Sea basket

Yesterday morning I found this beautiful wee thing on the rocks near Elie Ness Lighthouse:

Sea basket

sea basket

A disc of straw, about 20cm across, its two sides neatly joined in a plaited pattern. A lid from a mermaid’s picnic basket?? It was lying below the high tide mark and still damp.

I lifted the disc, thinking I’d take it home and maybe incorporate it into one of my own baskets. Then I felt a lump in the middle, between the woven layers. It felt round – like a periwinkle. Was something living in there? Something that had moved in when it was a tiny plankton creature?

There was no way to find out without damaging the lid. I decided not to take it home, then spun it back into the sea.

Sea basket in the sea