A garland for the May.

Something about Dartmoor

May Day bunting – Dartmoor style! Ribbons of frayed black plastic caught in the Whitethorn.  (Another name for Hawthorn) 1st May 2016.

Dartmoor was unseasonably dressed for the start of May; not a patch of blue – or a whiff of May-scented blossom anywhere – in fact it was the sort of day when a mayday call-out for ‘Search and Rescue’ would be likely – should one be foolhardy enough to wander out on to the open Moor; access to the Tors was impenetrable.Dartmoor fog - Something about DartmoorOn the road through Princetown – I snapped a shot through the car window of the prison’s grim lamp-lit portal…Dartmoor Prison - Princetown - Something about DartmoorAs I accelerated away – as free as a bird – I determined that despite the cold, wet and gloom – and distinct lack of visibility – I was going to seize the day with a visit to my familiar, sheltered haven…

Raven Wood - Dartmoor - Something about Dartmoor

At the doorway – I was greeted by the joyful sight and sound of a tail-less fledgling… ST838361 – it was nervously perched in a neighbouring tree – squawking for mealtime to be served…Raven - Something about Dartmoor (2)With my movements quizzically watched – I was thrilled to receive a May Day gift that fluttered down from their tree-top nest…Raven's nest Dartmoor - Something about Dartmoor

Raven feather fallen from nest - Something about DartmoorST838375

Nearby – the table was laid with Spring-lamb ‘chops’ – one each for Mum and Dad…ST838374– and a separate ‘chop’ for the ‘little’ one…
ST838376It would have been a welcome sight to see a gambolling lamb, rather than a sacrificial one – but ravens eat only carrion – this was not their killing. (The penetrating fog even managed to mist-up my lens hence the blurry blobs!)

After a couple of hours ‘lost’ in ‘Raven Haven’ – I headed back to my car – passing through a grove of rather bare Hawthorn trees. Stopping for a celebratory group tree hug – I perceived something strung within the tangle of thorny branches. The ‘Queen of the May’ was wearing something after all.  Neither a frock of new green leaves or a crown of creamy-white blossom – instead she wore a garland of glistening pearls…

Hawthorn - Something about Dartmoor

A garland for the May - Something about Dartmoor

Something about Dartmoor

Arriving back at my parked car – a Blackbird ‘Sings in the New’ – above charred blackened gorse. (Swaling is a Dartmoor tradition – it is the annual burning of gorse and moorland scrub – thinning out the old to regenerate the new.)  May Day blessings.


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