Although it is technically a non-native species, as it was almost certainly brought to Britain by the Romans, Helix pomatia (the edible or Roman snail) is nonetheless protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), and in England it is an offence to sell, collect, kill or injure this species. That’s an unusual situation for an alien animal or plant in this country, and I’m struggling to think of another example – are there any?
Regardless of its status, the large shells of the Roman snail (several times bigger than the common garden snail Cornu aspersum when fully grown) form a beautiful spiral for today’s Spiral Sunday posting.
Thanks to Dr Tim Astrop for allowing me to photograph this dead specimen.
I took this week’s Spiral Sunday photograph at a small sculpture park in an old quarry on the coastal path on Kirkøy (Hvaler) in Norway when we were attending the SCAPE 2012 conference in Skjærhalden.
If I recall correctly it was late afternoon and there was a wonderful low light on the stones, hard shadows sharpening the carved edges of the sculptures. It was magical to come across these sculptures unexpectedly on a long circular hike; I’d recommend a visit if you are in the area.
Karin and I went for a long hike today in the north of the county, a five mile circuit from Easton on the Hill, through Stamford, and back past the amazing ruins of Wothorpe Towers. In the churchyard at Easton I photographed today’s Spiral Sunday image, a stylised botanical form carved into a slab of the local limestone, a 19th century grave marker for a former inhabitant of the village. As a bonus, here’s the full carving: I really like the twining bindweed.
On 12th February 1809 Mr Charles Robert Darwin was born, so I couldn’t let this week’s Spiral Sunday pass without wishing the great man Happy Birthday! I used Festisite to make the spiral text and then played around with an image of Darwin using PowerPoint; nothing too fancy, but I think it’s effective.
Have a great #DarwinDay everyone!
As he was leaving work on Friday evening my colleague Dr Mu Mu commented on how he was looking forward to today’s Spiral Sunday. That’s the first time anyone has said such a thing, so this week’s image is dedicated to him! It’s the carved end of a mahogany bannister that he passes most days on his way to and from the office in the Newton Building of the University of Northampton.
The Newton Building was constructed in 1915 so the wood was probably harvested from the wild in South or Central America, rather than being from a plantation. These solid, knife-straight bannisters have lasted over 100 years without warping, and will no doubt last for a century or more to come. I love their smooth solidity, but they are a beautiful, daily reminder of the history of tropical deforestation.
Whenever I take a walk on a beach or in the countryside I’m liable to pick up interesting bits of shell, stone, sea glass or wood to take home as a memento of the visit. Doesn’t always work, though, as I forget where I found this fragment of shell! I have a feeling that it was on Tenerife. I love the way the sea has rounded the sharp edges and a piece of stone has forced its way into the opening, a perfect sculpture in miniature as today’s Spiral Sunday contribution.
Spiral Sunday this week is brought to you by Fergus Chadwick, and is (in his words) a “spiral of spirals”: a spiral display of spiral ammonite fossils at the Kelvin Grove Museum in Glasgow. Thanks for the photo Fergus!
This week’s Spiral Sunday features a close-up of hair sculpted in marble, taken during the visit to Copenhagen’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art I mentioned in Spiral Sunday 5. Sadly I forgot to note down the name of the artist, but I do like the way s/he has depicted the hair as deeply carved, close-set spirals.