Wednesday, 3 August 2016


I can't see a starfish without feeling that excitement that every child has when he or she finds a good rock pool. A good rock pool is a tiny world and you never know what you might find. Turn a stone and there could be a crab. Sweep the seaweed on the rocks with your net and fish dart here and there and the chase is on. See that whelk shell? Oh look it's moving with the hermit inside it.

Once in Wales I caught a baby mackerel in a pool, bright blue and shiny, I've caught dabs occasionally and once a horrible prickly fish that pouted and spat at me. Shrimps are easy to net and I've often made a sandwich of the bigger ones - cooked of course.

But it's the oddities that are so exciting. I was amazed once to find a pipe fish in my net - a kind of long thin seahorse . I've sometimes found beautiful green anemones with long seeking tentacles. And I'll never forget the time I caught a tiny octopus in my bucket.

But it's the star fish that hold me spellbound. Thin ones, spiny ones, big ones, small ones, orange, yellow, red, brown, ochre, each and every one brings a smile to my face and suddenly I'm a small boy again, barefoot on the beach with the sun on my back.

I'm older now but when I found these in a rock pool in Cornwall the old wonder was still there.

Twinkle, twinkle little star. How I wonder what you are?

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