Searching

Moorland is underrated. Moorland has the best skies and moorland is a place to reflect. Each moorland area has it's own identity, just as every mountain does. Each has it's own smell, it's own flora and it's own rocks. Each has it's own individual style. I like moorland and I like particularly Dartmoor. Dartmoor is exactly what a moor should be; a wilderness, a place of pagan values and inspiration. To some, the Moor is featureless and bleak. There are others, like me, who see something else there. A wild camp on Dartmoor is an experience to savour. Conan-Doyle has much to answer for, Dartmoor is no haunt of hounds from hell, although there may be (is) the occasional large cat to spice things up a little. Neither is the Moor a place to be feared by well-equipped and competent walkers. In fact, Dartmoor is more user-friendly than some other English moorland areas. There are features and signs of human activity all around and I have never found navigation a problem. The weather can be very fickle and this is what catches out the inexperienced and unwary. When the sky is leaden and the rain and sleet are being driven by a cold easterly wind, Dartmoor takes on a different guise and is not to be taken lightly. I have been on the moor in June and have been caught in a snowstorm, in 1996. On other days when the sun is warm, the curlews are calling and the meadow pipits are singing, Dartmoor is the finest place. The shot above is of Hookney Tor, not too far from Grimspound. It was a Tor that I came across whilst out walking and had not planned to photograph it. There was something quite compelling about the solitary isolation of the Tor standing sentinel-like as the moor stretches out beyond. It is the solitary isolation that I enjoy which draws me back to Dartmoor. Time on Dartmoor is time spent well, unless letterboxing turns you on. Dartmoor deserves better than that, there are more important things to be found. Searching within oneself is the first part.
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