I had an amazing walk last week, exploring some new paths that crossed open heathland, and I ended the day by walking along the banks of the River Frome at Wareham. The day had been warm for the time of year but as is usual, the temperature dropped significantly as the sun went down, creating some beautifully atmospheric scenes.
The first pictures were taken looking towards the west where naturally I had hoped there would be a blazing sunset. There wasn’t! The sky just turned a vague shade of pink. The beauty was in the pastel shades and the way it combined with the mist that settled across the meadows in that direction setting off the wonderful silhouettes of the reeds and grasses along the riverbank. The lights of Stoborough glowed softly in the distance and beside me was one of the small irrigation channels that criss-cross the water meadows.
However, turning towards the east, the picture was very different! No mist at all on the main river, just a mirror glass stillness that reflected the lights of the quayside buildings, mainly restaurants and a pub. One of Wareham’s churches, now disused, almost seemed to linger in the background beside the old bridge, its brighter cousins seemingly pushing towards the front so as to be noticed.
Reaching the old bridge itself, I could look back up the River Frome and despite the gloom, I could see the boats rocking ever so gently in the breezeless blue night light. The main church stood proud, looking over the scene like a guardian and the only sound apart from soft voices drifting across the gloom was the occasional slap of rope on mast……plus of course the occasional car crossing the bridge.
Wareham is a lovely place, an old place, and a popular one too. In fact it was once the main town of Poole Harbour until Poole itself was developed as a port – before that, boats had to travel all the way up the Frome to dock at Wareham Quay. Now, the quay is used for just pleasure craft and pleasure people.
The thing that grabbed me on this night was the stark contrast between meadow and river, one misty, soft and receding, the other with a surprising clarity despite the surrounding mantle of mellow mist. Truly a river of contrasts……on this night at least!
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Until next time,
The Dorset Rambler
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