Sunday, August 14, 2011

east dartmoor walk

A good walk out on the east of Dartmoor to see if I can locate the other stone circle in the area. To the south is the more famous Scorhill (pronounced skoh-rull) stone circle which is easy to get to by walking from Gidleigh and which is popular both with walkers and photographers, and it is a beauty. I get off the bus at South Zeal and walk south a few miles down the lane avoiding the massive shape of Cosdon Hill which at 550 metres I don't need to be walking up today and then out onto the moor by following a lane made up of large stones, up over a hill and tor and down the other side heading westwards.

It is very difficult to locate anything out here as the landscape is so vast and empty that there isn't much in the way of landmark to orient yourself to. Finding a small stone circle in a landscape that is liberally covered in rocks turns out to be more of a challenge than I expected and I miss the circle completely on the way down. Realising that I had probably missed it I decide to work my way back up the hill again to see if I can see it on the way back, and there, just at the point of my giving up finding it, it appears, a low collection of stones arranged as a circle in exactly the same place as they were set about 4000 years ago.

Dartmoor is an odd and empty place and although very green is as close to a desert landscape as we get around here. Lots of sky, lots of grass and then the occasional sheep, cattle and dartmoor pony, but very little else. Easy to get lonely in this emptiness as you are made very much aware of your own insignificance, not only in space but in time as well. All afternoon and to the east I have been observing a large dark cloud shifting and spinning, building itself up to a large raincloud. It promises rain but as so often lately, it doesn't deliver.


Anonymous said...

horsetail and willow
indigo seams
yellow paved wishes
woven in dreams
meadows of tranquil
gardens of mind
pastures of living
union does shine
a rose of the summer
warm lifted breeze
travel the skys
in actions of bees
momently forming
in beautiful blue
spiraling inwards
and upwards and true


john said...

Hi Neil. Thanks for your lovely poem, it is very much appreciated. Hope all good where you are. john

reem said...

I like your writting about Dartmoor dear friend John, i think the beauty of this place is that nice feeling to be free with blue sky and wide green ground ,and you've got long walk to locate these old stones but i guess you've enjoyed your time.

I hated to hear thus bad news about London it's great city and it's bad for me to hear that just as Damascus ,because these are old cities and full of history you can read it through their roads ,houses,buildings,even through some people ,i hope peacefull situation for all of us ,the world is burning and no one knows the end,i think Devon is quiet well as my town,is it ?

Well i'm lazy these days to paint also i didn't have fast web server to post my paintings ,sometimes you have double live ,one in your homeland and one in another country ,now i should to wait afew days to post some drawings .

Now i hope all the best for you and quiet days in your country,have good time my friend.

nobody said...

Hullo John,

In pondering your difficulties with the featureless landscape, I wondered - are there no telephone towers there? You know, the ones they use for mobile phones that are on top of every other city building. Was there not even one?

If the moors had a few of those then you could kill two birds with one stone. You could: a) orient yourself and more easily find your 4000 year old stone circle and, b) then send tweets to all your friends saying it's just a bunch of rocks and what's the big deal? Then you put your headphones on and go back to playing your nintendo. This in a world where we all aspire to be teenagers, you understand.

Speaking of which, I just came back from my mate Ledge's place in the country - no television, mobiles, or internet there. Subsequently we were forced to spend hours watching a Rock Warbler build its nest. Keen as we are to more precisely resemble teenagers we pondered what we should do in response and decided 'sulking' was probably the correct answer.

Anyway it was brilliant and we watched the busy little warbler for days, sulking all the while.

ciao John

john said...

Choukran Reem وآمل كل شيء على ما يرام حيث كنت

There is a sense of freedom on dartmoor where there seems to be just sky and grass and I always ery much enjoy my walks there. The distant hills do beckon the walker and there is a strong feeling of wanting to go further in. Hopefully I will be able to when I get the time.

Yes there is plenty of bad news from London as well as other cities around the country but London did seem to get the worst of it. As in many other places there does appear a dissatisfaction with current conditions and there is much inequality. 'the world is burning and no one knows the end' is a very accurate summing up Reem. Devon is very quiet which is good.

I very much look forward to seeing your drawings Reem. I haven't been drawing much for a long time, it would be nice to do some again. If it nags me enough I will get some done, my creative time has been used learning new guitar tunes.

All the best to Reem. I hope all is well and quiet where you are and many thanks for your comments and friendship.

john said...

Hi nobody. There are no mobile phone masts that I know about on Dartmoor though there is a very tall radio transmission tower at North Hessary tor which would be quite a walk. Personally I have always enjoyed industrial architecture. Dartmoor is about 368 square miles and structures of any sort are few and far between though there is the odd small hut here and there if you can find them.

I am glad you managed to get out to do some birdwatching nobody, very good to get away from the hum of electricity for some of the other stuff. The Rockwarbler almost looks a bit like our Robin. There doesn't seem to be a large habitat for Rockwarblers. Are they quite difficult to locate?

Our Robins here are garden birds and as such are some of the most sociable with humans and they will get very close to have a natter. I had a blackbird here who got so friendly he would hop in the back door to shout at me for food. I like my birds and animals to be wild but you start feeding them and one thing leads to another and the next thing you know your going round their place for dinner and allsorts.

reem said...

It's nice to read some arabic words from you Joun،actually i smiled when i saw that and i was glade too, thanks .

I think you have many beautifull areas in your country to paint ،also you are free to go and draw what do you want ،i asked you onetime to see your paintings and i'm still exciting to see them,of cours if you want .

I didn't paint much lately ،just few days and i'll be in UAE and i'll post my paintings ،hope to like them, all the best for you.

john said...

Cheers Reem and many thanks.

I might put some of my old drawings up at some point as I don't have much new work.

I have help for the translation from google translate, I hope it makes some sense. The arabic script is so beautiful, such lovely shapes that are always a pleasure to see even if I cannot read them. I do not know much arabic but it would be nice to learn some. Maybe one day I will be able to visit the countries to the far south of here, I would very much like to.

I hope عيد الفطر is a good time for you and the people of your country and all the Islamic countries and I wish them all peace.

cheers for now Reem and all the best to you