Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Seeing stars

There were these primitive plants, about 180 million years ago, and their stems grew in segments - some of them were round, and some of them were pentagonal. When they died and fell into the mud, some of them were fossilised, after they has disintegrated. The round ones were called 'St. Cuthbert's Beads', and had holes running all the way through them, so they could be strung.

I was sitting in a pub garden in Lacock, Wiltshire (where much of the Harry Potter films are made, and where photography was invented/developed in the Abbey), a few years ago, and there was a gravel floor to the garden. I noticed a half shell fossil, so I picked it up. On the top side was this perfect star - a plant segment which had stuck to the shell millions of years ago, had fossilised with it, then been dredged up for gravel. I found it by sheer chance. The actual shell it sits on is about three quarters of an inch long, so you can see how small the star is.

What a wonderful world.


  1. Wow, I would never have known what that was. And that little tidbit of info is so very interesting.Thanks Tom.

  2. That picture is the fossil/shell you found on the gravel floor? It's lovely - perfection in minature. I wonder how long it had been lying there and nobody (except you) noticed. Wow! I have started to read your blog posts right through from the first one you posted in 2009

  3. Yes - isn't it wonderful Raz?

    Yes, Molly - that's the very shell I found on the floor of the garden. I am amazed that you have the will-power to read through ALL my blogs - that is beyond the call of duty! XXX to you both.

  4. The Universe is talking to you are a Star!

  5. I envy your eyesight. Nice find.

  6. ...'Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also'....
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows