Danger zone

‘I’m gonna go back to Wistman’s Wood with my Leica tomorrow’, Hubbie declared after dinner as he gave a once-over to the images which he shot with his Canon. ‘What is wrong with them?’ I peered into his iBook screen. He explained that the details around the edges were too soft for his liking. ‘Leica will be better for the job’. Alrighty. So, came next morning, I dropped him off at the car park near Two Bridges, promising him that I would pick him up at the same spot after 2 hours.

Down B3357 towards Rundlestone…

Contrary to the day before, it was sunny but also a little nippy. I parked the car at Dartmoor Training Area and had a little walk with Bella…

The moorland has another purpose apart from being used by local people to graze their animals…

A sizeable chunk of the moor – approximately 13,000 hectares (32,123 acres) – is regularly used by the military for training. The place is known as The Dartmoor Training Area (DTA)…

Royal Marines and other forces, army and Royal Air Force, based in the south west of England train regularly in the area, sometimes using live ammunitions.

A hatched area indicating the live firing ranges…

The area is altogether 9,187 hectares (22,664 acres) and the access to the site is restricted if any firing exercise is taking place. I later learnt that one such exercise was planned on the very day when we left Dartmoor. It was a shame because we would have hang around there longer if we knew about it.

There was no tree in the moor except around car parks…

Heather and fern were the only vegetation on open moorland stretching out in front of us…

The sun was warm and the wind was light. On a beautiful day like this, walking in the moor feels like a walk in the park…

The sky was full of dancing clouds…

Bella and I walked away from the road. We saw two riders hacking in the distance…

Unlike the ponies, sheep on the moor seemed to be weary of us. They always walked away as soon as we got nearer…

‘Wait! We mean no harm!!’

There was a steam in the middle of the field. A simple footbridge was made with a slab of stone…

Let’s go and see moo cows, Bella!

Well, the moo cow we met was not particularly friendly. As we stopped to take a photo of them, one definitely took offence…

The cow eyeballed us and started to grunt. ‘Oh bu**er!’ I scooped up Bella in my arms and made a beeline for our car as fast as my legs could carry!

Why didn’t they like us?

I don’t know, darling. But it was a close call…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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