Beside the Grand Western

Yesterday was a gorgeous day, it was lovely to be able to take the dogs for a walk without getting wet or frozen. So the canal at Tiverton called and we answered.

We decided against walking from the basin near the town, there are far fewer people just a couple of miles towards Halberton, where there’s a free car park. From there you’re right into countryside.

After just a hundred metres or so we came across these barges, despite looking a bit dilapidated, they seemed to have some function still, the second had a motor attached.

To the right of the towpath, the fields stretched away to the horizon, in various states of readiness. The remains of winter crops of sprouts, and a dark purple brassica lie in neat rows. Fresh young grass that had survived the recent snows, beside still naked land that may have tiny life budding through the red soil. I liked the zigzags and the red machine waiting to perform its magic.

Back to the path and a troop of school army cadets pounded towards us, neither walking or running and very humourless. Perhaps they’d been reprimanded.
Across the water the still bare trees created some nice reflections. George jumped in because he saw a duck, his first time in water other than the sea or a bath, Flora gave him a good telling off.

This duck and its reflection seemed to have his head on backwards, you should be able to click for a bigger view.
There a few very colourful minutes when a barge came along.

Complete with quivering reflections.

This young lass would have blended in nicely as a passenger.

The hedgerow provided lots of interest

This beginning of a laid hedge has a long way to go.

Can you see the sheep at the top of the field? they’ve designed their own camouflage gear.

In the distance stands the tower of Halberton church. This part of the walk forms an elbow shape, and I hadn’t realised how close we are to the village when we set off.
Some battered reeds make an interesting natural sculpture.

We didn’t walk very far, just a couple of miles. Flora had been to the vet on Saturday and had had a 24 hour fast,so that was far enough. For every mile I walk the dogs probably run three.

They were both fine and very hungry when we got home and then slept very well.

Even though they’re looking away from the camera, I love this photo, the first good one I’ve taken of them. usually they don’t keep still but this time they were entranced.

Jo, I tried to do this last night but needed an early night, so I missed your Monday Walk post, this would have been my first for a long time! She’s in Jerez this week, and she’s responsible for me adding to my bucket list. Have a look, it’s fabulous.

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Being Here Now

Oh, to be in England
Now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England – now!

Robert Browning

There’s still two weeks to go to April, and its’snowing heavily today. I’ve just got in from a dog walk, chilled and damp, so I’ll happily laze the afternoon away. I have two books and some crochet on the go, I made orange polenta cake yesterday and I could even try to finish the poem I began.

You all know I love to travel, to anywhere hot, but there’s something very wonderful about England in spring. This snow should be gone by tomorrow and I live in the loveliest place on our planet, have a look, click to see a slide show, maybe you’ll agree.

So I’m thinking about this year’s holidays, because I crave experiencing different cultures, but right now there’s nowhere I’d rather be, but right where I am.

An obelisk scene

Paula is showing us two variations on a scene, a lovely little waterfall where she’s used a slow shutter speed to create smooth water. Both images are beautiful and I couldn’t chose between them.

I’m not quite sure if this is what Paula’s looking for in her Thursday Special, but here are three shot of the obelisk at Mamhead. It’s high above the Exe estuary, but the weather was dire when I was there recently, so no nice view that day.

Here it is from the path
I wonder what’s at the top
Ah okay, a shiny thing

you can join Paula, she’d love to see you!

Winter Growth

It’s taken me a while to decide what to post for last Wednesday’s photo challenge, I kept hoping I’d have an idea of something that wasn’t predictable. Now I’m fast running out of time and nothing unusual has sprung to mind, so here are my offerings.

These pictures were taken in early February a few years ago, as you know by now, in winter I’m always looking for signs of new growth and spring to arrive. Are you joining the challenge this week?

Ascending Houndtor

One of my favourite of the well known spots on Dartmoor is Hound Tor. The area is surrounded with legends and history, and it’s believed to have inspired Conan Doyle’s ‘Hounds of the Baskervilles’.

I’s a steady ascent from the small parking area and the view is wonderful.

If you have the energy, once you reach the top, you can drop down the other side to the ruins of a medieval village where you’ll be surrounded by ghosts from the past.

This is my entry for the weekly photo challenge of Ascend.

Serene Devon

If your world is anything like mine, then at this time of the year you may feel ready to flop beside the tv, or relax with a good book. If your world is anything like mine, there’s a good chance that isn’t going to happen!

So how then can we find some tranquility? Well how about enjoying the serene Devon countryside?

Green pastures east of Exeter, for this weeks photo challenge, serene.