As I stepped out of our front door this morning I was attracted by a veil of mist hanging over distant trees. This determined a left turn and a walk across the field of brassica, through the woods to the road near Taddiford Farm, and an about turn back to home.
From the middle of the field I looked back to the strip of houses that is Downton. Our blue painted house is visible on the far left. Also in evidence is the Downton Service Station sign. Father Christmas, perched on the garage roof of ‘Badger’s Meadow’, surveyed the traffic on Christchurch Road. On my return, I had a long talk with Mark, the owner, who had moved here some years ago from Worcester Park.
On a whim, I photographed the same woodland scene on four different camera settings. The first was automatic, then came the positive film effect, then vivid, and finally black and white.
Crossing a bridge over the stream, and seeking to create the impression of non-existent sunshine, I continued to play with my settings. So absorbed was I, that at one point I inadvertently retraced my steps earlier than I had intended. Fortunately this was soon corrected.
The more recently planted trees sported tubular shields, no doubt to protect them from nibbling by wildlife, probably of the cervine variety.
The mist still shrouded the more distant trees.
Ian went out for his walk just before the rain set in for the day. He returned looking like a drowned rat, which was interesting, given that we had just seen a real one disappearing into Scooby’s favourite corner of the garden.
One of my stocking presents was a copy of ‘New Forest’, Georgina Babey’s contribution to the Tempus Publishing Images of England series. This is a fascinating social history of the area through the medium of captioned photographs. I devoured this at opportune moments yesterday and today. The cover illustration is a detail from one showing ‘a steam engine transporting logs in Lyndhurst High Street during the First World War. The Steam engine is called Queen of the South and was owned by M. Slater of Eling. It is standing opposite the Stag Inn’. The buildings behind the transport are still there. One is now Honeyford’s butcher’s.
Yesterday Jackie roasted two turkeys, but we didn’t even finish one. With all the other goodies provided for yesterday’s lunch there was plenty left over for us to graze at will today. A delicious mixed meat and vegetable broth in the evening completed the day’s nourishment.