Dartmoor sheep

I was returning to the car from a couple of hours in Wistman’s Wood. It was an incredible place, one of only three remote high-altitude oak woods left on Dartmoor, but walking was almost impossible. The trees were small and twisted, so it was necessary to keep ducking under moss-covered branches. However, beneath the trees was an assortment of boulders in varying sizes. It is believed that these have kept the local sheep from grazing the area and why the trees have continued to flourish. There seemed to be two or three paths leading into the woods, but they fizzled out within a few yards. If there was an easier route inside, I never found it and my legs quickly tired from standing not only on a slope, but on very uneven surfaces.

For some reason my screen protector decided it didn’t want to remain in place. It had been there ever since I started using the A700 a few years earlier. Now it had fallen off twice within ten minutes and I was tired of rummaging around under the rocks to find it again. It seemed to be a good time to pack up and leave and although I was sad to walk away from the beautiful little trees, the weather had been far from ideal. They needed to be photographed in the early morning or late evening, perhaps with a slight mist, but all I had was clear blue sky and sunshine. I’d done my best though and it was time to go.

The path back to the car was just over a mile long, but it was mostly level and it felt good to give my legs a stretch after being cramped for so long. I intended to have a late lunch in the stunning Two Bridges hotel, even though I had a rotten cold with a sore throat. It seemed a shame that the one chance of a really decent meal while I was away had been ruined because I had lost my appetite. At least it would be nice to sit down and perhaps look for the famous pub cat!

Just as I could see the building way off in the distance, a couple of sheep crossed my path and ran up a nearby hill. Standing on a rocky outcrop to my left, I wondered if they would stay long enough for me to unpack the camera. They did, but I don’t have a long zoom and they were still too far away. I crept closer, trying to find the easiest path through the sheep droppings and gorse bushes. Eventually I got close enough to try again and the result can be seen as the featured image at the top. I like the angle of view, with the cloudy sky over the top of the hill. I could have done with those clouds while I was still in the woods, but at least the weather was playing ball now.

A few minutes later and I was settled in the pub, waiting for a delicious lunch that sadly I didn’t enjoy. The pub cat put in a brief appearance too.

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