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Pillow mounds, better known as “buries”, are the remains of man-made rabbit warrens. There’s a good description of buries on p.155 of Helen Harris’s The Industrial Archaeology of Dartmoor (4th ed.)
Why the OS decided to use an obscure term is anyone’s guess, though Thurlow’s Dartmoor Companion (2001) does say that the term “pillow mounds” has been revived in recent years.
Actually it does help: you were probably at the Rendezvous Cafe at the Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe. See https://northdevontheatres.org.uk/landmark-cafe.php
The words in the cafe window are from the Ted Hughes poem “Sandflea”, published in The Iron Wolf vol 1. “‘O see my eyes!’ The sandflea cries …”
I’m not sure that knowing that helps much, but there it is for what it’s worth.
It used to be said that a pie baked from “wurts” that you had collected yourself from the moor tasted better than one made from shop-bought bilberries because you would always accidentally pick up a couple of sheep droppings too. A bit like the dead rat in scrumpy thing.
Were all three photos taken at the same location? I can’t identify the cafe, but the headland in the first photo is Morte Point, and the third photo is probably taken at Barricane Beach, near Woolacombe – the rocks on the left look very similar to the ones in this photo: http://suxxesphoto.com/woolacombe-to-morte-point-devon/#jp-carousel-3186
I hope this helps. I’m sure that others with a better knowledge of North Devon than me will give their opinion in time.
It doesn’t look as if you had the best weather!
Is this anything to do with the exercises that were held at Slapton Sands?
Any re-sightings? It’s just that yellow wagtails don’t usually make it this far west. Grey wagtails (which are yellow too) are not uncommon hereabouts.
Just seen about ten swifts. Summer arrives on a dull damp day.
@Barton: On my walk yesterday I saw just one swallow, swooping over a herd of cattle. If they encountered bad weather, perhaps they’ve had a rest in the Med and will arrive soon.
I know what you mean about the goldfinch song – expecting swallows, I’ve been disappointed a few times this spring.
@IV: Definitely not grey wagtails?
Hello Barton. Welcome to the DA forums.
Do you have swallows where you are now? Does anyone? There are still none here, nor house martins. We usually hear the first swifts screaming in the first week of May – I shall be upset if they don’t arrive.
I walked through the deserted town centre of Newton Abbot the other day and snapped some of the wide diversity of Closed because of Coronavirus notices on the shop doors and windows. They vary from central-office-provided notices to what look like hastily scribbled notes in marker pen. Most exhort their customers to take care, but a few seem more concerned to emphasise that there’s no money left in the shop.
Some are already coming unstuck from the glass and starting to fade in the sun.
Hoping we’ll be able to drive up onto the moor so we can hear them before they leave this year – how long do they keep calling for? At least the wildlife is having a break from human interference like it did during Foot and Mouth in 2001.
Still no swallows here.
If you went into a cafe now and asked for a chudley, a tuff, or a cut-round, they wouldn’t know what you were talking about. I wonder when the change to the now ubiquitous scone took place?
I saw two swallows (house martins?) near Newton Abbot on Thursday and two more this morning. Each year we see the occasional early birds which seem to disappear again (flying further north?), before the resident birds return.