Whilst I like nothing better than heading off into the countryside of Dorset for a whole day’s walking or cycling, this is not always possible so for occasions when I have other commitments, I have a few local, shorter walks that fit around them 🙂 ! One of those walks takes in the River Stour; in fact, a number of those walks include stretches of that river. This was one such walk.
This one takes in the hamlet of Pamphill with its lovely cottages and church intermingled with trees and open greens, as well as some beautiful bluebell woods in the spring. On this occasion, the trees hadn’t quite adopted their full autumn colours but the late afternoon sun with its warmer tones still gave a lovely autumn feel. The sheep gathered together and looked at me suspiciously, and lone leaves were highlighted by the late afternoon sun as I rambled on through woodlands that would be laden with bluebells in the spring. Now they are laden with fallen debris.
This was a chilly day but with some beautifully clear sunlight that threw the trees into silhouettes. And magnificent silhouettes they made too, even though at this point the sky was still blue – this was late afternoon.
By the time I reached the riverside path, the sun was nearing the horizon, throwing bright orange light across the landscape. A dog walker passed me and we exchanged greetings. I couldn’t resist grabbing a picture as she walked away into the setting sun.
The riverside part of this walk is just a few miles, but it is a great few miles with some awesome views. Swans glided silently by, egrets fished equally silently, and kingfishers made their speedy dash from one bank to the other seeking a different perch from which to seek their supper.
There are two crossings along this short stretch of river, one is Roman Crossing, an ancient ford along a Roman road, the other is a more modern wooden bridge known as Eye Bridge. I climbed up onto the latter to take the picture above and just as I took it, a fisherman cast his line in, creating a splash in just the right position for my photograph 🙂 ! The mirror-like foreground reflected the autumn trees up to the point where the weir crosses – beyond that the river was full of ripples. It was almost as if clear glass transitioned to frosted glass.
As I walked away from Eye Bridge, the sky began to light up, becoming first yellow, then orange, and then finally a deep pink as the light faded. Thistles line this part of the river bank and they created eerie silhouettes against the sunset sky, like hedgehogs or giant spiders.
With the light disappearing fast, I strolled slowly on, reluctant to leave this idyllic scene. The sunset, of course, was but fleeting and soon faded to leave blackness with just a light orange glow to help me find my way home.
Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time,
The Dorset Rambler
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