To Skylark and Raven.

 Hail to thee, blithe Spirit! 
Bird thou never wert,
That from Heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
From ‘To a Skylark’ by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Listening to a Skylark at sunset. Leeden Tor - Dartmoor

Listening for Skylark while turned towards the setting Sun.  Leeden Tor – Dartmoor Tuesday – 2nd May 2017.

The second day of May – was one of those crystal clear Dartmoor days when my eyes and ears led the way – while my earthbound feet just dragged along somewhere behind… 

The living and the dead.  Trees reaching for the Sun in Ravens’ Haven – Dartmoor

My visit started with a wander through my favourite Dartmoor wood to see if the Ravens were in – and whether they had produced any young this year.  It always seems to be that the beginning of May marks the time that this pair’s offspring – if any – usually fledge their swaying tree-top nest…

Oh for a bird's eye view! How I'd love to be able to see inside their swaying tree top nest.

Oh for a bird’s eye view! How I’d love to be able to look down into their swaying tree top nest.

From another angle.

From another earthbound angle.

" Cronk Cronk" One of the adult Ravens on parental duty.

” Cronk Cronk”  One of the adult Ravens on parental duty. (If you enlarge the image by clicking on it – you’ll see it’s in full cry – a beautiful din!)

I arrived in the afternoon amid a flurry of raucous noise – the two parents were frantically flying back and forth the length of the wood – keeping close tabs on a fine pair of youngsters that had clearly not long discovered they had wings. I was in my element. I could have sat inside the wood – and listened to their cacophony of deep throaty ‘cronks’ until sunset – it was sweet music to my ears!  I stayed in their company for a couple of hours and managed to snap my best Raven shot ever! 

What with the trees – combined with a Raven’s speed – it’s almost impossible to capture a Raven in its haven…

Raven in flight - Dartmoor

I’m thrilled I got this shot though!

Walking back to my car from the wood – I was delighted to get that wished for aerial view of a bird’s nest – not a Raven’s but a beautiful nest nonetheless…

Abandoned nest in the Gorse – all bar one brown oak leaf from Winter past…

Then it was onward by car and upward by foot to Leedon Tor for sunset – where I laid down on the moorland grass and lost my earthly self.  Slowly – one by one – all my senses shutdown until I could only listen…I think it was the nearest to Heaven I’ve ever been. 

Pure bliss.

Pure bliss.

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