Vernal Orchids

High on a headland of Devon’s red cliffs, you’ll find an area of grassland that’s being managed for the green winged orchids, Anacamptis morio. If you visit from April to late May you can dance through a hazy carpet of them.

They range in colour from white to the deepest purple and are a real sight for sore eyes, I hope that Paula thinks so too! Note to self, take a camera.

A Forest walk

Ashclyst Forest is National Trust land on the Killerton estate a few miles east of Exeter. There are walks from 30 minutes, suitable for buggies, and various lengths up to about four hours.

I hadn’t been there for several years, but have many times in the past so I knew my way around. Just as well, the waymarked trails were totally confusing because paint had faded on posts and some signs pointed in more than one direction.

A wood is a wood perhaps, but we started off this way.


We’re well into spring now, everywhere is fresh and green.

I’m fairly sure these are different varieties of spurge

I’m a big fan of lichen and mosses.

Every so often there are glimpses through the hedge, under the shade of young leaves, to freshly ploughed fields.

At the lowest reaches of the woods, the distant sound of machinery could be heard, one of the culprits appeared eventually.

I’m usually driving some impossibly narrow lane when I see a tractor working, so this was a real treat for me, I even got a wave from what looked like father and young son.

There were wildflowers a plenty.

Even a baby dragon.

For those of you who like a bit of decay, last years beauty hasn’t quite faded away.

And still the views keep coming.

We’ve only walked a couple of miles, but with eyes wide open and camera ready, so it took nearly two hours.

The dogs can remember this as a mud wallow and were a bit put out, but no worries we’d brought plenty of water for them!

Now, the path is beginning to look a bit more civilised, I wonder what’s through the gate.

A fairy tale cottage, painted in regulation Killerton colour, what a lovely place to live.

Another fifteen minutes and our pootling walk was over. There are no facilities in Ashclyst, but Killerton House is a ten minute drive, combined with the woods it’s a lovely way to spend a day.

I’m walking with Jo for the first time in ages, are you?

 

 

 

Black and White Sunday, Countryside

The Otter estuary in the East Devon AONB has long been a favourite place of mine. If you park at Budleigh Salterton you can walk along the river up to Otterton, grab a pub lunch, visit a gallery and mill, then walk back down again. The last time I was there, I was too ill to walk very far at all, just far enough to snap a couple of photos.

The clouds performed rather well for a monochrome image, so I hope Paula will like it.

Teignmouth Pier

The Grand Pier at Teignmouth was built in 1865, is 696 feet long and is one of only 50 remaining in the UK. It has all the usual rides and slot machines that you would expect in a traditional seaside attraction, and is a lovely place for a promenade to breathe in the healthy sea air.

tei1 Spot the rainbow! These pics were all taken within half an hour on a winter afternoon five years ago.

tei2Look how the sky changed in such a short time.

tei3But that isn’t why I’ve chosen these photos.

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How has this splindly structure stood firm for 150 years? Against all the odds I’d say.In 2014, Teignmouth’s pier was badly damaged by winter storms, and  much of it’s floor was washed away. After five months and hundreds of thousands of pounds it re-opened and will no doubt thrill many more people in the years to come.

 

Wild dream ponies

I’ve always loved this out of focus photo of Dartmoor ponies and I’ve posted it here before in black and white, but that was years ago.

img_3531aWhen I went hunting for it for Paula’s Thursday challenge, I found two more taken a few days earlier, it was a good year for ponies at Scorhill.

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All I remember about those days was wind and my cagoule blowing around, it’s rather exposed up there and I used a long exposure!

Sidmouth in a different light

There was a bit of a chill in the air in Sidmouth yesterday, and  taking photos with gloves on isn’t the easiest way. But I parked and went east, barely looking towards the sea until I got to the cliff.

This area calls itself the beginning of our Jurassic coast, but the stone is in fact even earlier, Triassic sandstone, and a mile or so further east, the cliff changes to chalk, towards Beer on the horizon. I was looking to see if there has been any further erosion.

Then I turned back towards the west and the low winter sun.

I was immediately stuck by the pink line that looked like a sand bar. It isn’t, just the sun sliding through low clouds.

I walked the length of the seafront, mesmerised.

The sky became increasingly dramatic.

I snapped away happily and stared, probably with my mouth open.

The view was lovely right to the end of the path. My hands were frozen by then, so I found shelter, and tomato and paprika soup in my favourite sea front café, Mocha. I even got the best seat, in the corner with a high stool by the window.

I didn’t edit these photos, except to make them smaller, and they don’t quite show the vibrant colours, so I’ll have to leave it to your imagination.

 

A Medieval Fayre and a Good Yarn

As many of you know, I’m a crafter and get to attend all sorts of fairs and events around Devon, One of my favourites takes place on the Saturday closest to Michaelmas, every September.

It’s Colyford Goose Fayre of course, and several thousand people visit, many dressed in Medieval costume. There’s an opening parade through the village, where everyone follows the mayor into Springfields.

ladies

Morris Dance is a must.

morrisStalls of all kinds with treats to buy.

I really wanted a besom, and not to sweep up with.

There are things to entertain the whole family, quintain, greasy pole, apple pressing, thatching displays and archery.

All kinds of foods are on offer, I can’t imagine how they got the pizza oven in place. As always the ram roast was a great success, but not for me. I planned to have some pancakes but left it too late and they were sold out, so I sulked and tried a chocolate brownie which was way too sugary and not chocolatey enough for my discerning palate, hey ho, such is life.

The stars of the fayre for me by far were these two guys.

storytellersThey have mischief written all over their faces!

This guy and his bouzouki accompany the storyteller.

And this is Dave, from Rattlebox. I only got to listen to one of his stories, the Boggart, but it was wonderfully told and I was hooked from the beginning. Hooray for Colyford Goose Fayre, it was a lovely day out!

 

 

Traces of the past

It’s Traces of the Past at Paula’s black and white Sunday this week, so I thought I’d bring this old weaving loom. I believe it’s from the early 1960’s.
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It can be seen at Coldharbour Mill, in Devon.

The Weavers Song
The loom goes click and the loom goes clack
The shuttle flies forward and the shuttle flies back
The weaver’s so bent that he’s like to crack
Such a wearisome trade is the weaver’s

Now that it’s made into cloth at last
The ends of work they all make quite fast
The weaver’s labours for now have passed
Such a wearisome trade is the weavers.

Anon, circa the Industrial Revolution.