Thursday, 17 April 2014

O is for Ocean Currents, Ozone, Octopus, “Old Maid”, Ode to the Sea ...


“A Life on the Ocean Wave” ... 
Where the purple splodge is - then starts to turn
colder (blue) as the Gulf Stream spreads over us

.... is one of the poem-turned-songs that I thought of as I wrote my O post ... it is by Epes Sargent, published in 1838 and set to music by Henry Russell: a very American march, which as many of you will know is the official march of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy ...



Those Ocean Currents by the time they get to our many isled islands have evolved into the Gulf Stream to the west of Ireland continuing as the North Atlantic Current around Great Britain ...


Nimbus Ozone Brewer-Dobson
circulation ... please see Wiki!

Large-scale Ocean Currents such as the Gulf Stream can transport floating objects thousands of kilometres and dump them on some distant shore ... or as we know wreak havoc on our shoreline ...



Ozone - on the south coast here, we occasionally, in heat waves, have a ‘layer’ of ozone hanging over us ... probably due to plants absorbing less of it – which leaves the ‘chloriney’ overtones lingering for us to breathe in.


Common Octopus
Ozone can be dangerous to the not so healthy or elderly when the weather is hot and maybe partly responsible for the loss of some lives ... it is not a tonic as the Victorians supposed!



Octopus – the common octopus, which in Britain, mostly in the English Channel and south-west waters can grow up to 6 feet across its tentacles – these eight-armed molluscs are considered very intelligent ... they can creep and find their way into anything with those eight appendages!


 
An old maid
Old Maid ... the Mya Arenaria - Sand Gaper – is a genus of soft-shell clam and has numerous popular name: “steamers”, “Ipswich clams”, “Essex clams”, “longnecks” ... et al ... they are to be found in tidal mud flats ...



This is a card, but is also on a book on
stories from Cornwall, which I used to read
to my mother .. I love this painting:
The Cornish Riviera - part of a Great
Western Railway poster (1928) by
L Burleigh Bruhl (1861-1942)

When I went to Turner and the Sea exhibition out at the Greenwich Maritime Museum I saw a book of poems to celebrate Britain’s maritime heritage “Ode to the Sea” ... and thought what a great little “O” entry ...



It’s a National Trust book and the front cover preface introduces the contents thus:



“As an island nation, Britain’s love affair with the sea is constant. 

With this collection of poetry celebrating the nation’s coastline, you can go sailing on all seven seas, meet the magnificent creatures of the deep and discover the flotsam and jetsam of the ocean. 

In the Flotsam and Jetsam section
a rock pool illustration
Some of our best loved writers, such as John Betjeman, William Shakespeare and Alfred, Lord Tennyson explore life along the shore and below the waves.



Accompanied by wonderful atmospheric illustrations, this anthology of maritime poems is one to treasure.”

The Under the Sea illustration

The book is subdivided into five rather nice sections for the range of poems:

·        Creatures of the Deep:   eg How the Whale Got His Throat – by Rudyard Kipling

·        Sailing on the Seven Seas:  eg One Who Knows His Sea-Gulls – by Robert P Tristram Coffin

·        Stormy Weather:   eg Sea Fever – by John Masefield

·        Shiver Me Timbers!: eg  Under the Surface – by Frances Ridley Havergal

·        Flotsam and Jetsam:  eg  Stately as a Galleon – by Joyce Grenfell (she was a great British comedienne, singer-songwriter- raconteur)
For some reason this
is in the Flotsam and
Jetsam section:
"The Walrus and the
Carpenter"




That is O for the organised chaos of the Ocean currents, the opaque gas of Ozone, the octakis octopus, muddy old maids and Old Fisher poems from the Ode to the Sea offering ... from Aspects of British Coasts ... 








Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

42 comments:

Weekend-Windup said...

Good post for 'O'. Wonderful writing and pictures!

Suzanne Furness said...

An ocean themed post, perfect for 'O' your book sounds like an interesting find. I am rather fond of The Walrus and The Carpenter! Intrigued by How the Whale got it's Throat!

Bob Scotney said...

Of course we are now getting warnings of a hole in the ozone layer above Britain - so make sure we use some sunscreen. Windbreaks would be a more useful screen in the North East.

Maggie Winter said...

I admire your taste in The Cornish Riviera painting, stunning, as were all the images.
Thanks for the tip on the book, “Ode to the Sea” sounds wonderful, I buy a lot of ebooks now cheap but I still love to buy special books to add to my collection.
Loving the A to Z Challenge Maggie@expatbrazil.

LittleCely said...

Ocean currents are fascinating. They are just as you say, organized chaos. Great post today Hilary.

LittleCely's Blog

Susan Scott said...

Thank you Hilary! An informative and interesting post and great use of 'O'. The photographs are lovely as well. Interesting to note that you spent some time in South Africa.
Garden of Eden Blog

Manzanita said...

What a fine collection of O's for a country in love with it's ocean. Ode to the sea is reminiscent of my childhood and "I must go down to the sea again....."

Trisha F said...

That book sounds like a wonderful one to have on hand!

Great O post.

MastHoliday said...

Nice characters for "O" letter!!
Beautiful photos..
Hugs
MastHoliday

Betsy Brock said...

I love that Bruhl painting! Just gorgeous. Wouldn't that be spectacular as a wall mural? I'd sit and look at it all day!

Jo said...

I too am a fan of The Walrus and the Carpenter. Another very interesting post Hilary. I have always been told that without the gulf stream Britain would be uninhabitable.

Didn't know the Old Maid, I assume as it's called a steamer too it is edible.

cleemckenzie said...

So much to consider here today, Hilary. I didn't know long necked clams had so many names, including Old Maid.

I loved the Under the Sea illustration. It's perfect next to those poems; some I've read, but others I'd never heard of.

Here's to O Day!

Gattina said...

Nice O post ! you are very brave to follow this alphabet meme !

Teresa Powell Coltrin said...

The Ozone worries me. Not only is the earth changing but creatures near and far may not have the habitat they need to survive.

loverofwords said...

The Walrus and the Carpenter--"of Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax..." where have I heard that before? :) Hilary--I ran into your name on the comment section of an Artist's blog, Tina's too, which had to do with a Degas painting.

David P. King said...

I grew up along the pacific coast. Now I'm homesick. :)

Brian Miller said...

i think it would be wonderful to actually see an octopus...fascinating and scary...ha...the ozone....well at least it protects us from the UV rays you know...

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

The Victorians had some very funny ideas about what was good for you :). I was watching a documentary about how much of the stuff they had in their diet every day could actually kill them. *shudder*

Ah, I saw a chef using longneck clams on Great British Menu the other day. They looked very tasty.
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)
FB3X - AtoZ (Erotic Drabbles)

Sharon Bradshaw said...

I love the ocean and this wonderful post with it's great selection of "O"s. The photos are lovely too! Thank you, Hilary. I really enjoyed this :)

mail4rosey said...

Ozone as a tonic, aiii!

The Old Maid here is sure a beauty!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Calamari - yum!
It's amazing how strong and how far the ocean currents reach.

J.L. Campbell said...

I don't know why I didn't think that the Octopus was common to England. Somehow I thought they are found mainly in warm water.

Lisa Moles said...

Another wonder post!

Silvia Villalobos said...

We're not doing good caring for our oceans, the ozone layer, and environment in general. Too bad so many creatures depend on us. Maybe we'll do better one day soon. Very soon. Thank you for this post, Hilary. Interesting how big the octopus is -- six feet across, oh, my.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Hilary,

O... What a great O day post! Loved how you tied it all in so effortlessly!

Never knew steamers were called OLD MAIDS...

DayDreamer said...

My family and I were at an aquarium the other day where it was explained to us quite how intelligent octopi are. The one they have in the aquarium has been given toys to play with and has learnt games with them. I did feel sorry for it as I believe it is the only one there so must feel lonely.

There is to be a Turner exhibition in our main museum soon and I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Julia Hones said...

I'd love to read those poems, Hilary...
I find octopuses intriguing and would love to read more about them. No doubt England has a love affair with the oceans...
Beautiful post.
Happy Easter, Hilary! I may not be online for a few days... I will read all your posts once I get back.

River Fairchild said...

Oh my...the Victorians thought of ozone as a tonic? And you have octopus in the Channel? And people swim across it... Yikes!

I love the colors in that painting of Cornwall. Beautiful!

Sue McPeak said...

A very interesting and informative List of 'O' words. I especially enjoyed all about the "Ode to the Sea". How wonderful to share the Turner and the Sea exhibition through this post. I'd love to see it.
Having been out of town and getting behind, I'm catching up with posting and visiting...hope you can stop by.
Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

Sue McPeak said...

A very interesting and informative List of 'O' words. I especially enjoyed all about the "Ode to the Sea". How wonderful to share the Turner and the Sea exhibition through this post. I'd love to see it.
Having been out of town and getting behind, I'm catching up with posting and visiting...hope you can stop by.
Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

Gwen Gardner said...

I'm familiar with the ocean current in the Irish Sea--yep got deathly ill there. Nice "O" post!

Margie said...

Oh, you have done a great post on O.
I miss the ocean but shall be seeing it soon this summer when I travel to Nova Scotia.

Madeleine Sara said...

Such a fun post with the ocean theme. Fabulous! Happy Easter

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Weekend-Write up - thanks so much ..

@ Suzanne - a good mix of subjects - I was pleased to be able to buy the Ode to the Sea book - it's a good read.

@ Bob - the threats of burning sun abound .. and we definitely need to cover up - even the wind burns ... but keeping out of the cold wind at this time of year is useful!

@ Maggie - I wish I owned the poster .. but I make do with the card and with the book and its Cornish stories.

I am enamoured with the "Ode to Sea" book .. I would have rued it if I hadn't purchased it ..

I buy way too many books - the summer might be one of reading .. I hope.

@ Cely - organised chaos, and thank goodness the oceans are organised .. if that swirling water was just swishing around, I'm not sure what we'd be doing! Thanks ...

@ Susan - yes I saw you lived in Jhb .. I had a great time out there. Glad you enjoyed the O post ..

@ Manzanita - the Masefield poem is included in the book .. but I'd used it in an earlier post ..

@ Trisha - I think the book will be useful in quite a few scenarios .. having so many great poems in it - but relative to our shores or distant travels ..

@ MastHoliday - thank you for coming by ..

@ Betsy - I agree the Bruhl poster as it is .. an iconic one produced for the Great Western Railway in the 1920s ..

@ Jo - aren't those poems just wonderful to read - they roll off the tongue and the visualisations we can see and imagine - just great.

The Gulf Stream is essential to our way of life now - that is for sure ..

Had to include the Old Maid - Natasha further down commented that one of our annual Great British Menu chefs had used one of these clams in his fish dish .. one of the days I missed the programme - I hope I can catch it later ...

@ Lee - I just loved the long-neck clam information - especially had to include the 'old maid'!

The illustrations in Ode to the Sea are wonderful ... I don't know all the poems, and some are well known in British circles, as are others world wide because of their authorship ..

@ Gattina - I enjoy it thankfully!

@ Teresa - unfortunately we are messing with the earth .. ozone gas only affects us when the weather is still and it can't be blown away ...

Thanks .. part 2 coming up .. Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Natalie - I did think of you! .. I'm glad you caught up with Scarlett and her site .. she's an amazing lady. While I'm sure Tina visited too ..

Your Degas instructive A-Zs are so interesting ..

@ David - the Ocean does draw doesn't it .. I hope you can get back one day soon ...

@ Brian - I've never seen an octopus I don't think .. and I'm sure we only get ours when the weather and thus sea is considerably warmer than usual.

The ozone does protect us - but the gas descends in windless conditions .. and does smell quite obvious .. then the wind picks up and away it takes it ..

@ Tasha - I missed that episode of the long neck clam - I hope it's shown again ..

I know - at least they experimented and tried things out - but I'm glad I live today! Well many of the Victorians lived long lives despite their diet - so many home grown veg, fruits, meats and sea foods helped I suppose ..

@ Sharon - thanks so much .. I'm just glad people enjoy the posts and photos ... my Ode book helped a great deal ..

@ Rosie - yes a tonic .. well walking along the seafront is still now considered good for us!

That photo of the Old Maid is as you say a good size ..

@ Alex - yes calamari = definitely yum.

The Oceans are amazing parts of Nature and our planet aren't they ..

@ JL - I'm sure the octopus is more around in warmer weather times .. but some may lurk near the warmer shores .. I'v never seen one ..

@ Lisa - thank you so much ..

@ Silvia - we are definitely not caring for our oceans, or the ozone layer or environment in general - as you rightly point out.

Unfortunately everything depends on everything else, and we are just a disruptive force the in the mix ...

Our common octopus is small compared to the giants found in other waters ..

@ Michael - thanks .. and the name of the clam I just had to include .. some fishing harbour term I guess.

@ DayDreamer - well I'm glad I'm backed up by the experts at the Aquarium .. and yes it must be lonely ...

I'm sure you'll enjoy the Turner exhibition ... he was prolific ..

@ Julia - I must read all the poems too. We are just surrounded by seas, sounds, channels and Oceans .. so we just need to know what's there - octopus included ..

Thanks for Easter wishes .. and I'll see you anon.

@ River - well the sea air ... taking the waters (bathing in the sea too) .. the Victorians were great inventors thankfully ...

Yes apparently we do have octopus - though I've never seen one .. well the Channel swimmers now have support boats with them in case of accident or upset ..

I'm glad I included the Cornish Riviera poster .. it is lovely ..

@ Sue - many thanks .. the A-Z is a challenge keeping up and meeting new people.

The Turner exhibition has finished and I was glad I made the effort to get up to see - huge paintings .. so impressive ... I must write up about it soon ...

The "Ode to the Sea" book is a fun one to have .. I'm glad I bought it ..

@ Gwen - I know the Irish Sea has a very strong current and can be very dangerous .. glad you enjoyed the Os!

@ Margie - well that's lovely that you're going to Nova Scotia - that must be a special place to visit and I'd love to go one day too ..

@ Madeleine - many thanks for your thoughts and lovely to see you here ..

Cheers everyone - Have very peaceful Happy Easters with family and friends ... Hilary

Kim Van Sickler said...

I find it fascinating that most of the world is ocean and we only have the ability to go so deep. There is a whole world down there that we'll probably never be intimate with. Octupus are just one of the grossly fascinating creatures

Fanny Barnes Thornton said...

Hi Hilary
Coastal pathways are the best for walks, especially with dogs, as long as they don't roll on dead fish!

I learned all the verses of The Walrus and the Carpenter when I was nine. Lewis Carroll was my favourite author at the time.

I visited the village where I grew up recently and the beach had changed dramatically. It once had many large stones that acted as a natural barrier, and now they have almost all gone - I suspect they may be found in gardens?

Tina said...

Love maritime themed poetry. We studied a lot of it when in 11th grade.
Octopus are a strange creature, eh? Have you ever eaten one? My friend's family has a seafood boil each year where baby octopus is one of the ingredients. Some of the kids dare each other. Most of the adults won't touch it. More for me! Same with crawfish! They're very popular in Sweden, so I grew up eating them.
Tina @ Life is Good
A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

Sharon Himsl said...

Did not know octopus were considered intelligent. That clam reminds me of our large gooey ducks on the western Washington coast.

Deniz Bevan said...

Six feet across, eh... Well the octopus/kraken in my story is even bigger than that, hee hee!

Michelle Wallace said...

Old maid is what they called the girls who remained spinsters...
"on the shelf" is how our old aunts referred to it...
Wouldn't old maids also include oysters?
(will lurk more tomorrow...)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Kim - the Ocean is still a hidden secret for us, isn't it ... and there is a whole world down there waiting to be found.

I love squid - so I'm quite keen on octupi - very clever too ..

@ Fanny - oh how horrid rolling on dead fish .. then yes a dog walk along a path is a good thing ...

I couldn't learn poetry .. but some patently stuck - would love to have that ability .. so lucky for you ...

I wonder what happened to your large stones at your old home beach ... could be a change in tides ... but could be as you suggest .... check the gardens next time you visit?!

@ Tina - I was so pleased to find the book ... it's been put to use and I suspect I'll use it time and again too ...

I'd join you with the octopus and the crawfish .. we'd need to order double rations! I love most things ...

@ Sharon - I guess the scientists devised some tests for them .. and they are intelligent creatures apparently ... as are rats amongst other creatures ...

I presume your large gooey ducks are actually a type of clam ... sound good if so ...

@ Deniz - ah ha .. octopus or kraken .. now of course you've caught me out - the Kraken is huge! Your story will be fun to read ..

@ Michelle - yes old maids are still old maids, but they can be clams!

I expect the Old Maids here refer to a particular type of Clam ... and clam and oysters live in slightly different tidal zones ...

Thanks to you all .. so grateful for all visits ... Hilary