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


Vista of hazy hills in Tuscany

These photographs of the hazy horizons of successive hilltops in the Tuscan countryside are views looking southwards from the top of Brunelleschi’s dome on the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiori, the Florence Duomo. Spectacular vistas of the city and its surrounding countryside are the reward for climbing 463 steep steps in claustrophobic narrow passageways of herringbone brickwork through the interior of the dome.

Vista of hazy hills in Tuscany

Vista of hazy hills in Tuscany

Parrsboro Shore

Beachscape with lighthouse at Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Views of the Parrsboro shore and harbour at low tide one evening in May 2016. We stopped off there to have a seafood supper at the Harbour View Restaurant. The tidal rise and fall on this beach can be as much as 45 feet and the sea goes way out. Boats moored in the harbour are stranded on the mud at low tide. The small town of Parrsboro lying a little further inland and up river of the shore is where we based ourselves to explore the area. We stayed at the Parrsboro Mansion Inn from which we travelled out to Joggins Fossil Cliffs, Cap D’Or, Spencer’s Island, Clarke Head, and Wasson Bluff. On a previous visit to the area in 2014 we visited the Fundy Geological Museum, Partridge Island, and Joggins.

Beachscape with moored boat at Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Beachscape with lighthouse at Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Beachscape with red cliffs at Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Beachscape with evening light reflected on mud at Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Beachscape with lighthouse at Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Beachscape with low tide standing water pools at Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Coastal view with reflections of trees on the smooth water surface

Tranquil contrasting views of the landscape at Judique on the Celtic Shores Coastal Trail – part of the Northumberland Strait coastline in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. Looking out from the trail in one direction, the slightly misty views are calm and a bit mysterious, overlooking flat tidal water and salt marsh with glimpses of sandy beach and driftwood in the distance. The vista in the other direction is of woodland trees in new spring foliage reaching right to the water’s edge with mirrored reflections in the smooth water surface making for a beautiful and peaceful scene.

River Cerne near Charminster

Water-logged sheep pasture by the River Cerne

The heavy rains of the past few weeks have stopped for the moment but the River Cerne is still swollen and the water table raised so that fields are boggy and covered with pools. The stretch of this small chalk river between the villages of Charlton Down and Charminster in Dorset, England, is shown in the images here. Most of the shots are taken from the east side of the valley following the Cerne Valley Trail (14 January 2016). At one point the engorged river channels itself under a narrow footbridge of re-used railway sleepers and gushes out downstream with waves and foam. In another place, a bank-side tree has lost the footing for its roots and leans right over the water. Ripple-strewn and reflecting shallow ponds have accumulated in the sheep pastures, while the area by the ford has over spilled into Mill Lane making it look like a canal and tow path.

The tree-lined winding course of the River Cerne north of Charminster

Large shallow lake of flood water in sheep pasture near Charminster

The flooded road at Mill Lane near Charminster

Flooded lane near the ford in north Charminster

River swollen to the top of the banks near Charminster

A small tree leans precariously over the swollen River Cerne

The swollen river water gushes out downstream of a footbridge

Flooding around a foot bridge over the River Cerne

Bankside trees reflected in flood waters in sheep pasture

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.

Pea Stacks from Moulin Huet Bay

Silhouetted rocky outcrops of the Pea Stacks in Guernsey

The view seawards from Moulin Huet Bay in Guernsey has been immortalised on many an artist’s canvass, including Pierre Auguste Renoir whose work is highlighted by a sign at the bay itself. He painted the scene fifteen times during a month long stay in 1883. The jagged outcrops that feature in the picture are the Pea Stacks (which are sea stacks) carved by wave action into the Pea Stack Gneiss rock on the very tip of the Jerbourg Peninsula. This metamorphic rock differs in appearance and origin from the Icart Gneiss of Moulin Huet Bay and the Doyle Gneiss that makes up the main part of the peninsula.