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.
This gallery contains 54 photos.
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.
I don’t know about you – but I have always longed to wing my way above the tree tops and have a bird’s eye view of the forest canopy – in the way that you so often see in natural history documentaries where people film the foliage from hot-air balloons, hang gliders, and helicopters. I thought this was an unachievable dream for me. However, when I was in Australia last year, I discovered SKYRAIL!
The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway travels 7.5 kilometres from sea level at Caravonica near Cairns, up to the mountain top station of Red Peak, on to the Barron Falls Station, and finally over the gorge and Barron River to the mountain village of Kuranda. The Cableway was specially designed to enable visitors to experience the rainforest without damaging it. The construction work has been carried out with every consideration for the protection of the environment – the ecosystem.
The cable car ride makes it possible to take in fantastic, awe-inspiring, panoramic views of the vast expanses of forest; while the stopping points at Red Peak and Barron Falls allow visitors to get right up close to the fascinating and diverse array of plant species from special boardwalks. In later posts, I’ll share with you some photographs of the amazing flora seen at ground level.
Till then, jump on board a gondola with me – and from the safety of the suspended capsule enjoy the view from way above the trees and over the mountain tops of the Barron Gorge National Park in Queensland. Get an introductory glimpse of a luxuriant and virtually impenetrable part of the Daintree Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest – the oldest of its kind in the world and dating back 100 million years.
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