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Megan Calver writes:

Dawlish Ranger, Steve, points out the tiny flowers of the Warren Crocus.

At first we can’t see anything.  You need to look carefully to spot these rare and diminutive plants.

Steve: “Is it rare or can no one be bothered to look for it?”

We become aware of crushing the crocuses under our booted feet and ask if trampling spreads the seed.

Steve: “The trouble with trampling…you need diffuse trampling.”

(Clue for the day)

If you trample too heavily in one place it crushes the flowers before they can set seed, though a little light trampling after the seed is set may be a good thing for dispersal.

Walking further into the Warren along the spit, we find a clump of Spanish bluebells.  In contrast to the crocuses they appear like brutish imposters.

A sign at the very end of the spit reads:


(Huge bird flocks must rest ahead when tide is very high)

You need to look carefully; the lettering is weathered, obscured.

(And I fail to grasp this second clue)

At the far end of the spit, our feet sink into the wet sand leaving deep footprints.  Sharp little beak holes in the sand alert us to the most delicate of footprints scattered across the sand’s surface —Dunlin, we guess.

Are we careless, monstrous?

“No” says Susie “We are allowed to be here too.”


Bellows the megaphone from a tourist boat.

The seal at the sea’s edge lumbers elegantly when we get too close.

Its mass equates to ours.

We are allowed then, like the seal, just as Susie says.

At the end of the day we try out some gestures together, mimicking the dignified movements of tufts of marram grass that we have observed leaning sideways into each other and drawing perfect arcs in the sand.

Our attempts at marram calligraphy are coarse compared to the real thing.

Frustrated, I break the no-talk rule, becoming bossy.

It’s a case of direct trampling.

As this sinks in, I resolve to GIVE WAY a bit more from now on.

A successful collaboration, I’m learning, is based on diffuse (rather than direct) trampling.  Disperse — don’t crush — the seed.