Brocken Spectre at Belstone Tor

There were some spectacular mist and low cloud effects over the moor and in-country on 23 December last year.  I climbed to the top of Tors End, the northern summit of the Belstone Tor ridge, to find that the setting sun was casting my shadow – much enlarged – onto the mist to the north-east.  Around my shadow was a faint halo of rainbow colours, just about discernable in my photo.  This was the rare phenomenon known as a Brocken spectre, which I have experienced a few times before in the Lake District and Scottish Highlands, but never on Dartmoor.  My friends could see their own Brocken spectres, but you can only ever see your own.  There are some far more vivid and in-focus examples of Brocken spectres on the internet, but has anyone else ever managed to include their own house (the white blob closest to the centre of the photo) in the background.

Chris Walpole

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