Lime Tree By The Village Shop

The centre of Charlton Down is marked by the presence of a large lime tree. People come and go every day beneath its canopy to visit the village shop and post office, to meet friends, to sit in the shade, to catch the bus. They pass beneath its branches on their way to the village hall, the playing fields, the cricket ground, to buy from the hot food vans that park nearby, and use it as a rendezvous point for walks into the surrounding countryside. I do not suppose that many villagers notice the tree very much at all. But I like it, and delight in the changes it undergoes from season to season.

New Day Dawning

A beautiful start to today.. The view from my window in Charlton Down at sunrise.

Leaf Fall – Field Maple

Mostly Field Maple leaves on the ground in the nature reserve at Charlton Down, Dorset, 23 November 2021.

Leaf Fall – Mostly Beech

Carpets of mostly beech leaves rustle underfoot where the low sun highlights their copper colour and reflects on coverings of dew drops, near Greenwood House in Charlton Down, Dorset, 24 November 2021.

November oak Leaves

There are still a few leaves on the oak trees in the village, looking bright on this cold and sunny morning. The curious patterns are caused by the insect galls that affected the leaves.

A Country View Through Time 1

These images show the changes in a field of maize situated between the derelict barn at the top of the village and Wood Hill Clump looking roughly southwest in the village of Charlton Down in Dorset from June to October 2021. Every time I pass the spot it looks different, depending not only the way the crop is growing but also the on the effect of different times of day and varying weather and light conditions. Always in transition.

Hedgerow Spindle Berries

Various stages of development and ripening of the berries borne by the Spindle bush (Euonymous europaeus) seen in hedgerows around the village, notably in the CD Nature Reserve – although they are not so abundant as last year and do not seem to be surviving on the branches for so long. Last year many remained intact and still containing their bright orange seeds into the January frosts.

Conkers

Why, at my great age, do I still feel compelled to pick up conkers? When I was younger, I used to maintain that I filled my briefcase with them on the way to work for my young son to play with. But, to be honest, in retrospect, it was for my own benefit. They are such lovely things to look at – the colours, patterns, shapes – and are wonderful to touch – smooth, satiny, and cool. I have in the past filled my pockets with them – turning them around like rosary beads as I walk. I have stacked them in baskets and in bowls around the house to admire until the shine disappears and the shape wrinkles and crinkles. I met a man scrabbling around on the ground beneath the horse chestnut trees in Sherren Avenue the other day. He was a bit embarrassed to be found picking up conkers. He said he didn’t really know why he did it. But I know – because I will always find them one of the most attractive of fruits of autumn

Autumn Leaves – London Plane

We can’t fail to note the progress of autumn as we exit the Greenwood House car park or walk up to the village shop. The leaves on the London Planes outside Herrison Hall, and up the slope where we duck the low branches, are fast changing colour and falling.

Hedgerow Wayfarer Berries

Various stages of development and ripening of the berries borne by the Wayfarer or Wayfaring tree (Viburnum lantana) seen in hedgerows around the village, notably in Olympic Park and the CD Nature Reserve – although they are rapidly stripped by the birds.