On the third walk (June 26th) it was a hot sunny day, with almost no cloud and hardly any air movement. Unusual for this exposed piece of land that is open to the elements and the Atlantic Ocean. We walked slower and slower and slower, allowing ourselves to become absorbed deeper and deeper into the landscape. Time hung motionless in the still air. The breeze was warm, and the pebbles, when we felt them against our cheeks were burning hot.
Photo by Pauline. On the horizon you can just see Michelle carrying out yogadance movements.
It’s the heat I remember
and the prickly grass
piercing my behind
as next to me an agile red spider
scurries over the whitened driftwood
down into the parched land
where scatterings of rabbit droppings
like dried out breakfast cereal
lay beween the reed grasses
stems trembling in an almost gentle breeze
seed heads pointing upwards
up to the blue near cloudless sky
and sky larks call
and walkers wander past
while we are sat in our reverie
Michelle: Dune Nest Words
Soil solidity supports …
the soft folds of my bones and flesh
Insect sounds and subtle breezes awakens
my skin to the sensations of my outer world
Grasses green yellow dance…
gently in my fluid pool eyes
I am touched by the grace of this moment
I feel the passing of time…
Sheep’s wool on grey stone
Woollen clouds in silk blue sky
Pen and pencil on paper
Together and alone
I meet the wildness
of this dry summer dune
AONB ART WALK 26.6.10
And here are two responses from our first walk, June 12th
Poem on the Burrows: The Power of the Elements
Here I stand on soft sand with pen in hand…imagination, senses and inspiration from a vast expanse of land…
The Pebble Ridge with hard rocks of circles, crevices, and cracks of nature’s patterns.
A skylark is singing whilst the warm wind is blowing, thrashing, breezing, and thundering through.
The water and waves set a backdrop anthem of crashing sea in the distance; singing tides, swollen skies whilst kites surf, bound and bounce across the horizon.
Grains of sand, moving, forming; patterns of sand feathers moving with the sea, moving with the wind, moving beneath our feet, footprints, traces, trails of time.
Around the corner there are boulders huge and stones so small, intimidating and incidental: supporting, blocking, barriers of contrasts, juxtapositions and change.
Seaweed, flotsam, jetsam and wood, more evidence of change with samples of life’s diverse differences: remnants from fires, shelter for the drifter, the drifted and flashes of colour: treasure?
…No, fragments of colourful plastics from consumers, disturbing nature’s flow.
Rock pools, water, peace and calm. Birds calling, sea crashing, wind whispering…
Lush green grass, sheep and lambs; a family, protecting, calling, communicating. Lark sings, sheep beckon, we watch and pass, and breathe as we shelter in the dunes…
Mounds shadows, movement and undulations.
Blue-sky overhead; feathers of cloud, tones, puffs and pockets. The breeze rattles strokes and caresses the grass, shaking the undergrowth. New shoots trampled, green littered with fleece and daisies: green and white, the flag of Devon.
Rolling landscapes in the distance: homes, habbitats, beacons, bracken, and burrows…borrowed from nature, carved into the land. Today, an experience unique to each individual, as our lives, thoughts and engagement with creation is unique to each moment, spinning on earth’s axis and the tide leaves its mark, bringing new treasures that change futures path. Caroline Preston
photo Dave Green
At one point during the walks, I would ask people to carry out little exercises: making lists of what they could hear, see or remember, whilst resting their eyes on the horizon.
A list of things I noticed
The many colours of the boulders: dark rust stains, lines and splashes of white, jagged edges as though cut, hewn out of then earth. Bleached blue-white, salt-dyed below the tide line.
A dog jumps clumsily through water, eager to please, shakes its wet splashes onto smooth grey stone, leaving a dappled dark mark, soon to evaporate.
Streaks of unreasonable blue, pale sun-bleached yellow and patches of grey-brown.
A church spire.
A seagull swoops. Warm sun and bitter wind. Sheep poo in flaky asymmetric shapes. A metal tower over the trees.
Undulating tuffets of land. Cotton-wisp clouds.
Sea-spray and white waves, and a white sail on the horizon.
A sheep black and speckled.
Witch’s hair grass, back-combed.
The sound of feet moving, soft against a skylark’s falling song.
A sentence about sitting in the sheltered dip
Thistle-pricks and daisies and the sun on my back.
Essential Nature: ArtWalking in North Devon