A Rogue Encounter


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.

4X4 crossing ford

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.

Reflections in pool

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.


  1. I love the shots of the deer, Derrick. They reminded me of a trip to the mountains many years ago. We were driving through a National Park and in a meadow were hundreds of deer. I’d never seen that many gathered in one spot. Oh, I love the red cow on the bridge…that made me smile.

  2. Good to see you’re drinking a red, from the Adelaide hills of South Australia. Wynns do make some fine wines. The Barossa and the Hunter certainly produce some excellent drops! πŸ™‚
    You do seem to have a thing about photographing the rear end of animals; some would take it as a fetish, whereas I believe the poor creatures are fed up being photographed, and are doing their best to get away from anybody holding anything remotely resembling a camera! πŸ˜€ πŸ™„ :bear:

  3. What nice day, Derrick, and thank goodness for the warning about the evil tempered bovine. The deer are lovely. They made me remember a photograph called “Running White Deer” by Paul Caponigro (possibly misspelled), which shows both form and motion…

  4. Your silhouettes of tree and the swaths of purple, indigo and peace sunset remind me of the scenery as I pulled out of work today! I ended up deleting them due to not as lovely and crisp as I had hoped. Yours is perfect, Derrick!
    The cow which has a temper and gone rogue made me crack up a bit. Yes, scary in person but still funny!
    Those deer are adorable and seem all very young. Are they not too old? πŸ™‚

  5. People are always going on about how dangerous wolves or big cats are , but they probably are unaware that farmyard cows kill around a dozen people a year in Britain. A friend of mine was attacked by one years ago and she was really badly traumatised by the event. Some excellent low light photographs by the way.

  6. Lovely photography of the deer and the water points. I liked the other ones too. Funny to note you were trying to get up close and personal with the mad cow πŸ˜€

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