1. SirSamkin
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    SirSamkin Member

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    What are the conditions on a Moor?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by SirSamkin, Aug 5, 2010.

    :confused:Hey guys!

    I was wondering what's the conditions on an English/Scottish Moor? (like weather, soil, air, smell, etc)

    If anyone here could fill me in, I'd be very grateful.

    (By the way, If this is under the wrong topic thing, I'm sorry):D
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    lol ooh what a difficult question, I am so familiar with them.

    Heather is just beautiful when in flower, walking in them is springy. It has a sweet herby smell. They are very quiet unless its windy, in sunny weather it feels very still. There are also some really pretty wildflowers.

    Weather conditions change so fast, there is generally no warning it can go from warm to freezing in a few moments. Scotch Mist can happen anywhere not just the moors.

    Some of the more famous moors are

    Rannoch Moor in Scotland
    Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire
    Derbyshire Moors Derbyshire (I find them creepy my Uncle worked on the murder cases)
    Dartmoor (also famous for the mental hospital/prison)

    TS Eliots Rannoch by Glencoe
    Here the crow starves, here the patient stag
    Breeds for the rifle. Between the soft moor
    And the soft sky, scarcely room
    To leap or soar. Substance crumbles, in the thin air
    Moon cold or moon hot. The road winds in
    Listlessness of ancient war,
    Langour of broken steel,
    Clamour of confused wrong, apt
    In silence. Memory is strong
    Beyond the bone. Pride snapped,
    Shadow of pride is long, in the long pass
    No concurrence of bone.


    And of course the famous Ilkley Moor Bah Taht (Wkiipedia has a translation)

    Yorkshire lyrics

    Wheear 'ast ta bin sin' ah saw thee, ah saw thee?

    On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at

    Wheear 'ast ta bin sin' ah saw thee, ah saw thee?
    Wheear 'ast ta bin sin' ah saw thee?

    On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at
    On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at
    On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at

    Tha's been a cooartin' Mary Jane

    Tha's bahn' to catch thy deeath o` cowd

    Then us'll ha' to bury thee

    Then t'worms'll come an` eyt thee up

    Then t'ducks'll come an` eyt up t'worms

    Then us'll go an` eyt up t'ducks

    Then us'll all ha' etten thee

    That's wheear we get us ooan back


    Opening Text of Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon (perhaps best description of the Scottish Moors and life nearby)

    Below and around where Chris Guthrie lay the June moors whispered and rustled and shook their cloaks, yellow with broom and powdered faintly with purple, that was the heather but not the full passion of its colour yet. And in the east against the cobalt blue of the sky lay the shimmer of the North Sea, that was by Bervie, and maybe the wind would veer there in an hour or so and you'd feel the change in the life and strum of the thing, bringing a streaming coolness out of the sea. But for days now the wind had been in the south, it shook and played in the moors and went dandering up the sleeping Grampians, the rushes pecked and quivered about the loch when its hand was upon them, but it brought more heat than cold, and all the parks were fair parched, sucked dry, the red clay soil of Blawearie gaping open for the rain that seemed never-coming. Up here the hills were brave with the beauty and the heat of it, but the hayfield was all a crackling dryness and in the potato park beyond the biggings the shaws drooped red and rusty already.


    Where is your story set?
     
  3. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm used to far more nothern moors but one important thing is that moors are something you learn to read, which takes lot of time, guidance and trial and error. The clues for what ground makes dangerous quicksand traps and where you can safely walk a subtle pattern you must evaluate on a case to case basis rather then easy yes/no clues. And walking and moving with ease on a moor takes practise that too.

    Since you don't have this experience you can write around it with phrases like. "X had grew up close the the moor, every autumn spending weeks on picking berries with her father. She knew the signs well and although this moor was strange to her, she had no trouble during this time of year, when the water was low to find a safe path across it."
     
  4. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    You'll need to narrow it down. A moor where? Dartmoor or Exmoor are not like the Scottish Highlands. The climate, wildlife, vegetation, geological features, in short most things are different. Not surprising if you study a map.
     
  5. SirSamkin
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    SirSamkin Member

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    If this helps, It's supposed to be in a "Scotland-style" county of my own invention. I wasn't aware there were different kinds of moor, but If forced to pick one I'd say Northern Scottish (are there moors there?)

    Thanks a Bajillion, SirSamkin
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    This may be a "duh" question, but have you tried googling Scottish moors?

    Every writer must hone his or her online researching skills.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto that!

    with a few clicks of your mouse, you can access countless articles, photos and videos of the various moors, plus find where to chat with folks who live on or near them...

    for the best-written 'you're right there!' images of the famous/infamous 'dartmoor' you must partake of laurie r. king's masterful and vivid descriptions in 'the moor'...

    it's the fourth in her delightfully brilliant holmes/russell series... i guarantee you'll be hooked and have to read all six of the others [so far]... i'm on the last few pages of the last one now, and will be miserable in literary limbo, till she comes out with the next...

    'the hound of the baskervilles,' conan doyle's original, which 'informed' king's opus, also does a good job of putting you in that desolate area, as do the yorkshire moor scenes in emily b's 'wuthering heights'...
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    A website will give you only a small idea of a Scottish Moor, all the photos tend to be taken in good weather, and round the nicer bits. Basically to introduce you to the Scottish Tourist Industry. Try Youtube have just looked there are some good videos there.

    Rannoch Moor is the one you want - reading Sunset Song would be a good introduction. Sir Walter Scott does nice descriptions. The TS Eliot poem is about Rannoch Moor. For a TV Series Monarch of the Glen will give you an idea. Harry Potter Goblet of Fire has some lovely shots of it.

    It has some greenery around the lochs.

    It is remote and bleak if you are used to the UK but my Mom in Law that is familiar with Wyoming doesn't find it so. Shakespeare I think was describing it with his blasted heath although its unlikely that's where he met the witches given where the witches were caught and tried.
     

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