After The Rain 2

On a crisp, bright morning with a cloudless blue sky, we took a drive around the New Forest.

Lacking a leaf canopy, the treetop roof, like our kitchen skylight, leaked onto the forest floor.

Reflections in pool 1Reflections on pool 2Reflections in pool 3Reflections in pool 4Reflections in pools 6Reflections on pool 8Reflections in pool 8

These scenes, photographed at Brownhills near Wootton Heath, were repeated throughout our journey. Branches are traced on the surface of pools reflecting various hues of blue contrasting with the seepage from the reddened soil and the

Forest floor 2

fallen leaves. It was possible to ignore the soggy refuse littered about.

Redlands stones

Redlands house name on stone was also reflected in nature’s mirror.

Ponies generally remain deeper in the forest during heavy rain. Today they were everywhere in the forest and on the heathland.

Ponies 2Ponies 3

On Whitefield Moor two members of a basking group appeared to lack the energy to support the weight of their heads. The most likely explanation is that these creatures, usually pretty scrawny by this time of the year, have been eating as if it were Christmas for some months now.

Pony preening

A giant, preening, swan, upon closer inspection turned out to be an itchy pony

Ponies 1

that tail-twitched off after gaining some relief.

Firs 1

The magnificent upright redwood firs of the Rhinefield arboretum burned in the sunlight.

Cattle on road 1Cattle on road 2Cattle on road 3Cattle on road 4

A group of mud-caked, yellow-tagged, curly haired cattle, as they ambled along the road hugging the wall of a thatched cottage at East Boldre, successfully delayed traffic for a while.

The yellow tags on these creatures’ ears denote ownership by the commoners who are entitled to allow their animals to roam free. I have never seen these beasts released from their byres this early in the year.

This evening we dined at Dynasty in Brockenhurst. I enjoyed a king prawn jalfrezi; Jackie’s choice was paneer chaslick ; we shared an egg paratha, special fried rice, and sag paneer; and both drank Kingfisher.


  1. Fantastic pics, love the cattle roaming about. We are both very envious about your meal out tonight!!

      1. Rarely have to correct you, but you’re the second authoritative voice to claim that the storms have been named only since the beginning of the year. Storm Frank was the one in December, which hit those already-damaged North-Western communities over Xmas. The Met Office must have started the pattern in October or November, and I can’t see any reasoning for starting then.

  2. Ah me! So familiar. I’ve been run off the road by those self same cattle. One day you ought to read my novel (gratuitous plug here) which is set in and around Hordle in 1976. Back then I worked in a well known hotel not a million miles from Boldre on my return from my first year at Uni and I copied that setting. People wonder if it is autobiographical. If it was then it would have been a damn sight more interesting than my actual holidays! Happy to send you a copy if you were interested.

      1. Ok well the money goes to charity – Streatham youth club – though I’d be happy to let you have a copy if you could pop a review on Amazon and good reads. Let me have your full address on email and I’ll even sign it!

  3. I liked all kinds of things in your photographs, Derrick. Flora and fauna abounded, I especially liked the horses/ponies and the reflections of beautiful trees with blue sky intact in the photos. I admired your ability to hold still and make these shots gorgeous in clarity and details. What a lovely tall redwood fir! Elegant and as you stated, sun shining into the woods and rays lighting up the trunk.

  4. What a splendid day. I enjoyed the group of pool reflections and those intriguing ponies (are they Shetland? excuse my ignorance!) as they lolled about. The cows with the thatched roof cottage–really fun to study.

    1. Thank you, Cynthia G. Shetland ponies are much smaller – like those illustrated by Thelwell. There are some of those in the forest, but these are, I believe, New Forest ponies

  5. The cows on the road reminds me of our ‘long paddock’, a network of wide verges on the side of country roads where drovers would take their cattle for a feed, especially during drought.

    Love reflections.

  6. Love the photo of the single cow whose curly head almost looks like a toupé.
    It’s also interesting to see how so many of the tree reflections appear in different color palettes from the scenes they reflect…

  7. These are so beautiful. I keep coming back to them and realised I must have not liked the post because it appears so. I really love the ones you took as reflections, they’re just stunning!

  8. I couldn’t believe it… “ownership by the commoners who are entitled to allow their animals to room free” – that’s fantastic! You live in a wonderful world! Our government would’ve regulated that (and the beef and the milk and the yellow tags and the hide and the hoofs and the…) I’m not being cynical – I thought it was terrific!

    1. Well spotted, Bruce. I have changed it, but I do hope readers will see this bit of poof redding from you. I HAD TYPED ROOM INSTEAD OF ROAM. Brilliant comment. 🙂

      1. Bloomin’ heck – I read it as “roam” and only noticed it after you pointed it out!!! I’d copied and pasted the quotation! I still think it’s fantastic that such animals are permitted to roam free!

    2. Actually, Bruce, it IS regulated, but by the Verderers, who have their own quasi-courts, etc., so are like a local council, but nominally with the good of their members in mind.

  9. Great pictures as always. I can tell it’s the end of the week and I’m tired I’ve just wasted five minutes trying to find the swan in the picture until I read the caption again!

  10. I know that too much rain is not good, Derrick. But the pictures you’ve done after the rain are gorgeous. So, we can find beauty also in less good things. 🙂

  11. You mentioned about the cattle being set free to roam early. Have they actually been penned yet this [mild] winter?

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