It was cold. An overnight frost, our first proper frost of this winter soon vanished in the early morning sun…. making this the perfect morning for a walk on Stanton Moor.
The brown dry Bracken now glows in the sunshine whilst the Heather now firmly in its winter mode just seems to absorb the light. It was also one of those mornings where wispy clouds form strange shapes whilst being underlit from the low sun also created some dramatic colours.
Moors are not noted for supporting trees. Bleak winters and high winds tend to stunt any substantial growth. The Oak below, possibly only survives in the exposed location due to its twin tunks. I have known this Oak for over 40 years and it never seems to change in shape or overall size…yet each spring out pop new leaves. I keep watching for acorns but no luck so far…
Stanton Moor also supports some coppices of Silver Birch. They seem to survive the weather extremes and provide some shelter for sheep. I love Silver Birch, no matter what the season the Birch always has a colour mood and shape to match. In the lightest of winds they seem to be in constant motion….
Stanton Moor is also home to the Nine Ladies Stone Circle and Earl Greys Reform Tower. Two man made constructions yet a great number of millennia between… both seems perfectly happy to share the moor with the Birch and Bracken…
Not an ancient monument, the Cork Stone an erratic left behind from the ice age, attracts just as many inquisitive visitors…
Today there was just one…. for the most part we had the moor to ourselves. Empty space, open views and some real fresh air…. all be it cold.
That all makes for a perfect and magical winter walk with which to start December.
(C) David Oakes 2019