Nature's Palette? : Red River - Cornwall

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (40)

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Bach Quatre on November 13, 2010

Hola Ian: LIKE 4. Greetings from Barcelona, Spain. Ernesto.

Ian Stehbens on November 14, 2010

Dear Theolfa,

I appreciate your affirmation and appreciation. The "Red River" was indeed red, and it was adding its gash of blood to the deep waters of the Atlantic. You will see the date tag, and so you will understand that I am waiting for a local to tell us why and to the story of the subsequent environmental management response that has made a difference. This was an area of tin mines in days of yore, so I suspect the miners' tailings were the reason for this colourful pollution.

Warm greetings from the South Pacific.


Ian Stehbens on November 14, 2010

Thanks Darko.


Ian Stehbens on November 14, 2010

Hi Hazel.

Your love of colour and your inquisitiveness are both always appreciated here. The red is not so much a stain as sediment.

Here's my explanation. The mud is left on the background rocks as the tide drops for they are weathered and pitted allowing the mud to leave the 'stain' but in the river bed the stones are abraded and polished and therefore whilst the mud accumulates in the bed of the stream when it is stationary, the flowing water on the ebb tide continues to move the sediment particles from the smooth stones and out to sea. If that's not correct then the riddle will remain with us.

Much warmth,


Ian Stehbens on November 14, 2010

Greetings Juan Pastor,

This Cornish Coast was pretty attractive to Spanish sailors a long time ago, and many are the stories of their visits and their trading... often in contraband. Nowadays it is attractive to the English in summer (those who don't fly to Spain) who come for the sun, the warmth, the beauty and the colours of the Cornish countryside and coastal landscapes.

Thanks for your visit and comment.


Ian (still in Tonga)

Ian Stehbens on November 14, 2010

Warm greetings Ernesto. Thanks indeed for the L. I thought this special enough to qualify as an unusual location for the contest!.. since I haven't been to Antarctica this month!!! I hope the Mediterranean at Barcelona and Tarragona doesn't look like this!


dbg900 on November 14, 2010

Awesome! VOTED & LIKE

Hazel Coetzee on November 17, 2010

Hi there my dear friend: Ian - thank you for your very clear explanation about the clean river stones and the water swirling them clean.

I guess it is known as "The Washing-Machine Effect", is it?

Also known as : "Oh no - it's OMO".

(And while you groan at that last remark, I will quietly swirl off to the scullery to attend to our laundry.....)

A big hug from


gezginruh on November 17, 2010

VOTED for the strong contrast...

Cheers. GGR

Hazel Coetzee on November 18, 2010

Oh dear, Ian - I wasn't aware that there was a VOTE available for this interesting photo....

I can't find any Vote button, so I must have just missed out. Please consider it Voted For in absentia, from Hazel, too....


Potoka on November 26, 2010

Amazing place. Greetings.

Ian Stehbens on December 1, 2010

Thanks dbg900.


Ian Stehbens on December 1, 2010

Dear Hazel, I hope your laundry is done and the colours are vibrant - probably the result of the effect of OMO. I used Reckitts Blue for this wash... if you have memories of those Mondays in the laundry long ago.

We start our summer officially today, so warm summer greetings from this side of the blue ocean.


Ian Stehbens on December 1, 2010

Thank you dear . This is one occasion when photogrpahy in the middle of the day works better than early morning or evening for the blue of the ocean is at its deepest.

Aussie greetings


Ian Stehbens on December 1, 2010

13 days ago there was a vote button, Hazel, so something wasn't downloading properly. But never mind for that you have enjoyed the strong colours and this unusual pollution is certainly good enough for me.


Hazel Coetzee on December 8, 2010

(((o; -- Ian

Oh yes, the Reckitts Blue Days - and the starch dipping that took place to make washing "crackled and crisp" and husbands fingering their stiffly starched collars uneasily in the hot summer. That was in the days before the now extinct Safari Suit came into being. A long time ago.

Here, in some areas, Bleach is very popular, vast amounts of it being sold by supermarkets every month. Sarel and I have never quite worked out where it all goes, but we take our sunglasses along on all outings.....!!


A big friendly hug from

Hazel (ooops, mind my sunglasses......)

Ian Stehbens on December 8, 2010

Dear Hazel,

On the matter of blues, starches, bleach, ... and let's add dyes, I have seen some very coloured waters issuing from some of the industrial drains of the world - purples, reds, greens, blues. It all seems such a waste, over and above the pollution of the environment. I am sure that on the riverbank at Philippi, Lydia didn't waste the purple that she was using by letting it run into the river. Until recently it all went downhill from there! But at last there is an environmental consciousness in much of the world that governs these irresponsibilities - and that brings me back to this red river issuing from mining disturbance, which I am sure has been cleaned up or managed during the last 30 years!

But who put the blue in the Atlantic?

ƤōƝƓ on December 11, 2010

This is absolutely unusual. No kidding, Ian, this was taken in 1978? I can't believe the U.K. had its own environmental crisis before.

So Japan, Thailand and now China are repeating the history then. LIKEd

Greetings from Thailand, ah-pong

Ian Stehbens on December 11, 2010

My British geographer friend took me here, Ah-Pong. He was an expert on the coastal geography of Cornwall, and I was honoured to be guided by him around these coasts for 2 weeks in the summer of '78. I marvelled at this at the time and still do. I just had to bring it out of the archives!

Thanks for your reflective comments and interest.

Warm regards,


Olga I. Yakovenko on January 2, 2011

Very nice!

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on October 14, 2010
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    by Ian Stehbens