A Dismal Autumn Day in Charlton Down

Everyone likes crisp autumn days with sun shining and vibrant colours of changing leaves and ripening fruits everywhere. Often it is just not like that. Damp and muggy. Dull overcast skies. Dead, diseased, and dying reminders of the passage of time. It can be difficult to find something to brighten the scene, lighten the mood, a reason to be cheerful. It was like that yesterday as I walked around the village with my camera. This is what I recorded before completing my circuit, feeling better for the exercise and fresh air regardless of the dull and dismal day.

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.

On Charlton Down in March

A Dorset landscape in March

I walk in all weathers and always carry a camera. I like to record what I see and the changes I notice even if the conditions are not always favorable, as on this occasion. This March day on Charlton Down was marked by hazy sun, cold wind, and the merest hint of spring. Ploughed fields were white with chalk and flint nodules. Short shoots sprouted from the furrows. Sugar beet greened some fields. Trees bare but for lichen cast weak shadows on the turned soil, while neat laid hedges divided the vista. Farms and barns topped the horizons. Rusting agricultural equipment stood isolated along the pathways. A rolling misty landscape of intersecting curves surrounded my hill-top village.

A view fro the top of Charlton Down in Dorset.

Old rusting iron water tank

Agricultural countryside around Charlton Down in Dorset, England.

View of ploughed chalk field on the hill at Charlton Down

View from the top of Charlton Down across farming countryside

Country view on Charlton Down in March

Mist-shrouded fields on Charlton Down in March.

Rusting agricultural machinery on Charlton Down

Green shoots sprouting among flint filled fields on Charlton Down

Green shoots sprouting among flint filled fields on Charlton Down

Green shoots sprouting among flint filled fields on Charlton Down

Hedgerow trees casting weak shadows on the pale turned soil of the intersecting slopes around Charlton Down

Beautiful Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove is not only a beautiful place to visit but it is also a fascinating one from the geological perspective. As the sea has cut into the land to create the almost circular bay, it has exposed strata from different rock types. These are sequentially the Upper, Middle and Lower Chalk; Greensand Beds; Wealden Beds; and Upper Purbeck beds – all from the Cretaceous Period. Then the Middle and Lower Purbeck; and the Portland Stone from the Jurassic Period. Originally these rock layers would have been deposited one after another in horizontal beds. However, over time, they have been tilted at steep angles and folded in complex ways …. to spectacular effect.

The site is owned by Lulworth Estate who manage and maintain the landscape, and provide facilities for visitors – including a Heritage Centre and other educational resources. You can find more information about Lulworth by visiting their website. Lulworth Estate also produce a useful little booklet explaining all about the rocks and fossils of Lulworth Cove called Lulworth Rocks: The rocks and landforms of Lulworth explained and this is available from the Heritage Centre. Or you can download a leaflet explaining the attractions of the area called Discover Lulworth.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013

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