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Garth Hill

Round Barrow(s)


Mind out for the ferns on Garth Hill.
A very amusing story about fern-seed came from the neighbourhood of the Garth Mountain, Glamorgan. An aged Welshman said that when he was a small boy he heard his grandfather gravely relating the experience of a neighbour who chanced to be coming homeward through the mountain fern on Midsummer Night between twelve and one o'clock. At that hour fern-seed is supposed to ripen, to fail off directly, and be lost. Some of the fern-seed fell upon his coat and into his shoes. He thought nothing of this, but went home.
At this point he totally freaks out his family, because they can't see him, but they can hear him talking - he remains invisible until he inadvertently shakes the seeds from his clothing.
The man who told this story said that when he was a boy not a person would wear a fern of any kind - first, because it caused men to lose their paths; and secondly, because adders were likely to follow you so long as it was worn.
From Marie Trevelyan's 'Folk lore and folk stories of Wales' (1909).
Of course, really boring botanists would tell you that ferns don't have seeds.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
14th October 2005ce

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