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Hoping for the cloud to clear we drove out to the north of the forest late this afternoon.
Between Sway and Brockenhurst a woman rode a New Forest pony. This can only be managed after skillful ‘backing’ or breaking in.
Her steed carried her past a gathering of diminutive Shetland or ‘Thelwell’ ponies, ignoring both me and the hair in their eyes as they foraged away.
Along Roger Penny Way we learned that pannage continues, as pigs scampered speedily along the verges
and across the road, snouts searching out mast.
Further along, a group of normal sized ponies grazed on a golf green, as a player prepared his putt. By the time Jackie had parked and I had walked back, a pair of brandished clubs had shooed off the interlopers who satisfied themselves with the roadside where they blended with the golden brown bracken.
We enjoyed dramatic skies across the moors. Blue skies peeped out from lighter clouds, and beams of sunlight pierced the darker ones.
At Godshill a farmer, carrying a bucket, led his little herd of cattle along the roadside;
a deep bellowing emanated from one straggler who broke into a surprisingly spritely sprint, lest it might miss out on whatever was in the container;
and a cow and calf had managed to find themselves on the wrong side of the road.
By the time we reached Abbots Well the landscape, and the cattle therein, basked in warm late sunlight;
the skies on our return home added gold and magenta hues to the darkening slate.
This evening we dined on salmon and smoked haddock fish pie studded with prawns; crunchy carrots and broccoli; and fried leeks and spinach. We both drank Louis de Camponac sauvignon blanc 2015.