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This afternoon we drove to Homebase in Christchurch and purchased a lavatory seat, a handle for the cistern, and a tin of touch up paint to cover a repair to the guest bathroom wall where a visitor had pulled the towel rail off.
After this we toured the forest until after dark.
Some way north of Ibsley our path was blocked for a good fifteen minutes by an obdurate bovine that, head down and white tail swishing, made its deliberate, stubborn, way down the centre of the road. Even the approach of another car did not deter this red cow. Eventually we were able to draw level, by driving onto the grass verge. The idea was to take a close-up photograph with the window open. An upturned head, and a warning bellow gave me second thoughts. The creature then turned left and continued down to a ford which it crossed by means of the footbridge. Giving a couple of ponies a wide birth the animal carried on up the opposite slope and vanished from sight.
A 4X4 then crossed the ford and stopped alongside me. The driver asked me if I had been photographing the deer. When I explained our interest in the cow, she explained that this was a ‘rogue’. It was quite aggressive and possibly dangerous. Efforts were being made to trace the owner, because it needed ‘to be taken out of the forest’.
Jackie had seen the deer and pointed them out. I walked back to the ford to photograph them. Despite the distance, at each click of the camera, more of the creatures raced across the field, as if they were posing for the Lascaux caves.
Further on along the road, we passed two more families behind the trees, with others on the far side of a fence. They were more inquisitive.
Up on the moor at Abbots Well, we watched a sunset rather more muted than of late.
The pool in which these trees were reflected had been dryer a couple of weeks ago.
On our way back, at two different points along an unlit Roger Penny Way, three deer and a pig risked their lives by running across in front of the car. The pig was intent on joining its snuffling, snorting, grunting, family hoovering up a fine crop of beech nuts.
We stopped for a drink at The White Hart in Pennington on our way home. We then dined on Jackie’s lovely lamb curry, onion rice, and naans. I drank a glass of Axis 251 Coonawarra cabernet sauvignon 2015.