An opportunity to go walking on Dartmoor is rarely passed up when it is offered, yesterday morning was no exception, so just after 9am, I am heading to a well photographed part of the moor, Windy Post.
Also known as Beckamoor cross or Windy stone, the stone is thought to have been placed here in the 16th century, however there are other schools of thought that suggest otherwise.
The cross is well known for it’s slight leaning, probably from the Dartmoor ponies that have seen it as a convenient scratching post.
The waterway flowing alongside the cross is the Grimstone and Sortridge leat, a handy watering hole for the ponies and sheep that graze the area.
There seemed to be a lot more Dartmoor ponies in the area today, also a good few foals shadowing mum, one or two curious ones very keen to introduce themselves, some not quite so confident.
While the day was not particularly sunny, it was very humid, I was thankful I had taken a bigger water bottle for today’s amble, as usual I was quite happy just to sit on a rock and take in the scenery, Dartmoor never fails to fill the senses with pleasure.
After taking the usual long exposure shots, it was a joy to watch the equine residents come to the leat to take on water, the moody skies providing the perfect backdrop.
Of course, I came back with the usual large shipment of photos, the above are my pick of the bunch.
Easter weekend is upon us, so attempting to find somewhere not too busy to go with the camera was not going to be easy.
How easy it is to overlook the many places virtually on the doorstep… enter Ashclyst forest.
Not far from Killerton house and gardens, Ashclyst is part of the national trust, so a well maintained area with several different trails of varying distance.
Finding a place to park just away from the main car park area, we had our chosen path to ourselves for a good half hour, even then, it was brief encounters with dog walkers.
An overcast morning, there was not much sunlight coming through the trees, also a little too early in the year for the abundance of butterflies that may be seen in the warmer months.
So with my favourite 50mm vintage lens and my trusty Nikkor 105mm F2.8 Macro, it was time to explore this quiet little haven, with just the sound of birdsong and the gentle breeze whispering through the trees….
Woodland exploration always fills me with wonder, the cycle of nature demonstrated so clearly with some branches festooned with last winter’s foliage hanging by gossamer threads, while others hold the promise of new blossom, seeking the warmth of a summer sun.
Ferns uncoil, fronded fingers of pure symmetry, while delicate wild flowers carpet the ground in a show of defiance from winter’s grasp.
I hope to explore the forest in summer, autumn and winter, watching the change as the year passes by.