Walk Wednesday May 24th

South Molton to Rose Ash-

Deep in the Search Area

Leaving South Molton
Leaving South Molton. At the top of the hill I took a small road on the left that led up and down hill to a Blastridge Woods. Almost immediately I turned off the main road, I was back in unspoilt Devon again, except for some pylons on the first section of road. Once I had passed them, I could almost have been in the England of fifty years ago.
As soon as I started walking, it began to drizzle. I remember putting my umbrella up at this point.
Horse chestnut
Horse Chestnut tree in blossom near Grilstone. The landscape here was as rural as West Devon but subtly different. The hills were perhaps more rolling, and the earth perhaps more fertile. The trees here seemed larger, I think this was the first Horse Chestnut tree I had noticed on the walk. I crossed a little bridge over  thew river Mole and then climbed Blastridge Hill. The views were beautiful, but although the rain was soft and gentle,  it was difficult taking photographs, I was beginning to worry about my camera getting damp.
Cow and calf
At the top of Blastridge Hill I was in the open, and should have had marvelous views, but insteadhad to cope with a heavy downpour of rain that made visibility hopeless for at least a mile. Luckily it eased again, just before I saw this cow and calf in a meadow - a shame they are not more visible in the photo .
Bishops Nympton church
The road near Bishops Nympton was delightful - it was here that I  felt as if I was walking through the Shire, and battling to save it from the degradations of Mordor. Giant wind turbines remind me of those lumbering Orc machines in the film of The Lord of the Rings, or the Tripods in John Christopher`s science fiction books.
Bishops Nympton
Bishop`s Nympton itself looked a lively village - I saw people for the first time.
Between the South Molton turn off and the village I had been passed by only two cars, both obviously local.
Beyond the village, I took the turning for Rose Ash that went up Quince Hill. With such beautiful names, the countryside had to beautiful too, and it was.
road to Quince Hill
These are two photographs taken between showers. I think they are both on the road to Quince Hill, but could possibly be wrong about the first one.
As I walked, yet again I found it hard to believe that such a lovely part of Devon could be under threat of industrialisation. Besides Batsworthy Cross there are possibilities of wind farms at Fanny`s Cross, Knowstone, near South Molton itself, and as I was to learn lthe next week, Bickham Moor as well.
road to Quince Hill
Yet again the road winds through peaceful countryside. Some day I must come back, to see it in the sunshine.
I have to admit I was a little weary as I walked, still feeling the after effects of the cold or chill that I picked up a few days before, but it was still a pleasure to be out walking. I was also conscious of the fact that when you walk through countryside you begin to care about it in a personal way.  You identify with it, in a way that you cannot do if you travel by car.
flowers on bank
These are the flowers on the bank beside the road - quite different in colour from the week before. Now there were buttercups everywhere, pink clover flowers, and purple vetches.
Hen with chicks
I met this hen on a track beside the road, close to Quince House. She was sitting there on her own. For a moment I thought she had been injured, she was so still, and silent. I stopped in my tracks. Then this little chick emerged from beneath her feathers, and I managed to take its photograph.
cross road
This is Quince Cross at the top of the hill - and the rain is coming again, heavily. I called Valerie on my mobile, and she said she would walk out to meet me. I told her to bring her umbrella!
Rose Ash
The sign says Rose Ash. Valerie met me just past here, and we walked the last half mile or so together, in the pouring rain. As we neared their house I saw William, the Dartmoor pony who lived with them. He had been a companion to their horse, who had sadly died a few week`s before, and he was going back to his owner soon.