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Flora And Fauna

Tors

Tors

I don’t think I would be far wrong in suggesting that there are very few places on Dartmoor from which a tor of some kind is not visible. This is hardly surprising as it is the literal bedrock of the moor and what we see today are mere vestiges of …

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Ticks

Ticks

Summer is the time of year when you can return from a day out on Dartmoor and find you have one or more uninvited hitch hikers firmly attached to your person. Depending on how soon you discover them they can appear as a small, spider-like insect or as a reddish …

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Three Hares

Three Hares

The Dartmoor Tinners have always been a law unto themselves, at one time they had their own parliament and laws with the rights to virtually mine tin wherever they wanted. Recent legend tells of how they even had their own symbol or badge in the shape of three rabbits running …

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Sundials

Sundials

‘Learn a lesson from this dial, Dwell not on the past; Greet the present with a smile, For future cannot last.’ Many will argue that the first use of a sundial began way back in prehistoric time in the form of the stone rows, circles and menhirs which acted as …

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Stonecrops

Stonecrops

“There from his rocky pulpit, I heard a cry The Stonecrop: See how loose to earth I grow, And draw my juicy nurture from the sky: So draw not thou, fond man, thy root so low., But loosely clinging here, From God’s supernatural sphere Draw life’s unearthly food – catch …

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Star Jelly

Star Jelly

“I was reading your “Satan & the Holy Cross” page, which I found quite entertaining. You did mention “White Jelly fungus” which is sometimes found on Dartmoor. I have sometimes come across this substance on Dartmoor, and wondered what it is. The stuff I have seen,  which looks just like …

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Spindle Trees

Spindle Trees

“I coulde never learne an Englishe name for it. The Duche men call it in Netherlande, spilboome, that is, spindel-tree, because they use to make spindels of it in that country, and me thynke it may be as well named in English seying we have no other name.” – William …

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Snowdrops

Snowdrops

If by the 10th the snowdrops are out. More snow throughout the month without a doubt. It is quite fitting that I write this page on the 2nd of February as this is Candlemas Day which was/is strongly associated with the first snowdrops of the year appearing. At some of …

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Sky Larks

Sky Larks

Sonnet to the Lark on Dartmoor Sweet soaring minstrel of the wild, I hear The pleasing music of thy tuneful throat, As welcome o’er the desert to mine ear, As to benighted hinds the matin note. I thank thee, warbler, for thy cheering lay, But why in such a barren …

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Shining Moss

Goblins

“Another rare thing, lingering in caves and deserted mine adits, is the shining moss, that glimmers like dim gold under darkness. Those who snatch at it and bring it to the daylight find only a little rusty earth in their hands”. Eden Phillpotts – A Shadow Passes If ever you …

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