A sight not seen on Dartmoor for many a year

Discussion in 'Stroll Photography' started by grebeman, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    I've not been active on this forum for some time, however I was stirred into thinking about posting again following a pm from Bart (bartjeej) at the weekend asking how I was. I've recently moved house once again back to a more rural location where amongst other things I've been very occupied contributing to a parish bird survey. I'm concentrating on those area that encompass Dartmoor.

    My days tend to start off with a steep climb from wherever I can park the car. This morning was no exception, my day began at the gate at the bottom of Diamond Lane, a steep and rocky path used in times past by pack ponies bringing such produce as peat, smelted tin or china clay off the moor.

    17264149866_5bdd6e8eed_o.jpg 1110210 by barrie.whitehall, on Flickr

    As can be seen the path is challenging sloping up in places at an angle of 45 degrees

    17082656287_d292dd3c4d_o.jpg 1110211 by barrie.whitehall, on Flickr

    After some three hours of bird surveying my wanderings bought me to Glasscombe Corner where signs of spring are finally appearing as the wind blown beech trees sprout fresh new leaves.

    [​IMG]1110227 by barrie.whitehall, on Flickr

    Imagine my surprise when a few minutes later a team of pack ponies came past me, stepping out of the pages of history

    17102583890_0ce898e57b_o.jpg 1110233 by barrie.whitehall, on Flickr

    Here they are fording the East Glazebrook

    17289642101_f5a244d4df_o.jpg 1110236 by barrie.whitehall, on Flickr

    Sam who was leading them tells me they are in training for what he hopes will be a trekking enterprise where he will lead people over the moor but be able to carry all their equipment by pony. His team isn't quite ready yet. The lead pony has a longer head than the others and is probably an Exmoor, the others are Dartmoor with two of them being pedigree animals. They had noticeably shorter skulls, once it had been pointed out to me.

    17102607540_76561db0a5_o.jpg 1110242 by barrie.whitehall, on Flickr

    After a long chat they begin to wend their way home over the brow of the hill.

    16669923053_664696a361_o.jpg 1110243 by barrie.whitehall, on Flickr

    Bumping into these guys was the highlight of my morning, and what started out as a bird survey trip with the idea of beginning to collect a few photographs to post turned into a story that warranted posting sooner than I had expected.

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  2. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Splendid stuff Barrie
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  3. SnapDawg

    SnapDawg Rorschach Test Pilot

    Apr 18, 2014
    Canary Islands
    Lovely series, Barrie. Keep them coming!
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  4. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    I envy your new 'hood, Barrie. And it's good to see you (and your photos) again.
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  5. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey Super Moderator

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Very cool stuff. Seems like if you put yourself somewhere gorgeous, good things tend to just happen.
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  6. christilou

    christilou Legend

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    These are lovely Barrie :)
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  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Very nice Barrie - good to see your images up here again...

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  8. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    I agree - lovely photos and good to see you Barrie.
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  9. BillN

    BillN Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    I've missed you Barrie ....... as I always need you expert advice

    I can almost feel the "weather" in your images

    Dog looks a big one ...... but on closer inspection is it a greyhound cross or pure greyhound?
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  10. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Bill, he had three dogs, two like the one you can see and a collie. Best I can say is they are dogs. Thankfully they were friendly, well over friendly more like, and they kept quiet. I can handle dogs when they're like that, providing they don't try and eat my binoculars.

  11. bartjeej

    bartjeej Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2010
    Great to see you posting again, Barrie, and what a stroke of luck to see these pack ponies! The plan for the pony trek sounds a lot like the camel trek I did in Mauritania, where the camels carried our gear, and the guide and I walked alongside them. It was a very enjoyable way of experiencing the Sahara, I'm sure the same would be true for Dartmoor.

    Nice series of photos you got, also of your "normal" sights... you really are lucky to be out and about on a daily basis, in such a beautiful area, and with a purpose to boot!
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  12. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Hi Bart, we used ponies during my trekking in the western Himalaya so the sight of them bought back fond memories, as well as illustrating a historical period of the moor.

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  13. SnapDawg

    SnapDawg Rorschach Test Pilot

    Apr 18, 2014
    Canary Islands
    I used to live in the Himalayas for some years and fondly remember the long caravans of packed dzos (yaks) and mules passing in front of the house, especially in the Kali Gandaki valley - all those timeless sights and sounds; the bells, the hoofs on the ground, the whistling and shouting. This has been going on for ages and I miss it a lot.
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  14. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Hi Ken,

    You might find some of these images of interest https://www.photographerslounge.org/threads/6780/
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  15. SnapDawg

    SnapDawg Rorschach Test Pilot

    Apr 18, 2014
    Canary Islands
    A most wonderful set of beautiful images, Barrie, wow - thanks for the hint.
    I've never been to Himachal Pradesh but spent most of those years in the central and eastern Himalayas - I never felt that much at home like I did in those mountains among those wonderful people. Oh well ...
    I still have all the negatives and slides but never scanned any of them. Maybe one day but I'd rather get back and shoot some more ;).
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