On Sunday, John and myself took a trip to the most ancient of Northumberland's landscapes, to visit a site of cup and ring marked stones. There are countless opinions as to the meaning of the carvings and symbols and we will never know for sure why they were produced. 3,000 years ago, primitive man must have had a plan for them. What I find amazing is that similar carvings are found in other countries too, in a time of no communication I would have thought even a few miles away things would have evolved differently.
Northumberland contains the largest number of recorded cup and ring marked sites in Britain. These ancient markings are found on exposed rock faces in the northern hills and usually involve cup shaped depressions surrounded by concentric circles that are often joined by grooves.
Up here in this quiet, now bleak, landscape you wonder how people lived then and how people will live in 3,000 years time....
Our (public) path took us right past a newly refurbished Raven's nest where the adult let us know we werent welcome with variety of cronks, chuckles and capercaillie like 'pops'. We left them at peace in obvious view so they wouldnt be afraid we were lurking nearby.
Some rocks were covered in lichens including the Golden Shield Lichen Xanthoria parietina and the one below that I am struggling to i.d ( any help appreciated). [Dog Lichen Peltigera canina. Thanks anon.]
Near home, a flock of 80+ Bramblings was a nice find at the entrance to Howick Quarry where they fed in a game crop. The group also had single numbers of Tree Sparrow, Yellowhammer, Goldfinch and Chaffinch.