Strong Autumn Light

Strong light contrasts in the autumn countryside with sihouetted trees and cattle with long shadows

November sun can be bright and strong creating highlighted patches, long dark shadows, and strong contrasts that are visually stunning but difficult to photograph. These are some of my attempts to capture the light effects on yesterday afternoon’s walk in the Dorset countryside.

Arable Fields in Autumn

The countryside is always changing. Not only with the natural seasonal variations but also with the cyclical nature of arable farming. In late October on Charlton Down when the trees and hedges were fast losing their leaves, some fields still bore rows of stubble from a late harvest of crops while others were vibrant green with new growth from an early autumn sowing of cereals.

Spring Fields in Charlton Down

Field boundary hedgerows and tree dividing fields of yellow flowering oilseed rape crop

The countryside around Charlton Down this April is a landscape of rolling hills covered by a brightly coloured patchwork of flowering oilseed rape fields contrasting with spring wheat, each patch separated from the next by boundaries of ancient field hedgerows and trees with branches just springing into life.

Fields of yellow oilseed rape crop growing around the Dorset village of Charlton Down in the English countryside

Green and yellow springtime fields in the Dorset landscape, England.

Contrasting fields of green wheat and yellow rapeseed flowers

Hedgerow and tree separating fields of yellow flowering oilseed rape in the English countryside

Rural view from a wooded valley of yellow flowering rapeseed on the hillside

Rural springtime view in the Dorset landscape

Farming country around Charlton Down in spring

Field boundary hedgerows and tree dividing fields of yellow flowering oilseed rape crop

Changes with the seasons – The Stile

Rural view with stile in summer on the Cerne Valley Trail, Dorset, England.

I’ve been recording the changes that come with season and weather as I walk along the Cerne Valley Trail in Dorset, England. The horse chestnut tree by the stile in these photographs is a convenient marker to illustrate the transition from bare branches of winter to full foliage in summer. Already, by September, the leaves are turning brown getting ready to fall. It is not only the tree that shows the changes but the ground cover vegetation, and the crops in the fields.

Rural Views around Charlton Down

English countryside under dark skies


A walk in very mixed January weather along muddy lanes, through arable countryside with freshly ploughed and green planted fields divided by clipped hedges. Rain and hail from dark clouded skies, and occasional shafts of sunlight, slant over low rolling hills trimmed by bare-branched trees. The local river full to the brim and flowing fast with turbulent waters, escaping into channels that once fed the old mill and water meadows. White fleeced sheep with pink noses feed near the old derelict barn.

A Walk in the Woods

Dense thicket of young trees in late summer

There is nothing like a walk in the woods at the end of summer, just before the leaves change their colour and the trees lose their leaves. The dense undergrowth of ivy and ferns remains lush through the summer and into autumn and winter. The dense thickets create green-shaded walkways while woodland management opens ground to the light and allows saplings to flourish with sunlight filtering through their foliage.

Ferns and ivy beneath the trees of a Dorset woodland

Dense thicket of young trees in late summer

Ferns and ivy beneath the trees of a Dorset woodland

Ferns and ivy beneath the trees of a Dorset woodland

Managed area of woodland opens the area to light

Ground cover of ivy in a Dorset woodland

Green Wheat Growing

The last couple of months have seen the wheat growing at a tremendous rate. From late April to early June the growing crop has shot up from a few inches to a couple of feet. The stalks are standing tall and the ears of wheat are developing well. The standing crop looks especially attractive when the sun shines through the leaves, and the wind sends waves across the field.