Black and White Sunday

It’s Paula’s After Before week, she asks that we post the same image, in black and white and in colour. It’s a good way to see what works in monochrome, especially if like me, you don’t think of trying it.

Here’s my after, it’s not quite the usual reflection, the window had a stick on mirror so that the people inside could see out, but you can’t see in.

And before,

Any preference? Paula has a beautiful Corsican sea scene, take a look here.

Traces of the past

Over to the west of Dartmoor a thatched cottage is growing out of the earth, or perhaps it’s sliding into the earth. Built in the 17th century this curved house has a passage through the middle, which might have been a division between house and livestock originally. It was the old post office for a period, and although it looks abandoned, there are also signs of work being done and the thatch seems to be in good condition. I hope it’s restored to it’s former glory, that would cost an awful lot of money.

Paula’s Thursday Special this week is traces of the past.

Views of Dartmouth

One of this year’s birthday trips was a day at Dartmouth. We began with a hot chocolate and cinnamon toast at Alf’resco, then meandered gently along the narrow streets.

stopping to see the Lower Ferry,

and enjoy the view to Kingswear, via a very pretty garden, then on along the waterfront.

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The next stop is at Bayard’s Cove Fort, a single storey artillery fort built in the 1530’s as an extra defence against any invaders making it past the castle.

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The path climbs a little now, but that means nice views.

over on the bend

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Around the creek we continue towards the castle, which I think I showed you a few weeks ago.

I’ve never been inside, but I did get told off for peeping around the door in the picture below, it’s English Heritage and a man thought I was trying to sneak in without paying.
But we were hot and in need of ice cream, not dungeons! No photos I’m afraid, but mine was toffee fudge. We retraced our steps to summon the little ferry, turning the board around so that the ferryman could see he had passengers from the other side of the river.I rarely go on a boat, so it’s always a delight to see the view from one.

Lot’s of interesting and very expensive properties on both sides.

and there’s Bayard’s Cove Fort again.

Nearly back to town. Just ten minutes or so on the water, and it feels like a different world.

They’re still crabbing, I’d be a bit nervous if my child was sitting there. We’ve missed lunch, so we stroll towards the little harbour to see what we can find. No lunch, just a pasty and some new sunglasses for me!

It takes less than an hour to walk from the town to the castle, even taking lots of photos and view stops. Even though it’s short, I know that Jo will like it, for the boats if nothing else. She likes to walk on Mondays, or with her lovely daughter, last week they went to Rufford Abbey near Nottingham

 

Thursdays Special

Paula over at Lost in Translation has asked us to post photos of the same scene in landscape and portrait format. I often forget that I have a choice, and landscape is jut there isn’t it? I hope this challenge will make me thing more often about how totally different an image can be, just with a turn of the camera.

Any thoughts or preferences?

 

Vigilant, a Thursday Special

Vigilant : Alertly watchful especially to void danger, Merriam Webster.

Paula’s Thursday Special for the first week of June is ‘pick a word’, I’m choosing vigilant, from her list of five.

The river Dart, strangely enough, runs into the sea at Dartmouth. At the estuary stands the 600 year old castle, one the loveliest settings anywhere for a fortress.

Gun tower

The gun tower was one of the first of it’s kind in the country and has been standing vigilant for nearly as long as the castle has existed.

You can walk out to the castle, along a path with beautiful views, or you can go by ferry. I’ve done both, most recently last week, when I walked out and returned by boat. When you arrive at the jetty, there’s a board that you turn around, the ferryman sees it from way across the river and makes his way across to take you back to town. A perfect way of spending £2.50 on a sunny day.

 

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?