Nebamun hunting in the marshes
fragment from the tomb-chapel of Nebamun
Late 18th Dynasty, around 1350 BC
© Trustees of the British Museum
They are standing at the end of the lane as we drive past, six men and five dogs in a small pool of light. The men wear every shade of green and brown, merging with the shadows cast by the trees and the high bank beside them. They carry guns broken over their arms, the dull lustre of the long barrels reflecting some of that early morning light. The labradors and spaniels sit quietly at their feet, black, white, brown. When we have passed they will cross the road into the wood on the other side and continue shooting but for this moment they are frozen into a tableau vivant, a scene that captures the essence of the remote part of Devon that we are now a part of.