A Good Arboreal Scratch

We enjoyed another bright and sunny day, albeit a little cooler. A light, short-lived frost had left strings of pearls around our early flowers including


hellebores I had overlooked yesterday,

Prunus pissardi 1Prunus pissardi 2

and prunus pissardi.

This afternoon I watched recorded highlights of last Sunday’s drawn rugby match between Ireland and Wales. This is a very rare result these days, and you have to go back 42 years to the last evenly scored game between these two teams.

After this, Jackie drove us to Ferndene Farm Shop where we bought three bags of compost; then meandered around the forest as far as Godshill and back along Roger Penny Way.

Cloudscape 1Cloudscape 2Cloudscape 3Cloudscape 4

Ponies and magpie

The sun romped in and out of the clouds in the ever-changing skies spilling light and shade over the heathland where well-fattened ponies, with their magpie acolytes, chomped their way across the turf.

Ponies crossing road

When these free-creatures of The New Forest fancied the grass would be greener on the other side, they wandered across the road, exercising their inalienable right to hold up the traffic.

Shattered fallen tree

The recent storms have brought down numbers of trees such as this oak, its trunk shattered, on the approach to Burley,

Oak tree

where another, more dead than alive, still stood,

Pony scratching

and where one pony left its companions foraging whilst it had a good arboreal scratch.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy chicken curry; savoury rice; and vegetable samosas and pakoras; followed by Sicilian lemon tart and evap. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank Fortnum & Mason Saint-Emilio grand cru 2011, given to me by Luci and Wolf for Christmas.


  1. What a beautiful journey again. I love the images of the clouds with the light captured behind them. Such lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing

  2. Leaving aside the pesky ponies and their ‘God Bless the Duke of Argyle’ moment, Burley will always mean one thing (apart from Christmas Cricket, being chased by a pig on the golf course, summer crowds and the annual Scout orienteering competition in the 70s!) and that is the Flying G Ranch where you could pretend to be a cowpoke back in the 60s 70s. Long gone sadly I believe but a real treat to see with all their western style gear – as long as I kept a distance from the horses. Very Bonanza cum High Chapparal’ http://www.britishpathe.com/video/hampshire-hombres

  3. Lovely photos. It’s nice to see the early flowers. We don’t have any like that, but I did see a snowdrop had bloomed the other day–while it was snowing!

  4. Derrick, what lovely photos. The macro shot of the flower was brilliant. The dewdrops were awesome. That final scratch looked very relaxing. I especially like your phrasing: “arboreal scratch.” Have a lovely Valentine’s weekend. xo

  5. Wonderful photos, as always. I feel as though I am right along with you and Jackie. But my favorite is the macro of the flower.

  6. The wonders of WordPress that I get to see clouds on both sides of the Atlantic on the same day. I love the bare old oak photo. That’s kind of how I feel today when the winds are howling and snow blowing and we all stay inside because it’s -25 Celcius out there. Nice to see spring arriving in your ‘hood.

  7. I had a busy week do sorry for heading backwards to feel caught up with your part of the world, Derrick.
    I loved the beauty in the frozen pearls or droplets captured by you in the photos of flowers!

  8. I love those pictures with big, fluffy and nervous clouds.
    Very funny that pony with his arboreal scratch 🙂
    Beautiful post, Derrick.

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