country diary


Blue winter sky and a crisp frost on this February morning.

ponies near Fox Tor, Bodmin MoorThe walk to Fox Tor on Bodmin Moor took us from the shelter of the Lynher Valley to the gentle slopes of East Moor, carefully avoiding Redmoor Marsh where a stream emerges at the ford, it's too wide to jump but a little way along it is possible to cross on the stones in the shallow water.


From Fox Tor the moorland hills stretch right around; Kilmar Tor and Twelve Men's Moor, across south to Brown Gelly with the cairns on its summit, and north to The Beacon and the tip of Brown Willy just in sight.



Walking the perimeter of East Moor we cross the shallow valley where the old tin streaming left cuttings and leats, then passing a group of hardy moorland ponies - earlier we saw a farmer delivering hay to cattle from his truck so perhaps these ponies will be fed today too.


A flock of fieldfare were drifting along with us. A bird of prey, possibly a kestrel was hunting around the water and surrounding marsh.


At Rushyford Water another small group of ponies moved off as we arrived. This is always a favourite spot to picnic, and today a good place to get out of the wind before returning along the line of the boundary stones - marking the boundary between the two parishes, North Hill and Altarnun.



Moorland ponies on East Moor,
Hawk's Tor in the distance.





Woodland walks at this time of year reveal wonderful fungi, especially on fallen wood.


The white fungi, left, I have yet to identify. The lower picture is of a bracket fungi, Coriolus Versicolor, grows mainly on dead hardwood.


























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