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;