Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Granny J left a comment on one of my posts and asked what exactly moorland is so I'll try and explain with the help of one or two not very great photos taken hurriedly in the last couple of days.
Moorland is invariably at least 800 feet above sea level on high plateaus and hillsides and it is very open country. The moorlands of the Dark Peak near where I live are gritstone with a layer of about 12+ feet of peat on top. It is generally exposed, windy, cool and has a high rainfall and this means that there are many areas of treacherous bog around. The moors are covered with heather, bracken, moorland grasses and very low growing shrubs like bilberry and crowberry. The scenery can be magnificent but not in this particular post - I just stopped the car and took quick photos from the roadside which isn't the best position.
This was taken yesterday in the late afternoon with lowering skies and a decidedly unfriendly aspect to the landscape. It also explains the fact that it looks as though only half the photo is there - the rest is thick grey cloud. I took it really because the heather is flowering so fantastically this year and I wanted to try and capture it. The photo at the top was taken at the same time and shows some of the rock formations that are scattered over the area. It will need enlarging to see it better but isn't very clear anyway because of the conditions.
Looking down towards the Hope Valley - again not all that clear because of the low cloud and low light.
This was taken today on a different road and on a much pleasanter day. There are great sheets of purple stretching into the distance. I can't ever remember seeing it as good as this.
One of the permanent residents of the moorland, sheep can survive up here and there are large flocks of them everywhere.