Broad Hinton, Wiltshire, 28th May 2023
A few days after its' appearance, a crop circle in green barley inevitably looks messier than when it first arrived. This formation is no different, with recovery of stems throughout most parts of the design. While this makes it very hard to discern details specific to flow direction and layering, what can still be seen is transitions between different flattened elements, as well as areas that have remained flat, despite the phototopism (stems growing upwards, towards the sun, from the nodes) that has occurred in larger areas.
This crop circle contains many examples of stems flowing away from each other, in different directions, which gives a noticeable feature on the ground and from above.
Quite distinctive at ground level is the rather more compacted stems around most edges. In nearly all areas that stems flow adjacent to standing crop, forming the design itself, they are very well flattened and have not recovered in the same way that the rest of the crop has. See images below.
There are one or two parts of the design that do not display this more compacted feature. One section around the inner curve of one of the spinning 'arms' contains stems which do not show evidence of having been flattened in the same way as the rest of the edges. This can be seen in the image below.
Interestingly, most of the narrow, outer ring of the formation seems to have been laid more gently. In previous years' formations, I have often commented on stems which do not appear to have been flattened but rather 'brushed' so gently that they slope up the edges of the standing crop. The image below, from Etchilhampton (1) in 2022, shows an example.
There is some evidence of this in the Broad Hinton formation, especially around the outer edge of the outer ring (see image below) but not as much as has been present in other crop circles.
I reserve judgement on the extremely messy and 'trampled' appearance of the laid stems in many parts of the formation. This could certainly be a result of visitors walking through typical routes around the design and into the centre, although it is more evident here than in past formations that have also been visited frequently.
A very valid reason for stems appearing messy is when they flow in opposite directions, alongside one another. In this situation, the stems cannot lay flat as they have been laid simultaneously. Included in the ground details at Broad Hinton are examples of this feature.
Crop Circle Summary