As the memories of the long hazy days of summer on Dorset's beautiful beaches start to fade, the Dorset countryside begins to take on the warm hues of early Autumn. This is without a doubt my favourite time of year in Dorset as the landscape is at its most atmospheric. Any early risers among you will be treated to a particularly fabulous spectacle around dawn when soft golden sunlight illuminates the hills, while the shady valleys remain laced with mist and frost.
The dewy mornings and humid wet days result in our woodlands exuding the familiar musty smell of fungus and decay. This is the perfect time to search for some of the many colourful and interesting toadstools and fungi which can be found in Dorset, but you’ll need to be quick as the fruiting bodies of many species don’t last long. They often appear shortly after rain but are quickly eaten by hungry mice, slugs and snails.
You’ll also need a keen eye to spot some of the well-concealed but fascinating species which occur amongst the leaf litter on the woodland floor. It’s only when you get down to their level that you can appreciate the vibrant colours, intricate shapes and textures which led to some intriguing names such as horn of plenty, earth star and shaggy pholiota.
The fallow deer rut is at its peak in mid October. Bucks are in prime condition with very impressive antlers and the Deer Park at Stock Gaylard, just half an hour or so from our properties has a fabulous collection.
While the kaleidoscope of Autumn colour delights our eyes, the changing scenery also brings about changes to the local wildlife.
Most of the summer’s swifts, swallows and martins have departed to warmer climes, but they are replaced with a bevy of winter visitors such as redwing and fieldfare, which appear in time to feast on the wild fruit which now adorns hedgerows throughout the county.
Flocks of starlings begin roosting en masse for protection and warmth in the dense reedbeds all along the coast. At the water’s edge the shorebird migration is almost at an end. Wading birds such as sanderling, grey plover and purple sandpiper have arrived for the winter. Just before sunset skeins of wild brent geese fly back to their overnight roosts on the Fleet lagoon and in Poole harbour.
WATCH THIS SPACE FOR OUR NEXT BLOG ABOUT SOME OF DORSET'S BEST AUTUMN WALKS :-)
Well I'm new to all this blogging stuff so thought I would get things off to a start by telling you a little about myself, my family and our dog, Cashew.
My name is Sam, and I live in Surrey with my husband Chris and our son Freddie, now just 6 years old. The pic below was taken at Corner Cottage the very first weekend after we bought it when we were staying down there with friends and family whilst getting ourselves set up.
Until recently, we had two beautiful Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Poppy and Cashew, but sadly we lost Poppy earlier this year, although her legacy lives on in our hearts - and in our cottages - where we have taken care to provide non-slip floor coverings because otherwise Poppy would refuse to enter!!
Poppy was unbelievably kind and tolerant to Cashew when he arrived and turned her peaceful world upside down. Cashew is 9 now, and getting very grey in his old age, but still fills my heart with joy when all 43 kilos of him hurls himself at me with delight when we come home.
Cashew is also the topic of many of our Twitter and Instagram posts, so please follow us on other Social Media platforms for updates on the life and times of Cashew, Dorset news, special offers and whatever the latest dog-related hashtag happens to be. Some of our favourites are #TongueOutTuesday and #WoofWoofWednesday.
You will find us on Twitter @DorsetHolidogs and on Instagram @dorset_dogfriendly_holidays
And be sure to Like and Follow our Facebook pages for news, reviews and special offers too.
Thanks for reading this far - back soon with more random thoughts!!
Hi! I'm Sam :-)