Saddle Tor

Sunrise over Saddle Tor

Saddle Tor is just next to Haytor Rocks. But less imposing and probably easier for the photographer to catch the right images. It is easy to get to and I have been there many times. The granite outcrops at the top look like a saddle. Mmy first image above was taken on the 2nd of January as the sun crept up above the horizon, and I am standing “in the middle of the saddle” with one of the granite outcrops to the left of me.

When I set up my tripod and camera and took the images, I noticed a young couple on the rocks enjoying the sunshine and themselves. And when I walked away for another image, the girl came running after me and behind her the young man. The girl stopped me and explained that her boyfriend had just proposed to her and wondered if they could have the image of the sun rising over Saddle Tor as a memory of their engagement. I was very touched, and not until I sat in the car afterwards, did I realise that I should have taken a picture of the two of them in the early morning sun to complement my sunray image.

I am obviously better at capturing landscapes than reacting to a moment of immediate happiness between two young people. I am still embarrassed that I forgot to ask to take a picture of the newly engaged. I gave the couple the address to my website, and I hope you read this, and I wish you all the best in your life together. You can write me an email (or contact me here) and give me your email address and I will send you a full resolution image of my photo. (Added later: They did contact me, see my blog about Michaela & David.

The other images show different views from and at Saddle Tor. The following picture is taken the same morning looking north and northeast over the moor and the next one is looking north and northwest with the snow-capped higher altitude parts of the moor in the very background.

Early morning image with frost on the ground in January looking N and NE
Captured the same time but looking more N to NW

The following images were captured on two different occasions in beginning and end November. On both occasions mid-day. The first one below here was a very clear day with the sea in the background. You can even see a cruise ship towards the right, if you blow up the image on your computer (or iPad or iPhone).

A clear day in beginning November looking out eastwards towards the sea. Notice the cruise ship coming out from behind the granite rocks!
Dartmoor pony at Saddle Tor. Notice the layered rock formed by water freezing into ice and cracking the granite blocks into smaller discs

Ponies have lived on Dartmoor since prehistoric times. They roam freely on Dartmoor, but they all belong to different pony keepers. They are very friendly and are ideal for children learning to ride or just enjoying their company.

They have got used to the friendly ramblers walking along the paths. I was focused on composing an image, when the pony to the left was walking up behind me and tried to see if I could offer him a treat – or maybe he was just interested in checking my photo composition. He continued next to the rocks at the right of the previous pictures, and I photographed him as he started grazing again. With the sunshine lighting him up, he was beautiful against the enormous block of granite behind him.

Below is another pony at another occasion.

At least this pony could stop grazing for a moment, instead admiring the view or just being curious about the photographer standing next to him. I have a wide-angle lens, and am quite close to the pony.

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