Exmoor Foxgloves

Foxgloves growing on Exmoor are, to me, spectacular for their abundance and beauty.  Growing much taller here than I see anywhere else, they look especially good against the bright green herringbone bracken.

Looking up and across the hill towards Dunkery from Sweetworthy Coombe, a group of red deer hinds grazed with three young close by.  Not far away were several Exmoor ponies with a couple of foals, the youngest not that old so I kept my distance and moved on, feeling chuffed to have seen them today.

Driving up the other side of Dunkery Beacon from Wheddon Cross and Dunkery Gate, pretty Exmoor sheep strayed across the road.  Having to stop and drive around these animals is part of the visit and never a chore!  I always stop at the highest parking area on this road with a fantastic panorama view of hill, coast, valley, woodland etc.  Always something to see and appreciate.  Looking towards the beacon, Dunkery slopes were washed with sunshine and a hint of colour where the heather will soon be blanketed in purple flower.

Out in the Chanel a container ship moved across the glassy sea and looking to Bossington Hill ia a clear view of the high bare shoulder of Hurlestone Point, rising above Porlock Vale and the sea.

In this vast open area the birdsong is clear and carries far.  I hear Skylarks rising vertically in song-flight whilst Meadow Pipits are shuffling around feeding close to the ground.  Whinchat and Stonechat are similar in size and colour.  Both ground feeders, dropping down from a low perch and back again.  I can easily spot them in this area where they likely nest on or near the ground with plenty of cover.  As ever, a very uplifting visit to Exmoor especially after stopping off at The Exmoor White Horse Inn.

Sherryl Woods ……. 6th July 2015

Written by Peter