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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ostara at Offa's Dyke

Ostara is the Pagan festival that celebrates the Spring Equinox, on or about 21st March. This year I felt privileged to share it with a gang of super-fit cycling and walking friends at a hostel in Clun, Shropshire, from which we explored the vicinity of Offa's Dyke. Offa's Dyke is a massive linear earthwork, roughly following some of the current border between England and Wales. In the 8th century it formed some kind of delineation between the Anglian kingdom of Mercia and the Welsh kingdom of Powys, constructed by Offa, King of Mercia from 757 to 796. To this extent is analogous to Hadrian's Wall that roughly divides England and Scotland.

Some of the boys have breakfast outside
where the day's activities (cycling or hiking) are planned.

For the hikers, it was a long march to the ridge where we joined the Offa's Dyke path,.....

.....and then it was a matter of following the waymarks

A Yellowhammer opens his bill to sing us on our way

As we reach the top of the ridge, the enormity of the construction becomes apparant

I wonder how many people Offa employed (or press-ganged) to construct
this 177 mile (280 km) ridge and adjacent ditch.

Magnificent views out over the Shropshire countryside

A group of migrating Golden Plover fly past

The hikers going down pass the cyclists coming up

All in all it was a strenuous but rewarding weekend, concluded with an opportunity to relax and partake of the local ales on the final evening. My thanks to those responsible for organising the weekend.


Blogger lorenzothellama said...

It looks great. I haven't done that part of Offa's Dyke. Been thinking of doing some of it this year with JennyTom!

Did I spot someone who looks a but like one of my nephews?

9:15 pm  
Blogger simon said...

looks great! I did a song cycle called A Shropshire lad. by Butterworth if memory serves me...

11:47 pm  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Never seen a yellowhammer before. Another lovely bird. And always nice to hear their different songs.

2:43 am  
Blogger Merisi said...

That looks like a great weekend!
I suppose this post will have a sequel: Ale EverAfter? ;-)

1:29 pm  
Blogger Sunshine said...

Hi Maalie

How are you? Its been such a long time.. just want to stop by and say Hi to you. You are missed

God Bless

4:30 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

Well done you. I don't think there is one festival throughout the year that you don't celebrate.

10:50 pm  
Blogger Sunshine said...

Hey How are you? Its been long time just taking my time and wanted to let you know I am back with very gud news I am an aunt we had a cute baby girl OLivia. Missin all of you and want to appreciate your support. So let;s more photography of you!


3:27 pm  

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