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Late summer brings not only unsettled weather here in the SW of England but also a ripening harvest of berries and fruit.

The hard pale brown wood of the rowan was also used to make bows in the middle ages, as well used for tool handles, bowls and plates and for general woodcraft. The berries were used to make rowan jelly which was eaten with meat and helped prevent gout.



The berries from the Rowan were processed for jams, pies, and bittersweet wines. They also made a tea to treat urinary tract problems, haemorhoids and diarrhea. The fresh juice of the berries is a mild laxative, and helps to soothe inflammed mucous membranes as a gargle. Containing high concentrations of Vitamin C, the berries were also ingested to cure scurvy - a Vitamin C deficiency disease.

Even today, one of the sugars in the fruit is sometimes given intravenously to reduce pressure in an eyeball with glaucoma.



Caution, however, must be taken when using the berries. They are reported to contain a cancer-causing compound, parasorbic acid. The poisonous elements are neutralized by cooking the berries though.



The bark was also employed for several medicinal purposes. A decoction of the bark was considered a blood cleanser and was used to treat diarrhea, nausea, and upset stomach.



The wood of European Mountain Ash is a tough, strong wood used in making tool handles, cart-wheels, planks, and beams. The Rowan was once a tree of ill repute in Northern Europe, where the Celtic Druids had venerated it. It was associated with witchcraft in 15th-16th century England where it was a symbol of paganism and the supernatural.
One thing Dartmoor is not short of is walls and another thing is stone with which to build them, there must be literally hundreds of miles of walling across the moor. It is also surprising how deep into remote areas the walls extend and are a true testament to the wall builders resolve.

I have added another view as a WS.

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Additional Photos by Leslie Bennett (williewhistler) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1247 W: 41 N: 2372] (16606)
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