Until July 2017, documenting the seasons of coastal Dorset. I'm a complete amateur so don't trust I'm always right. If ever you see I'm wrong - whether with identifications or in anything else - do say! Meanwhile . . . I've now moved to Halifax in West Yorkshire. Click on the link below to collect the new URL. Don't forget to follow there!

Saturday, 24 November 2012


Bryanston woods across water meadows from Blandford Forum bridge.

This is really a post about fungi. I have to tell you this because, if I don't, there will be no way of you knowing because, after this paragraph, they won't be mentioned again until the end. But it's good to have a context. These woods are the context for the fungi in the next post and for them, you will have to wait!

They are on the edge of the River Stour, which runs beside Blandford Forum in Dorset and which is, as you can see from the gulls swimming on the grass, prone to flooding in wet weather. The woods themselves, at least on the bank we are about to walk along, are on enough of a rise to be mostly protected from the water and they are, I reckon, one of the most beautiful places you could ever be.

Looking up the trunks into the branches of beech trees in autumn.
They are wonderfully and sensitively managed; the lightness of touch is impressive - old logs left and lots of undergrowth but paths kept clear so people (and horses) can walk through safely. To get there, it's a bit more than half an hour's walk followed by an hour's bus-ride from the places I usually show you so forget the sea, forget pebbles . . . and, in winter, you can think snow.

Close up to a branch of golden beech leaves.
November 17th 2012
The grey behind the leaves is the water of the Stour.
Some  branches are branches, some reflections.

At the beginning of the walk, there are yew trees. After that, at this time of year, it's the beeches which most attract my eye. The ways through the woods are wide so it's reasonably safe to look up as you walk; though it is, in places pretty muddy.

Some of the leaves, as you can see, are quite a deep bronze. Others, brighter.

A wide path through the woods,a thick layer of fallen beach leaves under foot

And, under foot, a carpet of both - with more and more falling as you walk.

(Notice the ivy?)

St Martin's Church, glimpsed in the distance between the branches of trees

Through the trees, you can see St Martin's - the church of Bryanston School.

St Martin's Church, Bryanston School, Blandford Forum
If you keep going (which you have to unless you turn back, there's no-where in between!) you will come out beside it, or near it (depending on the route you take) and, all the time, you will have been looking out for fungi - or, at other times of year, maybe . . . beetles? I don't mean it's rock solid with fungi - but there are enough to make it extra interesting, especially because they are not the same as the fungi I know from the woods nearer home.

* * *
For the post about the fungi in this wood, click
How are the trees you are following doing
 now it's autumn?
My elderberry seems pretty mundane
compared with the beeches in
these woods but,
not withstanding,
I'll catch you up with it soon.

For the post about the fungi in this wood, click


Janet said...

What a nice, happy, relaxed post. I enjoyed the autumn walk.

Like the new look too.

Mark Willis said...

A lovely day at the *beech* then...
The photo of the chuch seen in the distance through the trees is very clever. That little patch of brightness in the centre of the dark foliage works really well.
Looking forward to seeing what fungi you found.

Down by the sea said...

That looks a lovely spot and the beech leaves are so colourful. We have only walked around the nature reserve and never walked down by the river. I'll look forward to seeing your fungi.
Sarah x

Toffeeapple said...

Your first image was utterly stunning, Lucy. So beautiful.

sparkle100-havealook.blogspot.com said...

Very beautiful pictures.

I live all you show at my back door almost.

Down many bush paths.

Oh it is so amazing the Fall.

Look at my older posts.

We have so much in common.

Nice to meet you blogger land.

Lucy said...

Thanks,Janet. Glad the post is relaxing. Certainly, I felt relaxed and cheerful having walked through these woods.

Hello Mark . . . thanks for the joke . . . Hum, glossing over that . . . It's great, isn't it,when you catch glimpses of something 'other'.

Hello Down by the Sea - I've not walked round the nature reserve. (Didn't know there is one - will have to find it!)

Hello Toffeeapple - you mean the one towards the woods from the bridge? Seeing them at this stage in the year, and from this distance, makes one realise how much planning goes into apparently 'wild' places.

Hello Sparkle - have been looking through your pictures. I would not like to come face to face with a bear!

Mina fotostunder said...

Beautiful landscape!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

What a lovely walk Lucy, I know I've just enjoyed it here in Perth early this Sunday morning. A walk in the Australian country couldn't be more different, nice in its own way but there's nothing like the the English countryside for a blissful walk. J'adore the last two shots with tantalizing glimpses of S. Martin's church..

Forest Keepers said...

What a beautiful place! I am looking forward to the pictures of the fungi!

Chris Petrie said...

Stunning photographs. The mood evoked reminds me of a book I am reading, "Lolly Willowes" by Sylvia Townsend Warner, which evokes some wonderful woodland walks in the Chilterns.
Just now my thoughts are with those affected by floods in the Sout West - there's a bit more than your first picture I fear. Blessings.

Mark and Gaz said...

What an atmospheric and beautiful walk Lucy!

Hollis said...

really wonderful photos ... thanks for sharing the pleasures of your walk!

catmint said...

lovely walk, I can almost feel and hear the crunching of autumn leaves underfoot.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post, and such mellow autumn pictures. Flighty xx

Chris Petrie said...

PS - 5 days later the next book I am reading is a must for you: "The Garden of Eveing Mists" by Tan Twan Eng - even with an idea that echoes Mark's comment about the framing of the church.

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

A lovely post and I look forward to seeing how your fungi compare to the ones I found and posted about from my garden in Italy.

Lucy said...

Dear Everyone, apologies for taking so long before replying. (I will!)

Meanwhile, you may like to know I've now posted about the fungi I found in the woods.


Hope you enjoy discovering them with me.