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.
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.
Spring was just arriving during my visit to Nova Scotia in May. The leaves on the deciduous trees had only recently begun to open. The hillsides in Cape Breton looked fabulous as the fresh golden foliage dusted the bare trees and provided vivid contrast to the grey branches and dark green conifers.
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.