Valley of Rocks, Exmoor National Park, England

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Valley of Rocks, Exmoor National Park, England (Jake Graham Photography)

Up the eastern flank of the turreted ridge, we scrambled, without thought, for the moon. Yet, upon arrival, and far from lunar discovery, we fell once more in love with the Earth –  ocean before us, moorland behind, and a slab of rock, strong and definite,  beneath our feet.

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Hornbeam amidst the moor

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Hornbeam amidst the moor, acrylic on card (Daniel Graham)

Amidst the great open moorland there stood a hornbeam, its limbs reaching out for winter. The air was cold, and with this chill I felt my cheeks tighten. I walked towards the tree for some minutes, first entering its breathing ground, and then, a minute beyond that, its lichen-stippled trunk. I sat beneath the hornbeam’s brittle wood and listened on as three crows came to rest above my head, their movements knocking small twigs to the ground around me.