wednesday / _ Week
♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc=w=team)
(want to take a preview at the new url starting round 21 ? http://abcwednesday.wordpress.com)

carol l mckenna said...

Marvelous post and intriguing and creative photography ~ thanks ~ love tepee ~

Wishing you a peaceful week ~ ^_^

Leslie: said...

Love that shot of the beach disappearing into the distance! Cool post, Joy.

abcw team

K V V S MURTHY said...

Nice photos.

Roger Owen Green said...

itchy rash - something to avoid!

Nora said...

We have the cinnabar here as well. I think it was introduced here to control some insect of some kind. I like the top photo of the pebbles. The beach looks nice.