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.

Spring Foliage in Cape Breton 1

The golden green colour of newly opening leaves on hillside trees in Cape Breton

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.

The golden green colour of newly opening leaves on hillside trees in Cape Breton

The golden green colour of newly opening leaves on hillside trees in Cape Breton

The golden green colour of newly opening leaves on hillside trees in Cape Breton

The golden green colour of newly opening leaves on hillside trees in Cape Breton

The golden green colour of newly opening leaves on hillside trees in Cape Breton

The golden green colour of newly opening leaves on hillside trees in Cape Breton

The golden green colour of newly opening leaves on hillside trees in Cape Breton

The golden green colour of newly opening leaves on hillside trees in Cape Breton

New leaves & flowers at Charlton Down

Leafbuds opening on a tree in spring

In a country lane the Spring flowers are appearing. Branches in the hedgerows and high in the sky reveal fat leaf buds and clusters of inconspicuous flowers unfurling, almost hidden in plain sight.

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

Riding above the Rainforest

Riding above the Rainforest 1 - Looking out into the inpenetrable jungle at ground level from the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway at the Barron Falls Station, Queensland, Australia.

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.

Riding above the Rainforest 2 - View from the Skyrail gondola suspended from cables high above the canopy of the rainforest in Barron Gorge National Park, Queensland, Australia.

Riding above the Rainforest 3 - View from the Skyrail gondola suspended from cables high above the canopy of the rainforest in Barron Gorge National Park, Queensland, Australia.

Riding above the Rainforest 4 - View from the Skyrail gondola suspended from cables high above the canopy of the rainforest in Barron Gorge National Park, Queensland, Australia.

Riding above the Rainforest 5 - View from the Skyrail gondola suspended from cables high above the canopy of the rainforest in Barron Gorge National Park, Queensland, Australia.

Riding above the Rainforest 6 - View from the Skyrail gondola suspended from cables high above the canopy of the rainforest in Barron Gorge National Park, Queensland, Australia.

Riding above the Rainforest 7 - View from the Skyrail gondola suspended from cables high above the canopy of the rainforest in Barron Gorge National Park, Queensland, Australia.

Riding above the Rainforest 8 - View from the Skyrail gondola suspended from cables high above the canopy of the rainforest in Barron Gorge National Park, Queensland, Australia.

Riding above the Rainforest 9 - View from the Skyrail gondola suspended from cables high above the canopy of the rainforest in Barron Gorge National Park, Queensland, Australia.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2012

All Rights Reserved