Jersey Devil: Duck, Dragon, Demon, Religious Politics, Unknown Beast, Bat or Owl?

by JoHarrington

Stories of the strange creature stalking the Pine Barrens of New Jersey may date back to Colonial Times or before. What do you make of the Jersey Devil?

The Jersey Devil is described as a huge flying beast with hooves. When not perched on rooftops or in trees, it may walk as a biped on two hind legs, or crouch on all fours.

Its head is shaped like a horse. Two horns protrude from its sizable forehead. Leathery wings stretch out from its shoulder-blades, large enough to encase its body when stationary.

Tiny hands end in talons, and it squawks a blood-curdling scream. A thin, forked tail swishes amongst the undergrowth and the leaves.

So what IS the Jersey Devil?

The Dragon of the Lenni-Lenape First Natives Tribe

Were there sightings of the Jersey Devil before Europeans even crossed the Atlantic to start their intrusion of its territory?

Stories of the Jersey Devil always make it sound as if it is the strange one - the interloper into a terrain populated and owned by Americans, unnatural in a civilized state.

But seen from another point of view, it was there first.

Settlers came and colonized what would be its natural habitat. They took their ranges, farms and houses into its bleak woods, toppling its trees to create their fields. Encroaching still upon its vast, deep forest with their churches, roads and McDonalds.

From the Jersey Devil's perspective, they are haunting it. Stalking ever closer, across tarmac and leaves, creating a clash of worlds which must frighten both sides. Not just one. Not only the anxious human eye-witnesses, who pass polygraph tests to prove that their sighting was not a lie.

What must the ancient creature think, as it peers down upon that infestation of US citizens. Otherworldly beings with noisy machines and guns, creeping always closer as their cities expand; swallowing old towns as suburbs, while their outlying villages cut ever more into the desolate wilderness of the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

They came to it, and if it watches warily from the tree-tops, who can blame it?

But these were not the first human beings to venture into the vicinity of the beast.  Before them, the ancestors of today's Jersey Devil would have watched the First Native tribes crossing its land. Hunting. Moving on. And maybe therein lies confusion.

Why won't these new people pass by lightly too? Why do they build their habitats as permanent structures, treating the creature's environment like it belongs to them alone?  Though it was there first, and the rest of nature shares, or preys, or dies as prey.

Those selfish, entitled New Jerseyans stay and call it their Devil. Those before them avoided the place and tagged the unforgiving Pine Barrens as somewhere to avoid.  For as the creature watched the First Natives, they too saw it.

The Lenni-Lenape labeled the terrain Popuessing - the Place of the Dragon - and they left its legendary inhabitant in peace. Until they too were moved on. But the dragon remained.

Stories about the Jersey Devil

Fishing for Historical Dragons in Popuessing

Unfortunately the mousey things keep ducking out of sight, thus not ending up quite as fully described in Colonial accounts as people today might assume.

Here is the trouble with stories framed for antiquity: someone has to have seen it in the past, and provided their testimony to the same.

Such tales can be passed off as oral history or family lore, only surfacing now because it was mentioned in public. That works a treat for those spinning a yarn or three in the old country.  But it's a little difficult, when your own ancestors were an ocean away at the time.

So the Lenni-Lenape had to have seen the Jersey Devil.

Only nobody told them that, and as they'd all been shifted onto reservations in Oklahoma, they weren't particularly in a position to clarify matters.

Nor even to explain that they weren't really called the Delaware tribe, as colonists erroneously referred to them, before they kicked them out of legend-harming way.

It's not even certain that Swedish missionaries and other settlers - who were the second people to enter the Pine Barrens - really did name the area Drake Kill (River/Stream of the Dragon). Not least because the draconian etymology of 'drake' is Dutch ('draak'). The Swedes call it a 'dragon', just like the English.

Moreover, the word Poquessing seems to have related only to a stream, that later formed the state boundary between New Jersey and Philadelphia. It was variously documented as Pouquessinge, Poetquessingh or Ponquessiuge, depending upon whether a Swede, Dutch, French or English listener was trying to transcribe the syllables that they heard spoken by the Lenni-Lenape.

As none of them knew that they were supposed to be recording the earliest written evidence of a legendary creature, they didn't mention any dragons at all. Most of them interpreted Poquessing as something to do with pike.

Big fish in the river, not flying goat horses in the trees. It was an easy mistake to make.

Though in all fairness, Swedish Lutheran clergyman Johannes Campanius - who learned the Lenni-Lenape language in 1643 for Christian evangelical purposes - DID call the waterway Drake Kylen, which is a bit like Drake Kill if you say it fast enough. Only he thought he was talking about ducks at the time, not dragons.

Mind you, Campanius (and later his son Thomas) was also quite concerned with eradicating all of the French names for New Jersey places. The Florentine pirate explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano had left them littered all over the map in 1524. Sailing in the service of the French government, he'd charted the waterways - including Poquessing - with his Gallic crew.

It wasn't good for Sweden to have the French citing this as a prior claim to the land. Hence Drake Kylen came from Campanius needing something other than La Rivière de Kakimon (or Kakamon - pike in Lenni-Lenape) to call the river.

The Swedish missionary's thinking was either:

  • 'This cold river (kylen = 'blast of cold air', 'chilly', 'fridge') has ducks on it. Let's call it Drake Kylen.'  Or,
  • 'Oh no! There's a dragon! Let's find out what the Dutch call dragons, then misspell it Drake and stick a Kylen on the end. The latter being in the sure knowledge that those who came after me will know that I patently couldn't spell and I meant Kill. Then, in 1876, that nice English-speaking Mr Levine will alter it for me, thus clarifying I meant 'River of the Dragons'. Because Kill is 'river' in Dutch. And it won't be a dragon if the second word isn't also in Dutch, it'd just be a male duck.'

It's a mystery that may never be solved. Though we do know that it took until the 20th century before Drake Kill began being referred to in guide-books, then web-pages, as being Swedish for 'Dragon River'.  Much to the confusion of Swedes everywhere.

Moreover, that translation was then attached to Poquessing itself. Suddenly the original river name was stretched to include the entire Pine Barrens and said to mean 'Place of the Dragons'.  Thus popularly serving as evidence for pre-Colonial Era sightings of the Jersey Devil.

Incidentally, it's spelt Poetquessnink in modern Lenni-Lenape. It means 'place where the mice live'.

Books about the Jersey Devil

Mother Leeds: The Legend of the Jersey Devil

Even those claiming a pre-Colonial origin for the creature still blithely repeat the famous story of the Jersey Devil's birth in post-Colonial 1735.

In some tellings, she is called Deborah and in others she is Jane. But mostly they call her Mother Leeds.

The poor Quaker woman had been popping out kids every year since her marriage to Japhet Leeds. She was the exhausted matriarch of twelve young off-spring already, and this last pregnancy was taking its toll.

In the more poignant version, she went into labor in a remote homestead alone with her children. Already worn out before she struggled and pushed through the agonizing hours, despair overtook her long before the physical punishment grew too much.

But none were there to help her. A ferocious storm rushed through the eaves and buffeted the windows, howling its fury against the walls.

Her terrified children could only watch.  Her husband and midwife were stranded right across town, miles from the house, held back by routes made impassable in that terrible storm. No other adult was close enough to make it through, even if a message could reach and bring them from their homes on a night like this.

Finally, in utter desperation, Mother Leeds writhed in sweat-coated carnage on the bed and cursed her unborn child. "This thirteenth one! Let it be a devil!"  She screamed, and felt the ripping inside as it rushed down the birth canal, just seconds before the door blasted open with a crash.

Japhet and the midwife had struggled through, battered and bruised by their passage there. They arrived in time to witness a creature crawl sodden from its mother, and swoosh up into the air on sticky leather wings. It found its stead just below the ceiling and with a couple of hefty flaps, it flew straight at the midwife, killing her instantly, before making it out into the wild.

And with a great sigh, Mother Leeds expired on her quilts, leaving Japhet to deal with twelve hysterical children, two female corpses and a newborn devil circling his cottage.

History doesn't recall how he coped with that. Just that a clergyman came five years later and exorcised the demonic child. It was banished into Hell for 100 years, which is why no more sightings came until the 19th century.

In version two, the baby was quite normal upon its arrival into this world. Both mother and midwife survived that stressful moment too.

However, as the infant grew into toddlerhood, something seemed increasingly off.

His downy blond hair flaked and scaled. His blue eyes darkened, taking the whites of his scleras with them. Until shining black orbs peered out from the pits of ridging sockets. 

Slowly hard nubs upon his shoulder-blades grew into long, leathery, bat-like wings, and his feet gave way to hooves.

When he was five the clergyman came, and the demonic child flew in fright up to the tree-tops. It was the mother whom the cleric exorcised. There was nothing could be done for the Leeds Devil.

In version three, Mother Leeds was never short of midwives throughout the long, tiresome labor. She was a known witch and all twelve members of her coven had congregated in her shack. 

Her other children cowered in terror, and Japhet was nowhere to be seen. In this story, he was not the father and never even mentioned in its telling. Mother Leeds had consorted with The Devil itself, and she knew from the outset that she would birth a baby Satanic beast.

Again her infant was born normally, with no indication of its true nature. That came over the next five years, until the clergyman banished the imp away with prayers. One hundred years would pass before it was ever seen again.

But it came back, and the Jersey Devil has plagued those desolate Pine Barren wastes ever since.

Eye-Witness Reports of the Jersey Devil

Read the real life accounts of people who have encountered the Jersey Devil.
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How Much of the Jersey Devil Origin Legend is True?

More than you might suspect given the bizarre elements in it!

It's easy to dismiss much of the legend of the Jersey Devil (or Leeds Devil Legend, as it was known at the time) as pure superstitious fantasy. After all, we really don't expect horse-headed goat birds to be born to witches in real life. Especially those fathered by Satan on poor New England women.

Kernels of truth do linger in the tales though.

Primarily it's the fact that Japhet and Deborah Leeds DID exist, and they raised twelve children in their Pine Barrens farmstead. A will has survived which categorically proves that.

However, the family were known as devout Quakers. First generation British immigrants, neither of whom were otherwise noted for any witchcraft activities.

Some commentators have speculated that the origin of the Jersey Devil story masks a tragic truth. That Deborah Leeds gave birth to a thirteenth child, which was mentally and/or physically different in some way.  Perhaps deformed, or with a condition like Down's Syndrome.

Amid a superstitious community, secreted in a backwater terrain remote from any proper medical consultation, this could well have been enough to assume devilment.

Was the baby abandoned in the woods?  Or did he not survive infancy? The recurrent element of a priest coming to exorcise them, when the boy was five years old might be the clue there. Maybe Japhet and Deborah's son received the last rites at that age, but malicious/afraid neighbors assumed that it was an exorcism. Maybe it actually was that too.

All we can say for certain is that the legend was attached to their names, and that Japhet's will made provision only for twelve off-spring.

Books about Childcare in Colonial New Jersey

The usual year given for the birth of the Leeds Devil is 1735. Discover more about the Colonial Era world into which that child may, or may not, have been born.

Daniel Leeds and the Warring Quaker Sects of New Jersey

For those depressed by the worrying implications that the Jersey Devil may constitute a folk memory of an abandoned baby, let's insert a bit of politics.

For those looking into a firmer history to explain the origin of the Jersey Devil, then it's not Japhet Leeds, but his uncle Daniel who fits more clearly into the frame.

Daniel Leeds came from Stansted Mount Fitchet, in Essex, England (not Leeds, in West Yorkshire, as many chroniclers state). He was born on November 15th 1651, and emigrated to Burlington, New Jersey, around 1678.

He was married and widowed three times. First to Ann Stacey (1681), then Dorothy Young (1683), and finally Jean Elton Abbot Smout (circa 1703-1705).

The latter's name was interchangeably spelled Jane, hence the alternative name for Mother Leeds in some Jersey Devil legends.

Daniel and his family, like most New Jersey settlers of the time, were Quakers. This should have placed him in firm accord with all of his neighbors, but these were hard, tumultuous times and human nature frequently over-rides conditions of religious conviviality.

In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, we were still many decades away from the War of Independence with Britain. But that doesn't mean that there weren't already murmurings of discontent amongst the Colonial people.

Sparks were being struck there which would eventually result in revolution.

In this regard, Daniel Leeds was most certainly not in accord with his wider community.  A true English patriot, he loved America, but only as part of the British Empire. As such, he also held high office in New Jersey. At one point or other, during his career, he held the position of New Jersey Assembly member (equivalent of a senator today), judge of the colony's Supreme Court and served as a council member for the governor.

People in authority always drew ire from those struggling through great hardship. Especially those, like Daniel Leeds, who were robustly in support of an increasingly remote monarchy.

Nor did it help that he appeared by many to be a sycophantic, blinkered supporter of Edward Hyde, 3rd Earl of Clarendon, aka the detested Lord Cornbury.

As many good Quaker folk in New Jersey tended to view Lord Cornbury as the Devil Incarnate, then Daniel Leeds was generally seen as Satan's own mouthpiece. And that was before he even published his first almanac.

Printing had only recently arrived in the Colonies, and it was met with a mixed reception. Those fiercely devout people could be suspicious of anything committed to print, particularly if the content was not about God and/or Quaker ideals.

Daniel Leeds did indeed publish tracts of a religious nature in his almanac, but not exclusively.

Moreover, he tended to equate being a good Quaker with support of the British crown, as if God Himself wished New Jersey to be forever shackled to the Parliament in Westminster. As if God loved Lord Cornbury.

For those who have never seen an old world almanac, they traditionally contained a rag-bag of information, stories, data, illustrations, poems, fact, fiction, anything which came to the mind of the writer really. I've recently read one described as 'the Google of the 18th century', which is about right insofar as the metaphor stretches. 

Anything and everything could be located in one, as long as someone else had created the content, and a single entity (editor/Google) controlled the information available for public consideration.

It's wrong to say that all New Jersey was hostile to Daniel Leeds's almanac - otherwise it wouldn't have been a monthly best-seller - but there was definitely loud opposition. Which is possibly WHY it remained a best-seller.

Selection of Almanacs by Daniel Leeds

So now we had an already disliked politician, subject to much blame over a plethora of personal issues, inspiring anti-thesis over his disdain for any anti-British sentiments, in charge of a widely read source of information.

Then he truly went beyond the pale, in the minds of those Quakers already inclined to oppose him, and collected several hundred more scandalized protestors along the way.  He decided to publish astrological data.

This wasn't merely the star-sign predictions that fill many column inches today, but actual charts, so that readers could discern their rising signs, sun and moon signs, and much more of a zodiacal occult nature.  A general Quaker Meeting quickly followed publication, which condemned this edition as being way too Pagan. Daniel Leeds attended and duly apologized for his moral lapse, but the conclusion stunned him. He was ordered to collect up every copy not yet in circulation and burn them in a huge bonfire.

That was pure profit going down the drain.

Shortly afterwards, Daniel Leeds left the Friends and took his entire family with him. His almanac (which mysteriously remained a best-seller throughout, despite being suppressed by every Quaker Meeting in Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York) increasingly included essays, data and discussions about Christian occultism.

Many prominent Quakers responded with publications of their own - usually pamphlets - which condemned Daniel Leeds and his beliefs out of hand. His backlash meant that most later editions of his almanac contained articles critical of Quakerism, its tenets and hierarchy, and just about anything else which might troll question his former coreligionists.

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Today, we might call it a flame war. Either way, proverbial toys were most certainly being thrown out of prams.

As far as the mass of Quaker Meetings were concerned Daniel Leeds had just shown his true colors. He'd been the greatest defender of the devilish Lord Cornbury, now he was showing his Satanic depths with the content of his almanac.

In short, New Jersey had a devil and his name was Daniel Leeds. Without any of the later details being attached to the legend, this is the first historic mention of the Leeds Devil.

The Domestic Life of the Jersey Devil

This looks contemporary, but it isn't. It's written by a descendent of Daniel Leeds, based upon family history passed down by the author's grandmother.

The US Founding Father and the Jersey Devil

There is an assumption of maturity on the part of Founding Fathers, each one rising above the muck-slinging. Come and tell them what you did, Benjamin Franklin.

Born in Boston in 1706, Benjamin Franklin's name looms large in any history of Colonial Era America.

Where do you even begin to sketch a life which held so much, with any hope of doing it justice? He was a polymath genius responsible for dozens of inventions still in use today. He was the President of Pennsylvania. He represented his nation as ambassador to both Sweden and France. He tirelessly brought unity to the thirteen colonies. He signed the Declaration of Independence.

But if the Leeds versus the Quakers clash was a flame war, then Ben Franklin emerged as its biggest troll.

Much of what we repeat now, as the legends of the Jersey Devil, sprang fully formed from his fertile imagination. It was all to discredit his business rival Titan Leeds.

Did I mention that almanacs were very lucrative best-sellers in colonial New England?  That point should be bold, underlined and emphasized as the single most defining explanation for the Jersey Devil origin story.

In 1716, Daniel Leeds retired and handed over his almanac business to his son Titan. Just like his father, Titan penned (or accepted) content which upset the Quaker Meetings no end, yet still managed to sell in vast quantities amongst the predominantly Quaker communities.

However, Titan did make some changes. Foremost of these was the mast-head of the almanac, which he sought to render more professional by including his family's coat of arms.

Image: Titus Leeds Almanac 1729
Image: Titus Leeds Almanac 1729

In case that header heraldry is unclear, here is a more modern rendering of the Leeds family crest:

Please note the triple iteration of a creature with an elongated head like a horse, big leathery wings, talons and a long forked tail. Because Benjamin Franklin certainly noticed it. For students of heraldry and mythology everywhere, they depict a wyvern. For Mr Franklin, they became the blueprint for the Jersey Devil.


Jersey Devil

Image: Jersey Devil
Image: Jersey Devil

Above is a version of the Jersey Devil sketched for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin in January 1909. But it encapsulated descriptions given in print since the 1730s.


So why was Benjamin Franklin anywhere near this story?  Because in 1732 Franklin began publication of his Poor Richard's Almanac. This was finally a major competitor in the market, targeting the same readership as those previously monopolized by Titan Leeds.

A serious amount of money could be made here, but only if Franklin was able to entice loyal buyers away from his rival. And there was a ready-made pool of enmity to stir, in order to do that.

As any tabloid journalist will tell you, scandal, gossip and intrigue sells. Even the most upstanding citizen will surreptitiously break out the popcorn and watch in glee from the side-lines, as people publicly slog it out. Especially if said row is entertaining.

Benjamin Franklin seemed to grasp this from the outset. Titan Leeds didn't. He took it way too seriously, thus feeding Franklin's blatant antagonism to the hilt.

What ensued were two years of increasingly outrageous claims made about Titan and the whole Leeds family, published in Poor Richard's Almanac, followed by bitter responses printed in the Leeds Almanac. Reading between the lines, you can practically see Ben Franklin's troll-face grinning out the retort 'U mad, bro?'

Benjamin Franklin published astrological tables and data - which was still a staple of the Leeds Almanac - but it was alright. He wasn't doing it to be at all Satanic. He was including it as evidence for his claim that the stars proved that Titan Leeds would die on October 17th 1733.

When Titan duly survived that date, then Franklin published the same information again, but this time to illustrate how it was all nonsense.

It was okay, because that meant that those who believed in that sort of thing had the data anyway from his rival publication. And those who didn't could accept the inclusion as justification for their own disdain.

Titan angrily replied, in print, that Franklin was a fool and a liar. Which didn't quite have the same impact as Ben's reply that Leeds was a 'creature from the spirit world', with much pointing towards the wyverns as evidence.

For those already inclined to think of the Leeds family as Satanists - or demons incarnate - then not much persuasion was necessary to make this leap. Good Quakers and Puritans alike began looking very, very closely at the Leeds family coat of arms, placed in such prominent splendor atop the almanac, and concluded YES! Titan could well be a devil!

All trolling should have been off by 1735, when Titan Leeds actually did die. But the almanac would only be passed onto a son, and Benjamin was just getting into his stride, so he carried on.

He'd been visited by the ghost of Titan Leeds, he claimed. The Leeds Devil was still at large and it had come to him. It had the head of a horse, the body of a goat, cloven hooves and a forked tail, and it flew through the Pine Barrens on big, leathery wings.

As trolls go, this one has to be the Mother of Them All. Nearly three hundred years later, stories and eye-witness sightings of the Jersey Devil are still going strong.

The ghost of Benjamin Franklin must be laughing every day.

More Legends about the Jersey Devil

Over the centuries, the mythical creature has seen its stories embellished and/or reinvented over and over again. The stories keep on coming.

So is the Jersey Devil Real?

In light of all that's been said so far, the answer should be obvious - an unequivocal no. But reality is rarely that simple.

It's easy to dismiss the Jersey Devil as an example of 1730s religious wrangling, political intrigue and the press making up stuff to sell editions, coupled with a longevity that's turned it all into folklore.

Nor can we fully ignore the fact that the tourist trade, plus many later writers, continue to generate wonderful profits by repeatedly peddling the story.

That should render it all game over. But it can't.

People continue to encounter the Jersey Devil in the woods of the Pine Barrens. Often they aren't alone at the time.

Mass sightings, including whole towns and villages staring in incredulous shock at the reality before them, have carried on into the 21st century. In 1909, the reports came so thick and fast that schools were closed, families stayed indoors and the emergency services organized searches through the forest to track down the creature.

We may mutter about mass hysteria, or suggestible people following on from all those tellings of the famous story. But independent witnesses have sketched similar features for the creature that they saw. They have passed polygraph tests proving that they aren't lying.

Footprints have been photographed in the snow by police officers.

It's clear that something is out there with the big question being - what? Some commentators have theorized that the Pine Barrens is large and dense enough to house a hitherto unclassified creature. A real world, flesh and blood beast, which is currently unknown to scientific databases.

Such theories aren't as unlikely as they may appear. The biggest example being the fact that gorillas were supposed to be mythical until the 19th century, when they were actually discovered in 1847 Liberia by a Western explorer. However, New Jersey's most desolate region still isn't as isolated as that sparsely populated area of West Africa. It seems unlikely that something as big as the Jersey Devil is purported to be could survive without someone bringing in a corpse.

But then the same could be said about Bigfoot.

For those prepared to believe the evidence of Jersey Devil eye-witness sightings, but not the existence of the creature itself, the favorite explanation is misidentification.

Theory One: The Jersey Devil is a Great Horned Owl

Don't be wrong-footed by the little pictures. This is probably the biggest owl you'll ever encounter in your life!

The Great Horned Owl is indigenous to the Pine Barrens, but quite rarely seen. It's also huge! I recently saw one of these myself, so I can attest to the startling size particularly when it takes to the air. The one I met - during a bird display at Warwick Castle - had a wing span of six feet.

Those found in New Jersey are slightly smaller. It's most likely to be Bubo virginianus subarcticus or, more rarely, Bubo virginianus virginianus, with wing-spans up to a mere 5ft.

Nevertheless, a scary thing to spot staring back at you from the trees, if you're really not expecting it.

Theory Two: The Megabat

Also known as 'flying foxes', these bats are three inches bigger than me.

I love that these megabats belong to the Pteropus family. You can almost hear the dinosaur in that name, along with the implied size of these things. The largest megabats swoop in at a whopping 5ft 6", hunting each night over ranges covering 40 miles.

They look like descriptions of the Jersey Devil, fitting so well that they should be a shoo-in as top contender for misidentification theories. But for one small fact. They aren't indigenous to New Jersey and would die very quickly in its climate temperatures. It definitely wouldn't survive the winter long enough to go traipsing through the snow leaving footprints.

All sixty species of megabat can be found in Africa, Asia and Australia, where it's nice and hot.

How Do You Explain the Jersey Devil?

Having heard all of the historical evidence for the Jersey Devil - and some of the modern explanations too - what do you think?  I have to admit that I'm quite fascinated by all of this now, and there's enough of a mystery to keep us still going. Let's chat about it in the comments.

The Enduring Appeal of the Jersey Devil

From sightings to sport, architecture to fiction, folklore to fantasy, the Jersey Devil continues to inspire attention across the board.

More New England Legends, Folklore and Monsters

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, New England suffered a vampire epidemic. At least some thought so, and Connecticut was a hotbed for this belief.
In Exeter, Rhode Island, the villagers gathered to exhume the body of a suspected vampire. It happened right on the eve of the 20th century.
Whistling great apes; a methane stink; childcare research; and bizarre chattering in the middle of the night. These are just some of the hallmarks of this hairy giant.
This Connecticut couple were the most famous ghost-hunters of the 20th century. Their career has been the subject of many books and films.
Updated: 10/15/2014, JoHarrington
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JoHarrington on 09/28/2014

He's in your 'hood? I'd love to hear more about the area. Jersey Devil aside, the Pine Barrens sound wonderful.

happynutritionist on 09/25/2014

Wow what a thorough page about our little've been to the pine barrens many times and have yet to run across him :-)

JoHarrington on 09/06/2014


And I am so on board with that time machine idea!

frankbeswick on 09/06/2014

The October issue is sent out in September.There are some good articles in it.

If I ever get a time machine, you and I can go roaming about in it. We both have lots to look at.

JoHarrington on 09/06/2014

From the future? If you have a time machine, you really need to share. I am a historian! I need one!

frankbeswick on 09/06/2014

Yes. See Country Smallholding, Oct 2014, for an article and a report on earth sheltered dwellings.

JoHarrington on 09/06/2014

I'd love to have lived in Skara Brae too. Any of those homes which end up underground have my vote. Have you seen those hobbit type homes that people have made for themselves?

frankbeswick on 09/05/2014

Maybe you would like a hobbit hole! But life in caves was natural to humans, and in the past people dug their houses into earthen pits. That was common in Bronze Age Britain. Skara Brae in Orkney was a beautifully earth sheltered dwelling where the stone houses seem to have been covered by earth.

JoHarrington on 09/05/2014

You know, I never quite envisaged what a fox's earth would look like. I kind of vaguely imagined a big hole. That sounds amazing. I'd like to live in something like that!

frankbeswick on 09/04/2014

No. There is no room in the containers. A fox's earth is a large network of tunnels and cavities underground; and it can be a few feet deep.

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