Thursday, 19 August 2010

Combe Hollow, Badgers and Wasps

I went for a walk one evening down Combe Hollow, in the woods near Compton Dundon, Somerset. There I found some badger sets covered in old vines, with many trackways used by the badgers radiating out in all directions.

I walked around the woods until dusk and then was drawn to an old tree stump down a steep slope in the bottom of the hollow. I scrambled down to inspect it and then sat on top of it meditating. What had drawn me here I wondered? I walked around the tree stump several times until I noticed a hole at the base of it, I peered inside the hole and deep inside, at about arm's length was wedged a plastic bottle! How did that get in there? I reached inside and tried to pull the bottle out but it was firmly wedged in, I wriggled it around and pulled harder and finally it came out. It was clear that it had been there for a long time.

So what was the point of that? I sat there looking at the tree stump and wondered... and as I sat looking small wood wasps started to fly from the hole which I had just made. First one or two, and then dozens of them! I panicked at first until I realised that they meant me no harm! It's strange but there were definately no wasps here when I had first inspected the tree stump. Had I released them? I certainly sensed that they felt happy to be freed. It reminded me of the fairies I had released while up in Scotland. What strange compulsion had led to me this remote tree stump to free these wasps, and what significance did it have?

As I walked back in the near darkness, pondering these thoughts, I heard some snuffling in the undergrowth. I stood stock still and after a while a badger appeared on the bank right opposite me. We stood staring at each other for while and exchanged greetings. He didn't have much else to say so we moved on...


Rob Wildwood (Aurvandil) has now released a book containing hundreds of his own stunning full colour photos of many of the magical places he has visited in his travels. The images capture the magic and mystery of each place and are enhanced by extracts of local folklore that reveal the magical lore of each place and tempt deeper investigation. Every site listed has full directions and map grid references that can be checked online, so join Rob Wildwood as you discover Britain's magical places at

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