Friday, September 6, 2013

Wheeldale and its environs

Today, Friday will be spent here, the door jamb needs mending, and there is a puzzle how to mend it.  It is supposed to rain as well, which will be welcome for the plants back at home.  Yesterday was down to our favourite spot over Murk Mire Moor, past the holed stones along the narrow road, heather still purple in places, large angry red signs saying 'no fires' and it must be a worry for the moors, you can see several small fires have started by the roadside already.
The drums of war are always on the radio, two days running we have seen fighter planes swooping low over the moors like angry bees.  At the beginning of the Iraq war when I lived in Bath I heard the bomber planes go out, then  saw Baghdad going up in flames on the television as they arrived at their destination, then during the night heard the low throb of their engines coming back.  Just signed an Avaaz petition suggesting that Obama and  President Rouhani of Iran come together in diplomatic talks, what will happen though heaven knows........
But to return to yesterday, we came down the hill to the ford and its magical gill, brown peaty water making music over the tumble of rocks, little rills feeding in from the hills around. The two old gnarled trees, maybe maple, I must check, their  trunks are grey with the dampness of the hills, walking further along the banks and there are three magnificent rowan trees full of berries, demanding attention and as we run our fingers over their peeling barks I am reminded that these are magical trees,  Odin came from the ash but his wife came from the rowan, its folklore is Scandinavian, though it creeps into our folklore by way of the fact that it is a good charm against witches.  On two of the trees, there is a little bronze memorial plaque, saying that the two names mentioned loved this place, not sure I like trees being desecrated but you would have to hunt round for these plaques hidden in the boughs.  Berries must have been scattered on the hills around for there were quite a few saplings of rowan, and the hedgerows were full of them.  I suspect because the climate of the moors must be similar to Scandinavian countries, birds must love them, though they are very acidic and can cause cancer I believe unless they go through a 'freezing' process and the acid is transformed.  When I was a child we had a large rowan tree in our garden, and my cousin in one of those 'dares' said he would eat some of the berries, which he did and got stomach ache afterwards, I was terrified he was going to be poisoned and die but he survived obviously......

March 2012

Of course there are the great tracts of evergreen firs that are on the moor and of course detract from the view when encountered.


4 comments:

  1. how interesting to get a look at this area. I'd love to see the holed stones.

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    1. Hi Kath,
      You might well see them, LS has become enthralled with WHY are they holed in a rectangular fashion, can't find my photos though.

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  2. Fascinating about the Rowan - I didn't know about the Norse mythology. It's one of my favourite trees and I was delighted to see we had one in the garden here when we arrived. Unfortunately, I soon realised it was the Chinese white berried version which isn't nearly as nice. The birds still like to eat them though which I guess is the most important thing.

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    1. Hi Em, I think there are quite a few Sorbus species in the world, will start putting some photos up soon, transferred them to LS computer/then Flickr/then back to my computer!

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