This weekend coming is apple time at the National Trust’s Killerton estate, just east of Exeter. I won’t be able to make it but I popped out last weekend for a walk and found that the orchard was being readied for visitors.
There was an abundance of apples, lots of windfalls and still many to pick.
Families were strolling around looking at the different varieties and children were given little wheelbarrows to collect the fruit. I sampled some Killerton Cider, quite dry and strong, I didn’t dare have more than a very small cup as I was driving.
The bit I enjoyed most of all was watching a dead tree being brought back to life and colour, being yarn bombed
I hope this lovely work has survived the heavy rain we’ve had all week, and tonight’s lightening storm, there are sure to be lots of visitors this weekend, to watch the pressing and learn about orchards!
Wading up against the flow
cygnets hungry and waiting
for eel grass supper
It is believed that Dartmoor was almost completely covered in forest thousands of years ago, but it was gradually chopped down and used by the people living there at that time. Nowadays there are evergreen plantations and just a few natural woods remain, Wistmans Wood for one. It is a small, remote wood, just eight acres at a height of 1300 feet above sea leve,l with mostly oak trees, stunted by the poor soil and altitude. The surrounding area is open moorland, grazed by sheep, cattle and ponies. Without the clitter, fallen from the tors further up the hillside, the grazing animals would have put paid to Wistmans long ago. As it is, the clitter makes it impossible for them to gain foothold there.
Wistmans is one of many Dartmoor sites that is shrouded in myth and legend. Its name derives from Saxon wissen, to know, so Wissman’s or Wistman’s Wood, means wisemans wood and refers to the Druids and their sacred grove. You may indeed encounter the ghosts of druids past, if you dare to visit in the dark of the night. Far worse might be an encounter with the devil and his pack of fearful wisht hounds, Wistmans may be where he keeps them.
Rumour has it that adders lurk between every boulder, ready to strike if you dare clamber over, to find a path through the wood. What’s more likely to happen is that you will slip on damp moss and break an ankle, or worse, between these ancient granite rocks.
So brave traveller is you visit, listen for baying hounds, keep your eyes out for serpents, be careful what you turn your back on, and most of all if there’s a red flag flying stay away – the military have a firing area nearby and you don’t want to get shot!
Watch out for adders
The wood on a bright day
Ferns, moss and lichen
Beware the Serpent
Gnarled and twisted
Wizened and moss covered oak
Scarce hoarier seems the ancient Wood
Whose shivered trunks of age declare
What scath of tempests they have stood
In the rock’s crevice rooted there;
Yet still young foliage, fresh and fair,
Springs forth each mossy bough to dress,
And bid e’en Dartmoor’s valleys share
Sophie Dixon -1829.
Phew, after a week of Tanka it’s good to spend a minute or two being lazy with Haiku!
birds with real passion for life
When I think of texture I think close up and one the places I like taking close up photos is the seashore. I lovely pootling around a beach in winter hunting for treasure that has been delivered by the tide or has waited for millennia for my lens. So this weeks photo challenge was easy, simple photos from nature.
Perhaps you have some textures to share? Visit http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/texture/ to join in.
harbingers of sharp winter
sustenance for birds.