Tag Archives: England

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Wistman’s Wood

It is believed that Dartmoor was almost completely covered in forest thousands of years ago, but it was gradually chopped down and used by the people living there at that time. Nowadays there are evergreen plantations and just a few natural woods remain, Wistmans Wood for one. It is a small, remote wood, just eight acres at a height of 1300 feet above sea leve,l with mostly oak trees, stunted by the poor soil and altitude. The surrounding area is open moorland, grazed by sheep, cattle and ponies. Without the clitter, fallen from the tors further up the hillside, the grazing animals would have put paid to Wistmans long ago. As it is, the clitter makes it impossible for them to gain foothold there.
Wistmans is one of many Dartmoor sites that is shrouded in myth and legend. Its name derives from Saxon wissen, to know, so Wissman’s or Wistman’s Wood, means wisemans wood and refers to the Druids and their sacred grove. You may indeed encounter the ghosts of druids past, if you dare to visit in the dark of the night. Far worse might be an encounter with the devil and his pack of fearful wisht hounds, Wistmans may be where he keeps them.
Rumour has it that adders lurk between every boulder, ready to strike if you dare clamber over, to find a path through the wood. What’s more likely to happen is that you will slip on damp moss and break an ankle, or worse, between these ancient granite rocks.
So brave traveller is you visit, listen for baying hounds, keep your eyes out for serpents, be careful what you turn your back on, and most of all if there’s a red flag flying stay away – the military have a firing area nearby and you don’t want to get shot!

Scarce hoarier seems the ancient Wood
Whose shivered trunks of age declare
What scath of tempests they have stood
In the rock’s crevice rooted there;
Yet still young foliage, fresh and fair,
Springs forth each mossy bough to dress,
And bid e’en Dartmoor’s valleys share
A Forest-wilderness”.
Sophie Dixon -1829.

Photos that talk to each other

 
 
Dialogue is an engaging conversational exchange.

When it comes to photography, dialogue can be perceived as a consensual interaction between two images.

Placed next to each other, each photograph opens up to meanings that weren’t there when viewed alone.

Each composition reveals the photographer’s specific sensitivity to certain content or visual elements.

Says Frederic Biver, an architect and photographer who has created this weeks photo challenge, over at the Daily Post. He has shown  some excellent examples of how to interpret this really difficult challenge. But maybe it isn’t difficult for you?

Here is my attempt. If you have these in your house,

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then there’s a good chance your family will be mentioned here.
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If you can demonstrate a dialogue between images go to http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/dialogue/

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An English Market Town

Do you have towns that you regularly drive by and just don’t get round to stopping? I have several, and on Saturday I did get round to this one! Bridport, in Dorset (my second favourite county) is just 40 miles from home. I bypass it nearly every month on the drive to see my daughter, often wondering what it’s like. This time I got to visit because my friend and I had a table at a craft fair there, for the first time.
Bridport is known for its thriving arts and hosts the prestigious Bridport Prize for writing each year, I’d like to be good and brave enough to enter one day. The craft fair took place in the Arts Centre, where Dee, the manager fell for my hand made cards, thanks Dee :-)
Saturday is market day and this particular one was also the annual carnival, so the little town was positively bursting at the seams, buzzing and vibrant, with tourists mingling with locals and market traders.
I love markets and dashed around like a headless chicken, wanting to buy, see as much as possible and soak up the atmosphere. All the time I was aware that my friend was on her own and possibly busy while I went walkabout, snapping away with my phone camera and wishing I had my big girls Canon. Never mind, here are some of the things I saw.

I managed to resist buying anything! The book stall was most tempting – of course, but I’ve forbidden myself from buying any more until I’ve reduced my unread pile. And stuff? well I mustn’t take anything home unless I’m prepared to take something to the charity shop. What I did get though was bread, glorious locally made with green olives, sun dried tomatoes and cheese and the most heavenly texture. I wish I’d bought more. I won’t be bypassing Bridport on a Saturday again.
Hope you enjoyed my visit!

Sidmouth’s 60th Folk Festival . . .

. . . was last week, and I spent two evenings there enjoying the street entertainment and the lovely relaxed atmosphere.
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As always there were lots of crazy characters around.


Good food, I remembered my favourite from last year, so joined the queue again.
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For falafel and goodness salad stuffed pitta with grilled halloumi on top.
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There was folk dance around the town, and beside the sea.


and the girls from Fosbrook accompanied their dancers on violin.
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A nice drop of special Annings cider!
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The fabulous samba band Street Heat, chilled outside the Anchor before their performance on the sea front.
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I burnt a few calories dancing to the beat. You can check them out here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2UI5jWqxBw
As if this wasn’t delightful enough, I also had a lush salted honeycomb ice cream
Jo Bryant if you come to the south west next year come in early august :-)