Winter walking on the moors

As is usual at this time of the year many of the hits on this blog are related to snow on Dartmoor.  There has been very little this year and so far nothing that has been worthwhile photographically speaking.  It looked as though there was a little on the high/northern areas the other day but not much and it has been rather grey for good photography.  This blog relates to a walk ten days ago when the advance forecast looked pretty good.  The night before it had changed to “showers in the afternoon and wintry on high ground” however we decided to try and make the most of it and were out quite early.

Avon reservoir in winter

We walked in to the south east moors from Reddacleave Kiln area and headed north to go around the back of the Avon dam reservoir.  It was cold but sunny and the moors had that wintry feel which I love.  everything seems somewhat muted and we didn’t see another person all the time we were out.

Overlooking Huntingdon warren

We headed up the Western Wella brook towards Huntingdon Warren.  This smallholding provided food for the local tin mine and the warrens would have provided a good supply of meat in the form of rabbits.  The enclosed ground seen above is the main part of the farm – the remains of the buildings are just out of sight to the right of the tree.  Some remain of the workings can be seen down the valley with the tip of the reservoir in the distance on the right.

The

We headed up to the top of the hill behind Huntingdon Warren to the wonderfully named “Heap of sinners” which is a fairly large cairn and decided to stop for an early lunch break.  The above image was our view.  It captures the winter bleakness of the moors quite well for me.  As I am enjoying a little more image manipulation these days I’ve taken quite a bit of the colour out of this really only leaving reduced levels of blue and orange/yellow.  To me that has enhanced that wintry feel a little.

Looking north to Riders hill

Getting to our feet after eating it must have been just about midday…  This was the view in the direction we were heading.  A brief conversation suggested a change of plan was wise but by the time we had put on a layer or two more the rain was with us, it became very cold and we got quite wet in the following half hour.

Rainbow on Pupers

Hitting the main track running down the ridge in the direction of the car we looked back.  Rainbows are seen quite frequently however this one was nicely placed on the top of Pupers and all too often the weather is not the best for using the camera.  The weather bot north and west of us suggested that heading on back to the car would be wise.

Dartmoor rainbow

A few minutes later there was a full rainbow the right hand end of which can be seen here.  Despite the wide angled nature of my lens I couldn’t get the whole rainbow in sadly.  This was the last shot of the day as the next batch of weather hit us immediately after this.  We agreed that the hail that came then was a little painful when it hit!  Overall a good winter walk however also a reminder that even the nice looking days can change quite quickly on Dartmoor.