Went for a walk to Wistman's Wood on Dartmoor on New Year's Eve. This sketch was made a few days after I arrived back but doesn't really capture the twisted and weather beaten character of the trees in one of the countries highest oak woodlands. It was just a quick sketch one lunchtime to go with the following poem.
Post Christmas thunder and heavy rain clouds
Tightly wrapped coats amidst chilled wind
Well trodden path along granite hillside
Sheep: colour washed with blue.
Walkers passed with damp muddy dogs
Across boggy boulder strewn moorland
The distant wood dwarfed by higher conifers
Anticipation of discovery drives me onward.
Centuries old trees, battered and bruised
One of Britains highest oak woods lies
On a bleak clitter strewn hillside
Where no man nor beast would roam.
Stunted and twisted the trees arise
From between close-knit weathered boulders
Mosses, ferns and lichens
Embedded on rain soaked branches.
History has left this wood untouched
But for curious wanderers, witches and druids
The makers of legends and those
Who seek its artistic inspiration.
A fragile habitat - I shall not enter
To clamber over the rocks and gawp
I have nothing to offer in return and
One less intrusion just might be appreciated.