Summer Evening, West Dorset

28 June 2015
Ben Pentreath

I’ll admit to finding something deeply special at this time of year, just after midsummer, at the particular time of day as the sun is about to set and the land is suddenly lighter, for a few minutes, than it’s been before. I think it’s called the ‘gloaming’; the time between sunset and dusk. For me, it’s the magic moment of summer time.

Friday was a grey old day. I had come down late the night before, leaving Charlie in London having a party with our lovely neighbour Nic from here in Dorset, who was staying with him up at the flat for a night. I had to be down in Dorset for work and meetings. Which was ironic. Chilly clouds scudded across the Dorset hills on Friday morning, and by the afternoon rain was sweeping in from the west. At eight o’ clock, I collected Charlie and Nic from Dorchester station.

As we dropped down into the valley the skies cleared and a beautiful, soft sunset fell upon the drenched, misty landscape. We got home to find Charlie’s border looking like a jewel.

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I was cooking. Nic, with Charlie, popped across the road to collect her husband Jim, who looks after sheep and rare breed cattle…the famous ‘Longhorn Jim’. I am not sure if links are still available to watch the BBC film made about Jim a few years ago, but here’s a starting point: perhaps see what you can uncover… (time for a re-broadcast I think, don’t you?).

Meanwhile, I couldn’t believe the mist blowing over the hills. The scene was completely beautiful.

I was taking photos when out popped Jim, Charlie and Nic.  Our very own village supermodels, as far as I’m concerned.
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In fact, in all seriousness, we’re trying to persuade Nic that she really needs to become a model. Don’t you agree? (modeling agencies reading this blog please get in touch and I will put you on to her).

Cattle grazed between the trees.P1080557

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Looking west, down the valley, the light was extraordinary; like nothing you’ve seen before.
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I turned back home… it was time to finish off cooking, after all; Jim, Nic and Charlie had already left to open a bottle. The light on the village and the little church at the bottom of our garden was beautiful.P1080601 P1080602 P1080605 P1080606 P1080607 P1080618 P1080619

The sun set, and the gloaming time was reached. We settled in for a long night of roast chicken and happy conversation, and lots of wine, and new potatoes and salad straight out of the garden, and the travails of a long week faded into distant memory, and all was very, very good with the world on a high summer evening in the far west of Dorset.

29 comments on this post

Debra Mooresays:

The photo of the cattle crossing the field in the sunset is by far one of the best photos of the countryside l have ever seen a timeless beauty oh how l would have loved to have been there.I think they stole the show.Sorry guys but l am sure you won’t mind just this once but the catwalk awaits!!

Nessa Ryallsays:

Wow! That golden light! the south is such a different place,so soft and gentle.Thank you
for sharing those remarkable images.

beautiful people.
beautiful place.
beautiful writing.
i love your life. thank you ben!

Beautiful writing Ben. I am transported from the top of the Great Dividing Ranges in Queensland to beautiful, beautiful England. The light was divine. We live in a beautiful, wonderful world.


The cows have my vote as models! Best, Nicola


Thank you for sharing such exquisite beauty with us. Nature, English style, leaves me without words.

Heaven on earth. You are incredibly lucky in your life!


Thank you, Ben. I love Mondays because of you.


I cannot, CANNOT imagine living in such beauty, day after day ,all around me.


I think that must be heaven if there is one.



A little late in the day for my fix but my goodness, so worth it!


Absolutely breathtaking! Thank you, Ben.

I know what you mean about that magical golden light. I experienced it once here in mid-Wales where I live and was told that it is caused by dust from the Sahara! True or not, it is heart-stoppingly beautiful – as are your photographs.

Oh my Ben! What a gorgeous photos! I think my favorite (even allowing for the swoons elicited by Charlie’s foxgloves) is the final shot of the three walking down the road. I love how Charlie and Nic are framed between the gateposts, talking together, while Jim is clearly laughing (in the nicest possible way) at the photographer trotting backwards in front of them–“Just one more shot!”–while the evening sun sends their long summer shadows ahead and turns the bottle of wine into a bottle of liquid gold. Utterly enchanting. Cheers!

Annie Bellesays:

I wish I could walk there, breeze there, see what your photos show.
Annie from Paris.

K Constablesays:

The stars of this blog were the stone and stucco buildings gleaming in the evening light. …and the delphiniums, foxgloves and everything else. Lovely


stunning ! the light is breath taking.


Put that in a bottle and I would spritz it on my face when the world just gets too much for me! Thanks, as ever for making Mondays beautiful for everyone.



Thanks so much for the lovely post. Monday’s are never blue when I read your sublime blog. Long may they continue. Thank you.

Andrew Beansays:

I think yet another glittering career…as a writer awaits you Mr P

Nicholas Bsays:

What a delight – I look forward to your elegant prose and beautiful photos every Monday. A practical question if I may: what camera do you use to take all those wonderful photos?


Hell’s bells, Ben – you have definitely surpassed yourself this time! Absolutely breathtaking. Thank you so much!

Charlotte Ksays:

Green and pleasant land for sure. Lovely

Annie Dsays:

Amazing pictures – perfectly captured. Thank you for sharing.


Beautiful pictures, Ben.

Nicola Lawrencesays:

All so beautiful – the colour and light in your photos is truly captivating. I love the sight of cattle grazing – esp on verdant pastures such as these. Yes, Nic to be a model – and I definitely agree with Sue – Charlie should be a super model (perhaps he already is as far as your blog fans go). We’d better have Nic’s husband as a model too seeing he was in your original model comment. The garden is divine. Thank you, Nicola.


The garden is looking amazing as are your sunset landscapes.


Charlie should become a super model !

Pierre B.says:


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