Combesgate

Talented Members Impress.......

The member's session is always excellent, and this year we had three very entertaining and informative topics.

Sue Austin introduced us to the Blaschkas, father and son, who, in the 1870s, made models of marine life in glass for educational purposes. The levels of skill attained were astonishing, as evidenced by a couple of examples on the L. At the top is a Dahlia anenome, and below it is a Radiolaria - a type of plankton. Sue had extensively researched this esoteric topic as far as the USA, as all surviving examples of the Blaschka's work are in museums. They produced examples of jellfish, sea slugs and many other invertebrates, using a combination of sophisticated glass-working and coloured paper inserts. Later, for commercial reasons, they turned to flowers, and never returned to marine animals.

Paula Ferris gave another of her inimitable talks illustrated by film. She concentrated on creatures of the Corallina weed, which yields many finds under the microscope. Members saw a vast range of animals - mussels, gastropods, nudibranchs, sea spiders, isopods and others feeding on diatoms and algae. There was one particularly gruesome sequence of an anenome eating a worm, which patently hadn't been anaesthetised by the anenome's "darts" first. All totally fascinating.

Finally, Sue's partner Kevin showed members a sequence of his landscape photographs. He has focussed on interesting land forms, waves and light conditions such as rainbows.

The session also included the annual exhibition of member's photos, and the votes for best pics went to Dave Jenkins for his porpoise with young, and Sue for her young (and very cold-looking) robin - R bottom.

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