50 days of 50mm #21

Today’s blog will be day 21 in terms of my 50mm project and a milestone for the blog as a whole, as this is my 200th entry!

Before I begin my thoughts on yesterdays hike, I would like to thank everyone who takes the time to read my musings and follow my amblings around the Devon landscape, your kind comments and support is very much appreciated.

At last the clocks have gone forward, one of the first signs that we can begin to look forward to longer and warmer days but this morning at just after 4am, winter is beginning to outstay its welcome with temperatures just above zero.

Today’s hike will start with a 6am train to Starcross, then walking the ten or so miles back along the estuary trail back to Exeter, with the hope of a sunrise along the way at around 7am.

As the train pulls away from the station, the darkness begins to fade, and promising patches of light begin to show through the clouds, my optimism levels are raised from perhaps to probable in the search for some early sun.

Arriving at Starcross just ten minutes later, there is still another forty or so minutes before sunrise but there are signs already of some colour in the skies above.

The station platform at Starcross overlooks the estuary, I remain here for a few minutes after the train has departed, this is a perfect place for my first shot of the day.

Shot from the station platform at Starcross.

My patience is rewarded after barely 15 minutes, the fiery hues in the sky, reflect on the water, this is why I love early mornings, the pleasure of watching a new day dawn.

The cold is now biting at my hands, it’s time to begin the walk back, can the day get any better?

It would appear that it can, as the morning breaks into one of those days of beautiful early spring light, where the suns rays paint the landscape with a golden hue, what more could I ask for?

I finally join the estuary trail, a footpath that has the estuary to my right and rolling fields and the railway to my left, the only traffic here are the occasional train and pleasure boats.

I appear to be the only walker on the upper path today, I do however chat with a local angler who has just caught a decent sized flounder which he puts back, as he is looking for some early bass, he is happy for me to take a couple of photos, which I will send to him later in the day.

I have done my best to describe in words the mood of this beautiful spring day, only the images will give a true reflection, so enough already from me…….

A long absence

As we begin a considered easing of lockdown rules over the coming weeks, I look forward to treading once more the hallowed turf of Dartmoor, to reacquaint myself with the joys of roaming this vast and wonderful landscape, to marvel once more at the majestic tors, standing tall and proud, sentinels of the landscape, to enjoy each breath of its invigorating and inspiring air and every footstep made along its many paths.

This enforced absence has made me appreciate even more, just why I enjoy taking a camera with me on my walks, looking through photographs of previous visits evoke a memory of that particular day, or time of the year, in some cases, remembering how hard it was to keep the camera steady as a strong wind blew across the moor, or just how quickly that rain cloud appeared just overhead, ready to drench the unwary walker with its cargo.

Over the last few months, I have slowly and somewhat belatedly started to catalogue my photos, a long overdue process that is still a long way from completion, as I seem to make more and more reasons to get out and take yet more photos.
I had dreaded this sorting process, but it has been an interesting insight in to my personal photographic journey, as well as a sobering reminder of the cameras I may have bought, sold and purchased again along with all the ‘necessary’ accessories, yet I have not regretted a single second of this process.

It was looking back at recent trips to the moor that inspired me to pick a few favourites from the archives and sow a seed of optimism that it may not be too much longer before I am there once again.