It’s been a while since my last post. After spending the best part of a month in France and one thing or another, I’ve not managed to get out walking as much as I would like. Although I have been spending time out on the Moor it’s been more about enjoying the scenery and contemplating life rather than walking. I’ve also been experiencing problems with my walking boots; I have quite wide feet and the last few walks I had experienced some real pain… time to find something else I think!
After returning from France I was really looking forward to Dartmoor in late Summer / Early Autumn and one of the really big changes is the heather. I can remember the first time that I saw the heather was driving past the Warren House Inn out past Postbridge. The entire hillside of Headland Warren was bright purple, it was stunning. Although it’s still a little early, I decided to venture out with my camera and see what I could find up on the NE Moor.
Knowing that there were definitely large swathes of heather out past Postbridge I went exploring around Headland Warren and found myself on the little single track road that leads from B3212 to Ponsworthy and down past Grimspound. As the sun broke through the cloud, the Moor started to show its purple hues, although not as vivid or widespread as I’ve seen before purely because it’s still a little early.
As I carried on down the road I came across a large collection of Bee Hives just off to one side. After a little digging I found out that they belong to Buckfast Abbey who have deployed several ‘Bee Stations’ across the Moor. The honey from these apiaries is sold at the Abbey and is also used in the making of mead. Because of the location of these hives I am guessing that the honey is going to be heavily favoured by the heather.
After taking some photos I headed back to the B3212 and discovered a little heard of highland cattle enjoying some grass close to the road. It never fails to make me smile when I see highlanders on Dartmoor. My father-in-law had a heard up in the Scottish Highlands for several years that I was lucky enough to have plenty of contact with; they have always been an animal I am extremely fond of. Their numbers have grown on Dartmoor over the last 15 years or so as they are so well suited to the terrain and climate of the Moor. Their thick skin and double coats make them pretty impervious to everything the Moor can throw at them. Generally they have such lovely temperaments and these guys were quite happy with me sticking a camera in their faces for a few minutes with the two youngsters in particular interested in what I was up to. Although the cows would rarely use their horns aggressively (although care should always be taken if they have young), you just need to be aware of them, as even the smallest shake of the head could easily result in an injury.