Indian Summer days

16 September 2012
Ben Pentreath

Don’t you love these days as late summer slips into early Autumn; not quite frosts, yet, but heavy, wet dews and misty mornings and then burning hot afternoons? My good friend George came to stay with Barnaby & Wilfred, his two boys, and it was just one of those weekends. Saturday dawned with beautiful mist rising through the valley.


Having collected our raspberries for breakfast (blue pyjamas, anyone?), and generally woken up, it was time to get on with the day and we decided to go fossil hunting at Charmouth, on the extraordinary Jurassic coast. I can’t say it was a particularly successful hunt but Wilfred found half a tiny ammonite and I had a perfect time soaking up the hot sunshine for a couple of hours. The beach shimmered in the haze while happy searches were carried out by hundreds of people from one end to the other… I am not sure with any significant results. But no-one seemed to care; it was a nicely careless afternoon.

After pottering around in Charmouth, admiring the regency villas and eating fish and chips, it was back to the OP for a snooze in the garden for me (football for others). And then we had a crazy social club evening – a treasure hunt around the Bride Valley. Insane clues had been set and teams of cars set off, hurtling around the lanes in search of answers. The hilarious moment would be when you meet another team driving in the opposite direction… One of us had to be wrong!

Needless to say there was no time to take a photograph, but we ended up at the village hall for a superb barbecue and to find that we were the winning team. £5 each to Barnaby and Wilfred, which was a pretty exciting end to what was frankly a pretty exciting afternoon. Long live Indian Summer days.


7 comments on this post


Was also immediately reminded of the novel mentioned above…a little gift of a book. Your photos are just delightful. Thank you.

Margaret Powlingsays:

Yes, I was about to ask the same question that Janelle McCulloch has asked … the book based on the real-life story of Mary Anning. There are several other books about her, too, one being Jurassic Mary by Patricia Pierce; Curiosity (a novel about Mary Anning) by Joan Thomas; and The Fossil Hunter (non-fiction) by Shelley Emling.

Have you read the novel by Tracy Chevalier (author of The Girl With The Pearl Earring) called ‘Remarkable Creatures’. It’s set on the coast you’ve just photographed and is based on the real-life story of Mary Anning, one of the most remarkable fossil experts of all time who lived there.

Your garden looks beautiful in the Indian Summer haze. Thank you for posting so many lovely photos.

Margaret Powlingsays:

Absolutely great pix. Not been on the beach there, fossilling, but it’s something I should love to do. By coincidence, at Sidmouth today, just along the Jurassic coast.

These Indian Summer days are such a joy.They will linger in our memories as the colder days eventually arrive. A moment in time beautifully captured.

Louise Reasays:

Oooh, lovely post! I adore Autumn, and you describe it perfectly. The crisp morning air but still warm in the afternoon, we also had a snooze in the garden. My mother lives in Dorset but we’ve not been to Charmouth, time for a visit methinks. Thank you. Your garden looks great by the way..


thanks for an enchanting post- it literally made my day.

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