As can be seen from the dull & overcast sky; the weather has not been kind, but it is nice being able to get away and spend some time in the area. Infact will probably spend the next couple of months going back & fore as there is a lot going on for spring and early summer. The Castle Howard house, grounds, gardens & several events are not to be missed.
Fossil records show the date palm has existed for at least 50 million years.
Dates have been found on a number of neolithic sites, which would suggest that they were being eaten as much as 7,000 to 8,000 years ago.
They provide a range of essential nutrients, and are a good source of dietary potassium. The sugar content of ripe dates is about 80%; the rest consists of protein, fibre, and trace elements that include boron, cobalt, copper, fluorine, magnesium, manganese, selenium, and zinc.
Oman has more than 250 varieties of dates, and each region of the country will tell you theirs are the best. But I think of all, it has to be the ‘Khalas’, found in the Sharqiya and Dhahirah region, also Al Rostaq. The fruit is bright yellow, oval-shaped, and usually eaten fresh or half-dry.
Dates and qahwah arabiyya (coffee) is a fundamental part of Omani hospitality; even the poorest family will offer coffee & dates when one visits.
My obsession with trees & fog continues – on this walk I managed to drop a lens cap. Could I find it? not a chance, rather annoying because it was the only thing keeping the front of the lens dry in all the fog. At least it was a cheap item to replace (a free one from my daughter 🙂 ) not like the time I lost my Nikon DK-17M magnifying eyepiece from the Nikon F4, that was rather costly.
If you have never tried one of these, I would recommend getting one, especially if using manual focus lenses; it gives a 1.2x magnification, making the viewfinder appear much larger, without causing problems for the dioptre adjustment.
This from wikipedia & English Heritage.
Geophysical work by English Heritage in 1997 revealed a surrounding ditch and nine concentric rings of postholes within the stone circle. More than four hundred pits, 1 metre (3ft 3in) across and at 2.5 metres (8ft 2in) intervals, stood in rings at the site. The ditch is 135 metres (443ft) in diameter and about 7 metres (23ft) wide. A 40 metres (130ft) wide entrance was visible on the north-east side. No surrounding bank has been identified although the site awaits excavation.
The geophysical work transformed the traditional view of Stanton Drew as being a surface monument and the Great Circle is now seen as being one of the largest and most impressive Neolithic monuments to have been built. Analogous with the circles of postholes at sites at Woodhenge, Durrington Walls and The Sanctuary, it is thought that the pits would have held posts which would have either been freestanding or lintelled as they could not have supported a roof at that size. The postholes in nine concentric rings held posts up to 1 metre (3.3ft) in diameter indicating the use of ancient trees which were sacred to the druids.
Nearby and to the north-east is a smaller ring of eight stones in the centre of which the geophysical work identified four further pits. A third ring of twelve stones, measuring 43 metres (141 t) wide, stands to the south-west.
A fluxgate gradiometer survey in July 2009 investigated standing stones in the garden of the Druids Arms public house known as The Cove, which showed that the stones date from nearly a thousand years before the stone circles. The conclusion from the study was that these upright stones are likely to have been the portals or façade of a chambered tomb.
According to that well-known online Encyclopedia, which agrees with a book I have: the name Black Down comes from the Saxon word ‘Blac’ or ‘Bloec’ meaning bleak or dark and ‘Dun’ meaning down or fort. There are several Bronze Age round barrow earth covered burial tombs & a nearby Iron Age hill fort in the area.
Just had a very enjoyable long weekend with my daughter, this was one of the
places we visited.
Probably late Neolithic to early Bronze Age: thought to date between 3000 and 2000 BC. I will post more in the next few weeks.
See this link from English Heritage: Stanton Drew.
Nikon Df with 43-86 Ai zoom lens.
Reaching out for other trees: not so strange as it may sound, there is research going on that seems to confirm that trees actually do communicate with each other.
See this link from the Smithsonian: Do Trees Talk to Each Other?