Out Of The Dark

On another unseasonably mild day, I wandered around the garden with my camera, picking





Camellia 1Camellia 2


Viburnum rhytidophyllum

viburnum rhytidophyllum,




and bergenia.

This afternoon we drove through the forest to Burley. On the way we stopped at a New Forest car park for a short walk with Scooby.

Ponies always gather round the parked cars because there is always a reasonable chance of hands offering titbits on the ends of arms extended from open windows. So it was today, until a family turned the tables and advanced on the ponies in great excitement.

Family tracking ponies 1Family tracking ponies 2Ponies leaving

It wasn’t long before the animals turned tail,

Ponies in landscape

only to return to their habitual patch of heathland when the coast was clear.

Gorse bush, man, and boy

A track, up which various walkers clambered, led down to a valley below.

Skyscape with poniesSkyscape with poolSkyscape with tree

Still an hour away from sunset, we were treated to some interesting skyscapes.

It was not yet 4.00 p.m. by the time we arrived in Burley, but the targeted tea rooms were closed. We therefore sought refreshment in the Burley Inn. Mine was a pint of Flack’s Double Drop.

Still not 5.00 p.m., we returned home in the dark. As we left the village and entered the less than broad, unlit roads across the forest, a stream of traffic approaching on our right, Jackie hit the brakes. Out of the dark, a black and grey pony appeared, in the Modus’s dipped headlights, ambling straight towards me on the passenger side. My chauffeuse barely had room to swerve around the beast to slip between that and the oncoming traffic.

Becky, two cars behind, was treated to a similar experience. This was our closest encounter yet.

This evening, Jackie, for our dinner, produced tender roast lamb, roast parsnips, Yorkshire pudding, stuffing, perfect carrots and Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower cheese. Apple crumble would have followed had anyone left enough room for it. Becky and Ian drank rose and I finished the El Sotillo.


  1. Beautiful photos, and it sounds like a great day. I’m glad you were able to swerve around the pony! We’ve never had to dodge ponies here, only deer, and the other day a wild turkey in the road.

  2. I don’t know the names of most flowers, but thanks to you, I’m learning. Gracias! Why do some flowers have such long and complicated names? If the flowers knew about the names they’re given, I think they would be unhappy. 🙂

  3. First daffodil spotted here today… After Storm Frank it will get colder though it seems. Hope we don’t have too wild a night. It does seem to be cranking up out there..

  4. Those Daffodils think they have wintered over already? My memory – often dubious these days I admit – says that Daffodils are out March – April ? After a long cold wintery spell is duly completed………. So glad you missed the horse and the horses missed you! Jackie adds auto agility to her long list of talents! 🙂

  5. Excellent sequence. You really pony-upped the dramatic moment with the incident on the way home. 🙂
    All the best in the New Year. 🙂

  6. I like the allium, too. It is so elegant in shape and form. I would love to live someplace where there are free running ponies, but I had enough of animals jumping out ahead of me when I lived in Northern Wisconsin. I used to say that the deer leaping out of the forest every 10 minutes were going to give me a driving anxiety disorder. Funny that the ponies take or leave people on their own terms.

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