Jen texted me from work early yesterday morning, and suggested I go for a walk on the Moor. Why didn't I think of that?
Nothing much to report, apart from an old milk bottle I found, which was packed full of plants. Life is good at finding new ways.
I also took a detour to the famous local landmark Churn Milk Joan, a standing boundary stone which bears a number of mysterious, prehistoric ‘cup’ marks. The marks were still there. They're found on a lot of prehistoric sites. Nobody has a clue what they mean. Continue reading Bottles and cups→
I haven't been on the Moor for a few weeks, so I asked Jen to drop me off at the golf course car park on her way into work. I was on the Moor by 7am!
After a quick visit to the urnfield (which I've blogged about separately here), I made my way up to the trig point and had a brew. Yorkshire Tea, obviously. Then it was along Sheep Stones Edge, down the hill, and back home via Keelam Edge.
I was pleased to see the cotton grass out in abundance:
The local cotton grass is in seed at the moment. It thrives in poor, acidic, boggy soils. Even after it has seeded, its dying, rust-red stalks are easy to spot, warning you of areas best avoided, unless you've brought your wellies.
Because cotton grass thrives in bogs, and bogs mainly tend to form in flat areas (albeit often flat areas high on moors), when the grass comes into seed, you can spot huge, flat swathes of white on the hillsides around here. From a distance, they can look uncannily like limestone pavements:
(Not that we get limestone round here, you understand. That's a different Yorkshire entirely.)
It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us.
I'm really not bothered what happens to my mortal remains once I go, but I've made it known to my partner, Jen, that the final paragraph of On the Origin of Species would not be at all out of place, were she to arrange any sort of ‘do’ to see me off. Assuming I go first, that is.
A few years ago, some book reviewer in the Times had the temerity to suggest that Charles Darwin's famous tangled bank passage ‘certainly owes its origin to his impressions of tropical forests’. As I said at the time, bollocks to that! (I paraphrase.)
Who needs tropical forests, when there are tangled banks like this to inspire you?
I promised myself a late-afternoon walk yesterday, if I could get through the work I'd set myself. Once again, I headed off down Burlees Lane and and up through the wood.
There were a lot of young birds around, being attended to by their parents. I saw robins, great tits, blue tits and swallows. It's a great time of year for a walk in the countryside. Mind you, when isn't?