|The buzzard stops to survey the surroundings|
|A skylark taking to the skies|
The Curate and I have climbed to our favourite spot on the moor to clear our heads of parish business and think about our family. The cloudless blue skies and warm sunshine are so welcome and we stop and relax and count our blessings. Suddenly a shadow sweeps across us and we look up to see a buzzard swooping and soaring above us, calling to an unseen mate. We are high up and can see for miles and miles - but the buzzard sees so much more. We stop and watch it for a while before continuing our walk. We keep the dogs close as it is the breeding seasons for ground-nesting sky larks. Despite our care, the skylarks suddenly rise up out of the rough ground, their song piercing and shrill in the moorland silence. 'Look at me!' they are singing in an effort to distract us from their nesting spots.
What a weekend - beginning with a great trip to the North Coast on Friday followed by two more days of glorious weather ( I hope this is not our summer). It was the annual Ten Tors challenge for young people - in teams of six, they are set the challenge of walking 35,45 or 55 miles and climbing ten tors on the way and camping over night. Both my sons completed all three challenges while they were at school and, as a result developed an understanding and love of the moor which I hope will stay with them. This year 2400 young people set off at 7.00 am on Saturday morning - unusually they have had clear blue skies for both days. Considering we have had torrential rain for most of April, the weather was a fantastic bonus for them.
We used to race up to watch our sons start and finish their challenges - and take a birthday cake for our eldest son whose birthday was often celebrated on the same weekend as the Challenge. This year my son is in Dubai celebrating energetically. He tells us he has been parachuting and rock climbing today. He is on his way back to the UK and we hope to see him after next weekend.
|windswept at the top|
The Collie, Curate and I celebrated Tom's birthday by walking to the top of Top Tor after church - along with the everyone else in Devon (or so it seemed ). Sunday is always busy on the moor and attracts large numbers of visitors. As we sat at the top we remembered all the happy birthdays we have celebrated together. We have been fortunate to be able to travel and live abroad as a family. Our sons are now forging their own routes in the world but they are usually good at keeping in touch with us. The Curate and I have our own route to travel at the moment. I just wish I was as patient as The Curate.