Friday, March 02, 2007

A Grey Stripe

I'm not usually very good at those visual puzzles, where they show you things from odd angles and you have to guess what they are, and they're usually a Mexican wearing a hat standing in a circle, or a water tap seen from below.

This one's not too difficult though:

It's a dry stone wall seen from above - from the other side of a valley near Ingleton.

You may already know that I love dry stone walls. When you're building one, I'm told, if you pick up a stone you can't put it down again - you have to fit it into the wall. The reason for this is obvious, if you think about it - once you started doing that you'd be spending half the day looking for the ideal stone and you'd end up in a puzzled, exhausted heap surrounded by a large pile of rejected stones.

I think that dry stone walls look great - they fit very well into the landscape as well as providing homes for mosses, lichens, small animals and nesting birds. I like the history-feel of them too - it's not difficult to imagine the men who made them, out there in the Dales or the Lake District. Down with fences! Up with dry stone walls!


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