High Places

Regular visitors to this site, my Blogonaughts, will know that every now and then Dookes gets an urge to stand on top of a mountain or a hill, safe in the knowledge that the only thing above is the vast expanse of the heavens.

I’m not sure exactly when this feeling, call it a habit if you like, began. What I can report though is that when the feeling creeps up on me it can be all consuming and totally irresistible.

Which is what happened earlier this week.

We were just preparing our evening meal at Dookes H.Q. when I received a message from nephew Darrell, “Would you like to go up on the Moors tomorrow with the dogs?”

Diddy in her element.

Now apart from it being really nice that my nephew and I enjoy time in each other’s company, it didn’t take a second to say, “Yes, yes, yes and let’s go to the highest point….!”

I’ve written before about Bodmin Moor, it’s one of Cornwall’s designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The two highest peaks in Cornwall Rough Tor and Brown Willy, 420 metres (1,377 ft) above sea level, dominate the landscape to the North. The landscape here is testimony to thousands of years of human occupation, with the remains of Bronze Age hut circles, Neolithic enclosures and mysterious stone circles.

Brown Willy

The Moor is a remote, bleak, grass and heather covered upland with an underlying geology of hard granite. It’s hard country, not as high as my beloved Welsh Mountains or the Alps, but you don’t want to be caught out here in bad weather or with the wrong gear, the Moors can be brutally unforgiving.

Showery Tor

I love the place
I love the way the wind sweeps in unchecked from the Atlantic.
I love the hard ancient rocks that stand witness to the passing seasons of man.
I love the smells of peat and heather.
I love its babbling water and clear open skies.
I love its stark brutal beauty.

I love how I feel my spirits lifted after a day in it’s sanctuary

The Wild Atlantic

Catch you soon,

PS Thanks Darrell for a great idea!

A New Day and The Brown Willy Effect!

I don’t quite know what it is, but these days I find myself trying to put the brakes on the ever crazy speed that we try to live life in the “Western World.”

This morning was a good example. As I set out on my twenty-mile commute, sans Harley I’m afraid, across Bodmin Moor the sun was just beginning to claw itself above the hills, kissing the landscape with its golden light.

Time to pull over and take in the moment, the office can wait for a few minutes!

Colliford Lake glints like a shard of liquid silver in the half-light.20150217_073916

Looking North, Rough Tor on the left and Brown Willy to the right, the highest points in Cornwall.20150217_074008Notice how the cloud is being pushed out of shape by the air moving over the hills? This is a meteorological phenomena know as “The Brown Willy Effect.” In simple terms it occurs when warm moist air from the Atlantic Ocean blows over the hills of Bodmin Moor and is lifted by the altitude of the surrounding topography; this causes the moisture to condense and brings more rain to Cornwall than other parts of England… and that’s saying something! Nice to capture it in a photo without it raining!

Then it was time to move on, after one more deep breath of the fresh moorland air.

Catch you soon.


“I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now…”