Foggintor revisited

It has been over nine months since my last visit to Dartmoor, so to say that I was looking forward to this visit is something of an understatement.

Foggintor has long been a favourite destination for my photo walks, the ruins of the quarrymen’s houses and the quarry itself are perfect photography fodder, especially on those rain laden cloudy days such as today.

It’s late May but a cold wind prevails, temperatures are just a little above 7 degrees, a little unseasonal perhaps but after a nine month absence, I do not care, it’s good to be back once more.

Today’s walk will take in Foggintor quarry, Kings tor and Swell tor, a route of about 6 miles, this is not allowing for my inevitable deviations to take pictures of remote gnarly trees, or anything else that may catch the eye.

At it’s peak, in the mid 1800’s the quarry employed over 300 people, the granite from this quarry was used in the making of Nelson’s column and London bridge.

As I amble my way at a leisurely pace, I can only imagine the brutal nature of the work here, more so, given the volatile nature of the weather here on the moor.

A good 2 weeks of rain are evident here, rainwater drains from the higher ground onto the footpath making it part path, part stream, not a complaint, just one more thing I love about this inspiring landscape.

A third of the way into today’s foray and the sky begins to show signs of light, as dappled patches of sunshine escape through the thinning cloud, perhaps I may even see some sunshine today.

Through the gusts of wind, the only sound to be heard are my own footsteps and the tell tale trill of the many skylarks dipping and soaring and for the first time this year, a cuckoo, heard but rarely seen.

I had honestly thought that my chance for capturing bluebells on the moor this year had well and truly gone but as I look at the path below, three adjacent fields are a sea of blue, such a contrast in this landscape of greens and browns.

Finding this riot of blue was one thing, finding that there is public access is a bonus, surely I must get a few images here?

As the last of the heavy rain clouds are blown across the horizon, blue skies emerge from under their drab grey cloak, sunlight bathes the distant landscape in its glow, just for a few fleeting seconds.

The end of today’s walk is near, approaching the car park that on arrival was empty, it is now full with a queue of four more looking to turn in and look for spaces that aren’t there and exit once more.

With a good few miles completed, I feel that I have had the best of the day, I am hoping my next visit will be a lot sooner than my last.



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