THE RAMBLINGS OF A STRUGGLING ARTIST ON LIFE WITH TWO TERRIERS, A PONY WITH ISSUES AND OTHER WILDLIFE AND BIRDS THAT CROSS OUR PATH

6 May 2014

COMBESTONE TOR AND MORE FOALS


What fantastically rain-free weather we've had over the bank holiday weekend. It started raining yesterday evening but that just fed the parched garden. Tourism has been in full swing here so we try and avoid travelling; however, I had to pick some beef up from a farm around 45 minutes drive from here on Saturday and OB and I ventured forth, getting stuck behind many tentative drivers on the way over the moor. When we got there, I was shown the next animal to be slaughtered which was lovely (if you see what I mean). I think it's so important to know your meat is happy and this one definitely was. The best beef I've ever tasted. When we were done, I thought I'd try and take back roads home - big mistake, but I'll get to that in a sec. I turned the wrong way out of the farm track on purpose and we ended up here, at Combestone Tor. I'd never been here before and it was beautiful:







Looking out over the countryside, I decided we'd better go back the way we'd come as we were clearly heading the wrong direction. M had told me a simple route had been within my grasp on the way there, which I hadn't taken. What could be so difficult doing it in reverse? With no map.....and no phone signal. I had to use myinnate sense of direction, which EVENTUALLY got us back to somewhere I recognised, but it took forever. We saw some lovely bits of Dartmoor I've never seen before. Too stressed to get the camera out though!

The dogs and I have got out and about a bit when OB has been with friends, so I have many photos to share......

A Meadow Pipit rising up as a skylark does, singing:


Layers of Fernworthy Forest:


That Grey Wagtail again; still not a great shot......I'll get it eventually:


Dog heaven:


Jack be nimble:


The fresh green of new growth is everywhere:





Today I went a different route from planned to avoid a couple with dogs which paid dividends. I was slightly wrong about there only being the one foal. Here is our first one. Shakespeare's birthday seemed a popular choice for naming so he is Will:  


Never seen this mare before. I spotted them from a mile away as her foal's white tail stuck out like a sore thumb, reminding me of a rabbit's tail. Couldn't tell the sex but it will be Scut:


Fuzzy one - sorry. I couldn't resist the pose:




 
And then I spotted something brown in the grass:    
                                







Looks like a Nib to me. Can I remember these names? Time will tell. Those people with the dogs I mentioned were making a lot of noise up on Kestor. We were walking some way below but the dogs could here their barks:


I started spring cleaning today, taking everything off our big shelves and washing it. A winter's worth of coal dust and wood ash on the upper ones was not pleasant but it's done and looks a lot better for it. It's been such a busy weekend I haven't even finished replying to comments on the last post; I'd better get on and do that now. Hope you all had a great time and that your week is going well. So, until next time, here are those canine athletes.



47 comments:

  1. What a fantastic place to live! So much wild wilderness, it must be like stepping back in time. The Isle of Wight has lovely areas, but you're never too far away from a road.

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    1. That's what I love about it this end of the moor.....no roads in sight!

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  2. It is so great to see what you have been up to and to see the foals, they are adorable, so I can quite see why you love to photograph them. xx

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  3. All lovely and amazing - you are, in one way at least, so lucky.

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    1. And that way makes everything else tolerable.

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  4. Your photos make the moor seem like a place I've been. What is the prevailing scent of Dartmoor at this time of year?
    I have no sense of direction--and I can't 'reverse' the way I drove to a destination and get it right on the way home!

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    1. I wish I could say the coconut of the gorse blooms but it's more the whiff of cow and sheep poo!

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  5. Combestone Tor is gorgeous! One of those times where getting lost was a good thing. The foals are always darling, white tail especially so.

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    1. I can't believe I'd never been to this corner of the moor. SO lovely.

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  6. Wow. Your photographs are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Some great pictures of your beautiful area. Despite the beauty it is also a scary place to get disorientated - I know, I've done it!

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    1. In a heavy mist I even get a bit lost around here where I know it so well. I often see walkers striking out without a care in the world and wondering, as the air ambulance goes over, whether they should have taken a map!

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  8. Such an interesting post and so many wonderful photographs! The dog athletes certainly do live in dog heaven. I love to see them looking so happy and excited.

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    1. I could do with Jack tempering his excitement a bit although he's getting MUCH better with sheep thank goodness. About time!

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  9. Looks like a lucky detour with all that beautiful scenery, Em! That Grey Wagtail is a gorgeous bird - we've just had a White Wagtail turn up on a beach here in Queensland and it's a big deal for birdwatchers, as it's a very rare vagrant. The foals are cute too - very gangly proportions and big eyes!

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    1. Your White Wagtails look like our Pied ones, having just Googled them! Here they hang around motorway service stations a lot!

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  10. Glad to see that you have been able to enjoy the wonderful Bank Holiday weather this year Em, the pictures of Dartmoor and the Tors are so beautiful. Lovely to see the ponies as well, especially the adorable foals, though my favourite photo has to be the horse grazing in the paddock, the greenness of the grass, the shadows and the light are just wonderful :-)

    All the best and kindest regards :-)

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    1. That one of Trigger in his paddock was taken at about 7.30am on a glorious morning. I live just sitting up there waiting for the Fieldfares who haven't appeared this year in the numbers they did last year. Such a shame.....perhaps nest spring.

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  11. What fabulous photos. I especially love the white tailed foal.
    We've had great Bank Holiday weather here on the N Kent Coast also ... back to cold and grey today though

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    1. Sunshine and showers here Sue. Showers every time I go out!

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  12. Lovely photos - I really like the first ones of the new Tor you have discovered (just wonderful). The foals are just adorable :)

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    1. OB really enjoyed the climbing after the lengthy car journey. Me too actually!

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  13. Every time I look at the photos on your blog Em, I want to come and live on Dartmoor.

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    1. It is heavenly. The bungalow up here has just come on the market if you're interested!

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  14. It's lovely to see those new foals. Love Scut, what an appropriate name :-)

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    1. There are many better pictures in other posts John. I love them. Our Cuckoo generally picke one as it's surrogate parents poor things.

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  16. I'm back - did you miss me?! Great photos and I love the new crop of almost-skewbald foals - that white tail being the only nod to coloured ancestry is great! I've never seen that before, with a solid-coloured coat.

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    1. Definitely missed you. Yes - aren't they gorgeous? Also, so much easier to identify. Tornado is the only one from last year that I can recognise.

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  17. I love the white tailed filly. Hopefully she will have a place on the moor for the rest of her life?

    I haven`t seen one foal in the New Forest yet. They are limiting the numbers of stallions and those are out for a much shorter time. There seems to be little market for native youngsters at present.

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    1. So sad isn't it? I wish I'd gone for a native pony rather than Trigger. I was seduced by the fact that he looked like a smaller version of my horse who had just died!

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  18. You and OB got to see some lovely sight that day. All delightful photos, always love to see them. Thanks Em!

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  19. Loving the shots of the moors and tors :-) x

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  20. oh my goodness, such a beautiful area! love the sheep and horses, too! your pups are happy. love that!

    thanks for coming over, today! really nice to meet you!

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    1. You too and I must do the Fence thing one day!

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  21. You have taken some cracking photos Em. It's lovely to end up somewhere new and unusual, even if getting home was a trial. Love the foals.

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  22. What bliss and what fun the dogs are having.
    Yes, Buster gets 4 walks but not very thrilling ones!
    Loved the photos of the foals.

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    1. If you ever come on holiday with him here......

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  23. Grey Wagtail! Beautiful pic and bird!

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    1. Could do better. Where has your little picture gone I wonder. You appear to be a grey stop sign now!

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