Sunday, 30 October 2016

A Halloween trip down The Dark Path with the Barrow Hill games sales.

With Halloween upon us (one of my favourite times of the year), what better time to take a spooky walk in the woods... take a trip down The Dark Path with the Barrow Hill games.


The Dark Path - Halloween Sale - 25% off

Follow The Dark Path this Halloween, journey into a world of Druidic lore and Celtic myths. You have one night to make the offerings, follow the Dark Path and escape Barrow Hill.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/520990/



The Original Barrow Hill: Curse of the Ancient Circle is also available on Steam with 25% off this Halloween.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/494360/


Somewhere deep within the woods of Cornwall, a timeless force is stirring. Unseen beneath the ancient burial mound, known locally as Barrow Hill, a forgotten myth awakens. Use archaeology to discover that the barrow is more than just a collection of forgotten standing stones.

Sales End 1st November

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

A Hike to Wistman's Wood - fabled 'Druid's Wood'

Wistman's Wood is an ancient oak woodland, south of Longaford Tor, on the huge expanse of Dartmoor. It is one of three high altitude oak woods, featuring in folklore, literature and film (which is where I first heard about Wistman's in the Found Footage horror "A Night in the Woods")



Wistman's Wood is South West facing, but nestled in the valley of the West Dart River. It is protected from the worst of the weather that blasts the high altitude. The rocks, huge granite boulders, tumbled from the nearby Tor's, allowing rich soil to gather and maintain the Oak Woods for millennia.

You can just about see the woods - Top Middle.


Basically, Wistman's wood is one of the oldest Oak Groves in Britain. It has an eerie atmosphere where you can imagine Yoda popping his head out.



I’ll admit it does feel odd to be entering an Oak grove, high on Dartmoor. I can understand why it has been enigmatic to artists and writers over the years.

 
Entering Wistman’s wood, the colour pallet changed from autumn yellows of the grassland to a deep mossy green, and Oak oasis teeming with woodland life (unusual on the moor).



Moss upon moss, upon moss. Many varieties can be found competing on every branch, even if the branch has long since perished.


Among the Oaks, a couple of Rowan trees and a Holly can be found, as well as their bright red berries littered across stone and green.

Strange mossy forms grow on the Oak branches, some of which are only held together by the moss itself.

Puffball full of spores, waiting for the popping

Coffin Rock

Every surface, crag or corner is packed full of interest. Cup Lichen grows alongside what I think are Petticoat Mottlegill mushrooms (Panaeolus papilionaceus)

Tumbled rocks are scattered through the oak woods, some curiously upright. Ancient man, Druids or Aliens?


Mossy tendrils


Some of the Oaks are thought to be 500 years old.

An example of Brown Roll Rim mushrooms, I think! (Paxillus involutus)

These 3 trees look like dancers.

A ferny wig for an old Ent.

What at first appears to be another large boulder, was revealed to be carved with text. Nothing ancient, this text has Serifs!

The Buller Stone, commemorates an attempt in 1866 to date the trees, when Wentworth Buller (with permission from the Duchy) felled an oak.


Amethyst deceiver mushroom

A brilliant autumnal day to be exploring the middle of Dartmoor.  The grasses, in particular, looked vivid against the mix of storms clouds and blue sky.

Dartmoor Ponies dot the hillside, leading up to Longaford Tor.

There are few signs of industry, ancient or modern, up at Longaford Tor. As a natural outcrop, it has been crumbling and tumbling for millions of years. The hillside shows evidence of Bronze Age hut circles, meaning the Tor is likely to have been significant to the people who lived here 4000 years ago.

Where did all the rock in Wistman’s wood come from? Further up the slopes, the exposed Tor with the ‘Clitter’ beyond, scattered all the way down to the West Dart River





Tuesday, 4 October 2016

A walk in the past


As Summer turns to Autumn and the colours of the trees change from shades of green to reds and orange, it was fun to take a look at the moor after a busy year, digging at Tintagel Castle, investigating The Hurlers ‘4th circle’, and working on Barrow Hills sequel – The Dark Path.


A return to Trethevy Quoit, the Neolithic ‘dolmen' burial chamber. Tall isn’t it! In the warmth of the weakening Autumn sun and patchy blue sky, it’s a change from how it appears in The Dark Path. This was the inspiration to the Barrow Hill Quoit. Thankfully no ‘witch’ possessions occurred today!

At least this photograph captured my best side.


A ramble walk around Siblyback Lake, located nearby on the south of Bodmin moor, the North West corner of which on the OS map is reported to be an ancient settlement... something else to investigate.

Here’s a collection of photos capturing today.

 As the reservoir / lake waters have receded after the Summer months, marshlands have emerged, much to the enjoyment of the birds.

Siblyback lake is a manmade reservoir that captures the water from the Bodmin moor.  Surprisingly low at the moment, have we used that much water this summer?


  Everything returns to the earth, it seems 




The wind whistles through the pines trees

 Selfie time!