Ground Report – Avebury Avenue, Wiltshire, 14/09/08
This seems for a number of reasons to be a really interesting occurrence! Firstly, the nature of the design in that it includes two separate elements. The single circle lies at the very edge of the field, just skimming the vegetation alongside, providing a very handy access point. The more complex part of the design, although apparently quite close to the single circle is actually surprisingly difficult to see from the roadside and within the field itself. With stems over 6ft tall seeing anything is a real challenge!
Entering the single circle first, it is immediately apparent that the laid stems are seriously damaged, not least because after over a week since its appearance, most of the plants are dead and brown on the ground. This, I am sure has seen a good few visitors over the period since its arrival and this of course is important to take into account.
The stems are laid in a clockwise direction emanating outwards from the centre of the circle where there are a few left standing. Damage is evident throughout the circle from the very centre to the periphery.
There is some evidence of phototropism having taken place to an extent, with parts of some of the laid stems growing back up towards the sun from their prone position. This can be seen in the image below.
One part of the perimeter of this circle appears slightly ‘flattened’ although the spacing of plant rows seems as though more accuracy could have been accommodated. The flattened section is in the direction of the more complex element of the formation.
Finding the second part of the design is slightly hit or miss (I was lucky!) as it cannot be seen from the side of the field. An eerie sensation of ‘blindly’ walking forwards hoping to stumble across what you are looking for results in a sense of relief at the sudden and unpredictable appearance of an open space.
The most notable sections of this part of the formation are the two laid circles, where all of the crop is laid towards the centre from the perimeter, culminating in a dramatic ‘bonfire’ looking structure comprising quite a large number of stem leaning towards each other and some having been woven together.
Considering that all the stems are laid in the direction of the middle in these circles, the accuracy of the shapes themselves is impressive.
In fact, the accuracy of the overall design itself raises questions about origin, especially as some sections are as close as one stems width apart (including the spaces in between rows).
The crop flows around the other parts of the formation, ranging from fairly wide swathes to considerably narrower pathways. There is a reasonable degree of fluidity to this as can be seen in the image below.
In some places where the crop flows more tightly around corners, there are laid stems which overlap the edges of the standing crop, falling in between unaffected plants.
As in the single circle, there is a lot of damage to the majority of the laid stems. Although, as before, some of this could have been caused by visitors walking within the formation, there is further evidence of severe breakage, scuffing and crushing of the stems which occurs at regular and uniform intervals (see images below).
Having said this, I am really struck by the relative complexity of this crop circle in what is (for me) a new type of ‘canvas.’ Even to photograph from above takes numerous attempts with the pole due to the height of the crop, which also contributes significantly to a true sense of seclusion and calm inside.
Crop Circle Summary