Moor Surprises … On A Saturday Walk

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.

Shades Of Cornish Grey


This is my third winter in Cornwall and while we get more sun than many places in the UK, some would complain about the amount of grey days during the coldest months. Grey can seem fairly bland when compared to colors like red or yellow, but with shades of blue and lavender like you see below, I believe I can ‘ tolerate ‘ what I like to think of as shades of Cornish grey.

This part of the moor is very close to our house with only a short walk through the lanes before you leave the road to cross on foot. There are roads that go across the moor in places, so you can drive, but not in this spot and it’s one of my favorite places to go locally, second only to the buttercup field and Lavethan Wood.

We’ve got wild moorland ponies here who don’t always act like they’re wild. These three were happy to come closer to say hello to me. I’ve been known to carry sugar cubes in my pocket so perhaps they’ve heard about me through the PNN. (Pony News Network)

I took this from a favorite spot on the moor as the sun was going in for the day. If you click to enlarge it, you can see the wind turbines on the hill. Most people don’t like the way they look, but they are so far from us that I barely notice them. In fact, the telephoto on my Canon G11 had trouble with the distance so it’s not the best image quality. They do give a more modern look to a landscape that most days looks like a movie set from another time period so I can see why people might be put off by them.

If I Could Talk With The Animals

Okay, so I know this peacock doesn’t really qualify as an animal and I should be embarrassed to post a photo of me looking seriously in need of a fashion makeover, but this image taken by John on July 4th is so typically me that I decided to toss my vanity out the window and share it.

In addition to showing you some less than flattering pictures in this post, I’ve decided to let you in on something you may not know about me yet. It’s nothing too shocking and some of you probably do it too … at least with your pets at home. I like to talk with animals and that includes just about anything that creeps, crawls, walks on four legs, or flies.

Living as we do with so much nature and wildlife around, I find it easy to see how Beatrix Potter created the circle of animal friends that she did and the magical way she gave them human characteristics and voices of their own through her children’s books.

I’m not sure what John thinks when he hears me call out to wooly sheep like these, but sometimes he likes to answer for them when he hears me say,” Morning, girls. ” If he happens to be nearby, I’m likely to hear him respond in his very best high-pitched girly sheep voice, ” Morning, Elizabeth.”

Today while John and I were cycling up on the moor we had a chance encounter with some of the wild ponies that roam free. As you can see below, not all the ponies were feeling wild and standoffish. The little one below was quite comfortable with me letting me give it a little hug before getting back on my bike to ride.

This pony was so tame that it was content to stay close when John rode up on his bike a few minutes later.

We stopped by a neighbor’s house on our ride and I had a chance to hold a ferret for the first time. If you’re interested in owning one yourself they have more babies that can be had for ten pounds each.

The photos below are some John took a few months ago when the Gorse was in full bloom. I was trying to get a new pony to let me take a few photographs when the moorland horse below decided she’d be happy to give me some of the attention I was trying to coax from the pony. I didn’t know she was behind me until she gave me a little nudge.

Once she bumped me, I turned and saw John documenting my surprise.

She got a bit aggressive and no amount of talking as in, ” Hold on a minute while I get to my feet, ” mattered enough to keep her from gently knocking me about. I won’t mislead you into thinking that she suddenly found me so irresistible that she couldn’t leave me alone … it was the carrots I had with me that made so popular with her.