A Walk in the Woods

On a Dorset Farm Track
Along an old farm track 

This could also be titled ‘In Search of Autumn’ because it was autumn foliage I was after, so my walk was designed to take me through a number of woodlands that I knew would provide some photo opportunities. I should add at this point that it was before the weekend of rough weather that has since taken most of the leaves off the trees.

It was a chill day but a bright one, ideal for autumn pictures, and I decided to take my DSLR with me, and also my tripod since the walk would follow a river for part of the way and I had in mind some long exposure shots.

Even the initial farm tracks were colourful, if a bit muddy where the tractors had churned up the soaked ground. I always think these look ‘vintage’ somehow and as I walked, I could visualise horses and carriages making their way along to the sound of their rumbling wheels and cracking whips. Who was in the carriage? Maybe a doctor out on his rounds visiting patients in the villages, or maybe some rich aunt heading for London to visit relatives. It seems strange these days that tracks such as these would have been our ‘medieval motorways’ then! How things change!

An Autumn Walk
Autumn in the woods

I passed through numerous wooded areas and found a seat for elevenses. On the side of this roughly hewn seat was a plaque on which was written ‘1918 GGM 1997’ – clearly a memorial, and I wondered who GGM was. Strangely, a little further on as I passed through a small hamlet, there was a similar plaque attached to a wooden garage in a cottage garden. Maybe GGM once lived in that cottage.

A Place to Rest
The memorial seat – with the inscription ‘1918 GGM 1997’

Leaving the hamlet, I followed a delightful grassy path bordered with trees and shrubs, some of which were still in full colour.

A Footpath in Autumn
A delightful path

Standing beneath these trees was just an amazing – looking up at the glorious blaze of colour was awe inspiring.

Forever Amber
Awe inspiring trees

Some seemed to me like soldiers, standing tall and erect and wearing their dress uniforms whilst the sergeant major walked past inspecting the troops.

Standing Tall
Standing tall, like soldiers in dress uniforms

A little later the trees became even more ‘formal’ as I made my way up a much photographed avenue with a country lane running between lines of trees. This was once the approach road to the Classical Revival pile of Crichel House. The house itself is a private residence now owned by an American billionaire but it is possible to walk some of the surrounding land. In fact, the rest of my route would skirt through the grounds, following several of the different approach roads designed to take horse and carriage.

The Avenue
The avenue at Crichel

Passing two old watermills along the way, one now a farm and one derelict, I reached the main part of the River Allen. This is where I intended to take my long exposure shot as I knew there were some colourful trees that would make a great backdrop. Sadly, the sun had disappeared behind a bank of dark clouds that had gathered on the horizon so the light was failing as I set up my tripod.

Nightfall on the River Allen
River Allen long exposure

With darkness fast approaching, I took my shots on either side of an old bridge that carried another of the Crichel House carriage tracks. As I stood there, I could just imagine the Lord of the Manor crossing the bridge on his way back home in centuries past. I wondered what he would have been like. Would he have greeted me? Would he have stopped to chat? Or would he have just passed speedily on and seen it as beneath him to engage with someone of lower class than himself?

Nightfall on the River Allen
Trees masquerading as a sunset 🙂 

I had hoped to finish my autumn ‘walk in the woods’ with a sunset shot but as often happens, that bank of cloud prevented it. Nevertheless, those beautifully clad trees created for me a delightful ‘sunset’ of their own so I was perfectly satisfied with this alternative.

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time,
Your friend The Dorset Rambler

If you would like to contact me, my email address is terry.yarrow@gmail.com – comments and feedback are always welcomed.

All photographs, poems and words in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and must not be reproduced without permission.

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