The trade-off for a having a fair amount of rainy days in Cornwall is the green you see everywhere when you step outside the door. Yesterday, John and I took a walk around our village and up on the moor. We were a short distance from our home when we were surprised by something pretty exciting.
The wild horses in the photo above are not unusual on the moor, but what happened not long after I took this shot was unexpected.
John and I were standing on a landmark piece of rock talking about the view when the horses munching nearby bolted and ran in towards the edge of the field. (John took the photo above)
They stood still for a moment as if they were listening for something and then began to move about in the direction of the path that leads walkers up to the moor. There’s a wooden gate not too far from where they’re standing and at one point two of them moved off in that direction.
A minute or so later the moorland horses turned and ran towards us and to our surprise, we saw that we were suddenly standing in the path of a fox hunt.
As the horse and riders came towards us, there were loads of hound dogs spreading out around them like cartoon ants swarming out across a picnic tablecloth.
Here you can see that some of the dogs have spotted us and are looking up where we are standing on the rock.
This man was the one blowing the horn which seemed to help in keeping the hounds focused and moving as a large mass. There’s a master of foxhounds for the hunt, but I don’t know if that’s what his role was or why he seemed to have the only horn. Maybe a reader can help clarify this for me.
The riders kept coming long after the dogs had passed by.
Fox hunting is no longer legal in England, Scotland, and Wales, but they are allowed to follow artificially laid trails. It’s said that abuse can and does occur, but we didn’t see a fox anywhere near the hounds and riders.
After they passed by we continued walking, going about a mile before seeing something else we didn’t expect.
We were walking down a lane when I spotted a red fox who broke into a run as soon as he saw us. We stopped and waited to see if we might catch another look and he came back and stood on the other side of the bramble above staring at us for just a minute. I tried not to move or even breathe hoping to get a photo, but the best I could do was the shot below.
The reddish-brown blob you see in the center is the fox as it turned to go. It stared at us full on for about ten seconds before running off. I was surprised that it didn’t keep going when it ran from us the first time. It actually seemed as if it came back to check us out more carefully before disappearing across the field.
These last photos are just a few that I took on our way home and have no special meaning other than I liked what I was seeing.
We did run into Polly, who seemed anxious to get home. Her owners were with her and said that she always picks up a stick when they goes for walks and carries it all the way. She leaves them outside in the garden and they go into the wood burner to help heat the house.
Last week we got a wood burner … perhaps we need a dog like Polly to help bring in some extra fuel for the fire.
How exciting! It must have seemed a bit like walking through a hole in time or something, fox hunting seems so much like of another age. The pictures are so wonderful.
I enjoy these photos so much, thank for sharing them. I really felt as if I was there!
I love the serendipity of spotting a fox after the hunt went by. So interesting about the artificially laid trails, and your photos–as always–transport me.
I really enjoyed your blog. I am from Seattle and dream of living in Cornwall, one of the favorite places I’ve visited. I felt like i was there today. Thank you for the wonderful pictures.
I’ve always dreamed of moving to Cornwall. For the few minutes I was reading this post, I felt like I was there. Thank you for that!
Fantastic photos! Amazing story! I thoroughly enjoyed both. Thank you.
Thanks so much for telling and showing us of your delightful afternoon. Must have felt like you just stepped into the pages of an old novel. Lucky for you to get these great photos. Makes me very nostalgic for your part of the world.
“Oh what a glory He sheds on our way!” This was just a visual delight, and thank you for taking “us” on a walk in the moorlands, I couldn’t help but think of my roots and how deep called unto deep with this pictoral essay of the fox hunt and the moors and mysteries thereof. You and your John caught the fox! LOL! I am reminded of the scripture: “It’s the little foxes that destroy the vine…” Aren’t you glad you followed your heart to England? I am!
Lovingly from So. Cal,
I am glad that the fox was captured by your camera and not by the others. Thank you for taking me on that walk with you and John…..the countryside looks like that of a period movie–beautiful!
The horn is used by only the huntsman in a fox hunt. It is used to keep the dogs and other hunters in “the know”….either telling them what to do or what has happened.
Your pictures are just beautiful. I love the wild horses on your moor.
What a lovely walk. I always enjoy seeing a fox. Not many times but always nice!
What magical pictures! I felt as if I were reading an beautifully illustrated fairy tale.