Springtime on Dartmoor
Dartmoor is wonderful in spring
There is so much to enjoy, whether you like an energetic walk off the beaten track, sitting eating your sandwiches and watching the wildlife, trying to photograph the shadows of the clouds float across the moors, exploring the ancient ruins, or just playing hide and seek with the kids. See this great resource of walking routes, free to download.
Last week we took a walk along the side of Burrator reservoir, up to Sheepstor where we had a stunning view as the Sunshine and cloud revealed areas of bleached long grass alternating with vivid green areas of fresh growth and woodland, all criss-crossed by stone walls and punctuated by granite tors crowning the hills.
Then we climbed down, along steams and ancient ruins, skirting woods and along the shoreline of the reservoir. The primroses have mostly disappeared now from the verges and under the trees, to be replaced by Bluebells, pink Campion and white stitchwort. In the woods, the white flowers of wild garlic (Ramsons) are beginning to open, and the air becomes pretty laden with the onion aroma (try cooking some free food – see my daughter’s blog on Wild Garlic)
We seemed to come across lambs (still at the cute stage) around every corner, then found a group of ponies with some foals barely a few days old (see above). The mares kept their cure new offspring at a discrete distance, but didn’t seem too concerned about our presence. While we were watching the foals, two male ponies decided they wanted some attention and started kicking at each other, rearing up like some mighty stallions – most unlike most Dartmoor ponies who do little more than chew!
Best of all, I heard a cuckoo for the first time in many years!
Summer is just around the corner
(all photos courtesy of our friend Oliver Noakes – see his Gallery here)
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