|The Aran Islands in the distance|
With a bit of help from twitter, I found out that this is a blue-green algae called nostoc and is found on limestone, particularly in the Burren. When dry it shrivels up, only swelling up when there's heavy rain. It is slightly acidic, further breaking down the limestone. It has the ability to fix nitrogen from the air and contains chloropyll which allow it to use the sun’s energy for photosynthesis. One of the oldest known names for it is star jelly, which was based on the belief that it was a remnant of shooting stars that had fallen to earth.
We also found several different types of fern growing from deep in the grykes ...
There weren't many wildflowers around at this time of year (in Spring it's amazing), but there were still a few sheltering between the rocks.
The limestone was covered in wonderful lichens.
It was another wonderful trip to the Burren!