Sunday 28 March 2010

A Downhill Walk

Black Mountain, with the flat-topped twin peaks of Pen-y-Fan behind it . . .

I got my husband to drop me off at the toppety-top of the hill going towards Brechfa this afternoon, having been tempted out by the warmer temperatures. It was about 2 miles home and I took my time as I had my camera with me and kept stopping to look at the view, listen to birdsong, gaze at the mountains, take in the view, and gaze at the mountains some more, and in between all this, look at what leaves of wild flowers were starting to poke through the winter debris.

I have to confess I could have just sat down on a damp bank and gazed at the mountains for quite a while. There were a pair of Red Kites kii-ing to each other overhead and a robin carolling to me from a Hazel thicket, and then, joy, I heard the first Skylark of the year, way out of sight above me, throwing its song to the breeze. The hedgerows were sprinkled with Dogs Mercury, and Primroses, and just one or two Windflowers to keep the Celendines company. This higher land bids spring come slower, holding onto cooler temperatures and basted by today's cold wind. As the lane dropped towards home it became noticably warmer, especially when the high banks reached above my head and cut out the wind.

Walking into the view . . .

I could still see the mountains from lower down, and wanted to be up by Black Mountain today.

Hawthorn silhouetted against the sky.

Looking along the valley, where the little farms punctuate every few fields.

Red Kite.

Another Robin bounced along the hedgerow in front of me. Whilst the Primroses and Celendines are late, the Windflowers, though few in number yet, are on time. A quarrel of Blue Tits shot straight up into the air from a hedge, feet and wings flailing as they had their argument. As I dropped lower, the overgrown thickets edging the grazing of the nutty hippy neighbour we try and avoid, gave cover to what I am certain was a Chiff-Chaff. I know their song, but this seems to have arrived early? (Just checked on Wild About Britain and perhaps not so early after all). There was another - probably migrant - birdsong, but I haven't identified it yet and the memory of it is fading already.

You can just see, on the dead bit of bramble in the centre of the picture, what I took to be a moth, but it had the shortest stubbiest wings and a big fat body. Hmmm, need to go away and do some research I think.


I have lived here a good many years now - 22 in fact - I try not to take the scenery for granted, and never tire of looking at the distant Brecon Beacons - but I have to confess, my yearning for Dartmoor grows with each passing day. I cannot wait until we can go house-hunting.


  1. This is just beautiful; your description and all those photos. Calmed me down, which I need right now. And where in Dartmoor do you favour? It has so many differing personalities I think.

  2. Sounds like a lovely walk, I feel I almost walked it with you.

  3. Love walking down hill, always tell my husband I don't "hill", that I'm a bog lady, so I loved your down hill walk.

  4. WSC - We love it around Postbridge, but to be honest, any bit of Dartmoor would do, as it all feels like home. My ancestors came from Hennock/Moretonhampstead and possibly Cheriton Bishop, on one side, and the South Hams on the other.

    Goosey and Mac n'Janet - glad you enjoyed the walk with me. I chose the right day as it's rained from start to finish today.

  5. What amazing skies over the mountains. No wonder you had to keep stopping to admire the view.

  6. I love a downhill walk most of all. Thank you so much for sharing. The pics were beautiful...almost felt like I was there.

  7. Aaah, such beautiful words and pictures. Truly poetic and I have a feeling that you were a tad inspired :)

    Our weather has turned back to October's rain and gales, yuk!