On Saturday, we all went to Hound Tor. Snippet had never been as it's usually busy with tourists or, in the last case, I was on my own in the fog on my way back from Brixham. You may remember the spooky pictures. It is spectacular. I was looking up the origin of the name and found this little passage about it:
The tor is an example of one of Dartmoor's 'avenue tors' as it consists of two separate rock masses which lie on a north-westerly alignment. The highest point of the tor is on the south-westerly pile which stands at 1,358ft (414m). The name was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Hundatora' and is thought to have taken its name from the animal name 'hound'. Some Dartmoor writers refer to Great Hound tor which distinguishes it from the other Hound tor on the north moor.
I don't know why it's doing that stupid highlighting thing. Very annoying and I can't get rid of it - sorry!
Rather than run the gauntlet with the crowds, we approached through a nearby piece of ancient woodland, of which there are a few pockets on Dartmoor. I found this very interesting article about the Restoring Ancient Woodland project on the BBC website:
We saw nobody in this little haven; it was a joy.
Black Witches' Butter fungus. I found this fascinating little piece about it on Flickr:
According to Celtic legend, witches were notorious milk and butter thieves. The sudden appearance of this jelly fungi marked where she had dropped or stashed some of her creamy loot. Finding this mushroom near one’s home meant the house was hexed. The only way to remove the curse was to pinprick the mushroom and drain its gel. This caused the thieving witch such pain, she was forced to appear and remove the spell. In Scandinavia, witches butter was believed to be vomit from a witch’s cat sent to a house to gorge itself on milk and food.
Out the other side and a view of Greator Rocks with Haytor Rocks beyond
Here you can see climbers on the top of Hound Tor....rather them than me!
We had some tea at the 'Hound of the Basket Meals' van and then, as we were leaving, I spotted this crow who was unusually bold. I find all the crow family very shy and difficult to approach. Very sensible of them really. As I photographed it, I was mobbed by some sheep who seemed to think I had something for them!
On Sunday, we struck out in pursuit of the spawn to be rescued. I managed to find the very remote blob which had expended to two blobs, and Origami Boy and his friend scooped it up and relocated it in the marsh which never dries out and has good areas of water and food. I'll be checking on it periodically from now on. Some of the collection may have been a bit over-zealous, but in the face of certain death, any chance of survival was preferable and I don't wish to quash their youthful enthusiasm for nature!
Last Thursday, I had my shoulder operation at last. A rather painful injection of saline into the joint which is supposed to free up the stickiness of the frozen shoulder. It has certainly helped a bit; I can get my arm above shoulder level now, which I couldn't before. It was never going to be a cure but it has certainly been beneficial and didn't involve the general anesthetic that the one I cancelled last year necessitated. All done in twenty minutes! I'll leave you with Snippet at Hound Tor....I've taken the scissors to his head so he can see. However, he does look a bit poodle-like as a result. It will have grown back in a few weeks. Until next time....