Sunday, 9 August 2009

An early morning walk.

We woke to a beautiful sunny morning today, so decided to go for a walk before everyone else was up and about. We headed out to Decoy park, where it was lovely and peaceful.

I took some bread to feed the ducks, and this beautiful swan glided up..

with her four cygnets, no doubt the same ones we saw earlier in the year, my how they`d grown

On the fence I noticed the black headed gulls were beginning to lose their black hoods..

It was a lovely still morning, the water was like a sheet of glass, the water lilies like green plates

As we stood admiring the view, there was some very high pitched tweeting, and these baby moorhens swam out from among the reeds, following their mother.

we carried on along the windy path, where glossy ferns on the banks were shiny with the morning sunshine

The Lords and Ladies or Cuckoo Pint, have lost their little hoods, and sport bright orange berries, like traffic lights.

The sun filtered through the trees, and the air was filled with the sweet smell of leaves, and damp earth. In the distance we could hear church bells ringing, breaking the peace of the morning.

Evenually we reached Beech walk, where the beautiful trees made a green tunnel to walk along

As we walked, we could hear a Woodpecker drumming in the treetops, and squirrels scampered up and down the branches. As we reached the little brook that bubbled and gurgled over the stones, we noticed a wasps nest in the bank, we didnt hang around, as they were flying backwards and forwards to their nest.

The wood was lovely and quiet, there were few people about, and the birds were silent and shy, as they`d finished nesting, and were going through their moult.

Evenually we came to the Magazine Pond, where the sun sparkled on the water, and the purple loosestrife pierced the undergrowth

I was pleased to see the new bulrushes, tall and chocolate brown..keeping guard around the pond. In the water the roach were swimming around in a large shoal, some leaping on the surface.

In the hedgerows, the blackberry bushes are heavy with their fruit, its a really good year for them

and above the Hawthorn hung with bright red berries.

Some of the umbelliers were reduced to crispy skeletons, hung with gold pennies..

Everywhere, there were signs that the year was getting on, and Autumns just round the corner...

The wood is full of Hazels, and they were festooned with bunches of nuts..

and crisp rosy apples, a feast for the wasps no doubt..

The path briefly leaves the wood, and comes out on to a playing field, in the distance the houses sat and slumbered on this lazy Sunday morning...

Back in the wood, I was delighted to see the path littered with damsons, like a handful of golden gems thrown down, I dont think I`ve ever seen wild damsons before.

The path comes out again by the lake, where the flowers are lacey amongst the grasses..

and butterflies sun themselves..

The swan family had settled themselves in grasses to preen and soak up the sun.

It was a lovely peaceful walk and a good start to the day.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Anniversary walk.

Today was our fifteenth wedding Anniversary, so as the sun had finally got its hat on, we headed up to Dartmoor.

It was so nice to be out on the moor again, after weeks of grey skies and rain. The moor was looking lovely too, with the heather just beginning to flower, and the gorse lovely and yellow. We stopped at Huccaby bridge for a coffee and scone, it was lovely sitting in the car listening to the water gurgling over the huge grey boulders, and enjoying the golden sunshine.

After we`d finished our break, we drove alittle further up the road, where theres a lovely quaint little church, which I`ve always wanted to visit, but for some reason never have.

Its very tiny, and surrounded by trees, and in the middle of nowhere really...

At one end, there is a rather nice little bell tower, topped with a very pretty cross.

Inside there were two very nice ladies dressing the church for a wedding. They told us that originally the church was also a school, hence this rather nice granite fireplace.

Its quite a plain church, with mostly plain watery glass, but above the altar was a rather nice stained glass one...

The ladies also pointed out, that the wooden seats had inkwells along the backs, which they were using to put posies of flowers in...
and the backs of the seats, tilted up to make a desk, how neat is was a fascinating visit, and I`m so glad we bothered to pop in.

We drove on to Barnhill for a walk. The moor was beautiful, everywhere lush and green.
All the recent rain left bubbling streams everywhere..
We followed the leat, which ran crystal clear, and peaty brown over the smooth pebbles beneath
there was a nice granite slab thrown across it for a little bridge..

Evenually we came across this very impressive stone, which was a Wheelwrights stone, nearby is the remains of a Blacksmiths shop, the stone was used in this position.

It always amazes me that these buildings are in such remote places, it must have been a very lonely life on the moor.

We walked on, I was pleased to see some foxgloves or `Cowflops` as theyre known on the moor, were still in flower, as I`d noticed most had gone to seed.

We were pleased to see some lovely dartmoor ponies too, and in the distance the dark stack of Vixen Tor which legend says is supposed to be the home of Vixana, a witch who lured travellers to their death by conjuring up a mist so they wandered into the mire.

Evenually we came to the Beckamoor cross, or Windy Post as its known, it was a way marker for the Abbots way, and sits in its lonely wind swept place on the moor surrounded by the beautiful sweeping countryside, with sheep and ponies for company.

The leat runs beside the Windy Post, and there is a hole in one of the granite stones across it, this is a `bulls-eye` or inch hole, which regulates the amount of water allowed to the nearby farm.

Its one of my favourite crosses, and a lovely part of the moor.

It was nice to actually see cloud shadows drifting across the hills...

We took the path back up the hill, you get wonderful views across to Cornwall from here, there were some more ponies grazing..

someone was having a lay in I think....

When he saw us watching he scrambled to his hooves and trotted off in a very embarrassed fashion

the hillside was covered in lovely clumps of gorse and heather, Custard and Jam as its known on the moor.

and magical granite rocks..

and high above in the windy blue sky, the white clouds drifted, like galleons in full was a lovely walk, and such a treat after being stuck in the house for so long. We drove on to Prince town for some lunch, and popped into the new art centre there, which had some lovely things in.

We also walked down to the main gate of the prison, which looks a very bleak place in the cold winter months.

but on a more cheerful note, there was this lovely bank of Rosebay Willowherb, which I think always epitomises high summer. It was a lovely day out, and as we travelled home I had the comforting thought, that we would be going out for a meal, so no cooking for me today!