Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Bermagui dreaming ...

Last week I made a break from my routine in Robertson, and escaped to Bermagui for just a few days. Bermagui is on the far South Coast of NSW, south of Narooma and north from Bega.
Camel Rock, near Bermagui, NSW.
Regular readers might be aware that my fellow blogger, David lives down that way. He also wrote about our walk along this beach.David and I went beach walking, which we both enjoy. However, I would have to say that this morning's excursion was the hardest bit of beach walking I have ever done.
Natural Arch.
That is because of the geology of the particular area known as "Camel Rock", north of Bermagui (the pointy rocks in the first image, at the top). As with this natural archway, most of the rocks look to have been, originally, a relatively soft sedimentary rock, (generally known as "mudstone"), which has then been "cooked" and fractured by heat and pressure. The finished product is a hard, brittle rock, with sharp uplifted edges, a long way from those familiar flat patches of soft "mudstone" one often sees beside NSW beaches.
Ocean waves seen through the archway.
That transformation is because this small area has been subject to violent volcanic activity. Many of the rocks have been twisted under great heat and pressure. Many of the rocks in this area have had threads of quartz rock injected through them. That can only happen under intense volcanic heat and pressure.
Single, freestanding rock
cracked and heated and uplifted by volcanic activity.
In some areas, the rocks have been left exposed and it is exceedingly difficult to walk through these rocks without twisting an ankle, or worse. But it is well worth the effort. The views along this coast are spectacular.

A narrow passage between the ocean cliff to my left
and a rocky outcrop in the ocean, to my right.
We had to traverse these harsh brittle rocks
to get through to the next beach.
Watch your ankles, folks, and also the tides.
Here is a study of a large, free-standing rock which has been totally fractured under heat and pressure. Quite beautiful in its own grey way. This rock has been so stressed by heat and pressure and uplifting that I feel it deserves to be named "The Scream", as in Edvard Munch's famous painting.
"The Scream"
(Click to enlarge, to see the details in the rock).
Further along the beach is composed of fine pieces of small, yellow gravel. These mini-pebbles are on their way to becoming fine sand, but that might take millions of years, for all I know. The average particle size was like a "split-pea" one might use to make soup.Clearly this beach is relatively "new" and the rock has not yet been broken down to sand. This makes a lovely crunchy sound as one walks along it, but it is hard work to walk along it, because the gravel grains are very loosely packed and they move under your foot as you try to walk along.

Beyond the next headland one comes to a beach with millions of small shells, many still in good conditions, so clearly the ocean just beyond this patch of shore is very rich in live shellfish.

I could not resist snapping this image of a Silver Gull, as it flew past me, at quite close range. Lovely birds, well, at least beautiful, even if they can be nasty when competing for food.Talking about flying, here are several images of a Black-shouldered Kite which lives near David's house. They are beautifully marked birds and demonstrate wonderful flying control.
Sitting on the power lines.
Taking off (note the orange eyes and yellow feet).
The black "shoulder" marks are clearly visible.
A double image - two shots of the same bird
showing how beautifully these birds fly.
And finally, just to remind you that we were at the beach,
here is a perfectly formed wave, just breaking.


mick said...

I love the sea - even when the water is cold! as I imagine yours was!! Great photos of the Black-shouldered Kite - especially the in-flight one.

Gaye from the Hunter said...

Hello Denis,

the beach is always a lovely change from home territory when living inland. I too love to walk beaches admiring all the intricate detail of all aspects of nature. The beach you and David walked is certainly spectacular, and I must remember to check out the beaches in that area if I ever get down that way again.

The Black-shouldered Kites are a favourite of mine - they are indeed beautiful creatures, and fascinating to observe at length.

An enjoyable post.


Denis Wilson said...

Everybody lcves the BS Kite, it seems.
Lovely birds, unless you are a mouse or a wren, or a finch or a grasshopper.
Beautifully balanced birds.