Monday, 2 November 2009

Strange tidings at Halloween

31st Oct09, Low Newton, 8am

A very low tide today as it's a full moon tomorrow.

This is a strange wee jelly blob beast that I've seen on the beach often before but I have yet to put a name to. Coincidentally I was listening to a Dr Karl science podcast where he was discussing "Salps", jelly blobs that are found in Australian waters; but they're not found this far North as far as I can ascertain.

[Edit: Thanks to the knowledge of the National Trust warden - This is a Sea Gooseberry. A type of jelly fish.]

31st Oct09, Bewick Moor, 2pm

It was 18 C and sunny which must be one of the warmest Halloweens ever! A fine walk in a very historic landscape.

First, we have a bronze-age burial cairn in very good condition (for being 4000 years old). Pictured is one of the burial chambers or cists. Staring into an open grave on Halloween would have been spookier but for the bright sunshine.

Nearby is the old farmstead of Blawearie. Abandoned in the 1950's the name of the house means "weary of the wind".

I think this swing is more recent. Such swings are known hereabouts as a "tarza" (as in lord of the jungle)

Up on the nearby Bewick Hill near a double iron-age hillfort and WWII pillboxes, we find these cup and ring marks. Thought to date from late neolithic or early bronze-age their meanings are lost to history. I noted that two of them are in alignment with the distant burial cairn but they may pre-date that structure.

Standing in the footsteps of prehistory is something that always gives me a real sense of perspective (which is why I studied archaeology for a year at university). The upland parts of Northumberland are covered with ancient remains and have been a busy landscape for millenia.

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