Sunrise over Great Hograh Moor

Early morning trot up to Newton Moor. Somewhere the sun is shining but a bank of cloud blocks it. A few birches left after the felling of the forestry on Black Bank, skeletonised for the winter. The graceful birch, one of the first trees to colonise Britain after the glaciers retreated. The wood is hard and resilient, traditionally used for furniture and canoes. The fuselages of the WW2 Mosquito fighter planes were made from birch plywood. In Gaelic folklore, if a pregnant cow was herded with a birch stick it would bear a healthy calf, or if it was barren, the cow would become fertile. Cradles made from birch were thought to protect babies from evil spirits.
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