A Petrified Forest has been uncovered on Portreath beach, exposed by the wild winds. It can only be seen at low tide so we went down before breakfast this morning and saw some of the trees that are said to be between 4000 and 6000 years old! At one point, they made up a coastal woods–but after the seas began to rise, the trees became submerged by mud and muck. Eventually, they compressed and became petrified. Similar beach forests exist in Wales and Oregon. We met someone, who swims there every single day of the year – no wetsuit – and she showed us where the wood was, much more than just the tree trunk which we had spotted easily.Click on any photo to see more detail.
There were lots of pretty shells on the shingly part of the beach.
I heard the following poem by W H Auden Radio 4’s ‘Poetry Please’ on Sunday and though it was written for another age, it is all too apt for today.
Refugee Blues by W H Auden
Say this city has ten million souls,
Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
The consul banged the table and said:
Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said:
Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
January 21, 2016 at 7:31 pm
I live close enough to the Oregon petrified forest to put it on my list for an outing this summer. Thanks for the wonderful photos and information.
January 21, 2016 at 7:34 pm
That’s brilliant! Are the Oregon ones always visible? Ours only come into view every 20-50 years depending on the storms! They were last seen in 1979!
January 21, 2016 at 1:25 pm
the poem is beautiful…yet so sad…as “saymber” said… a thoughtful piece for sure…
we have fossil beds here in KY by the Ohio River which date back LOTS of years…What a world we live in!
January 21, 2016 at 12:57 pm
I’m so relieved the pictures were of petrified wood….it looked like dolphins to me! The poem is beautiful and sad….everyone has forgotten we’ve all been refugees and if not us directly, most of our ancestors were!
Cecilia Mary Gunther
January 21, 2016 at 12:22 pm
wow – I would love to see that forest – and that poem was a treat for me with my morning coffee – thank you.. c
January 21, 2016 at 9:04 am
I love these pictures. How amazing to have found the wood and to think how old it must be. And that brave soul swimming without a wet suit every day! Brrrr… It’s been so long since I have visited Cornwall, I really must do so soon.
January 21, 2016 at 11:31 am
It was brilliant – so hard to try to imagine the forest and just how long ago it was there. Thank you for calling in. 🙂
January 20, 2016 at 7:56 pm
The first photo looks too much like a body in the water – two legs and a torso … Nature is amazing. Have you ever heard of the vitrified castles in Scotland – some stone walls are melted and there is no explanation as to how …
January 20, 2016 at 8:16 pm
I thought just that about the tree trunk and captioned it thus to start with but changed my mind! I haven’t heard of the vitrified castles but will go and look them up now – sounds fascinating – and yes! Nature is amazing indeed! 🙂