Forest Pursuits


We spent the morning driving around the forest before lunching at Holmsley Old Station Tea Rooms.

Misty landscape with sun

The strong early morning sun forced its way through the rising mist, and eventually dominated the blue skies, warming

the landscape,

Oak branches

and eventually lighting the lichen-covered oaks,

some of which were reflected in the myriad of pools like these on the way to Burley.

Pool and golf green 2

Crossing the road I arrived at another small lake that turned out to be part of a golf course.

As I contemplated the green further up the hill, I imaged what it would be like to hit your ball into the water.

Preceded by their voices a group of golfers dragged their bags into view. I passed on my thoughts, and the gentleman facing me in the second picture, informed me, with a wry smile, that they didn’t need to imagine it.

There are many fords on the forest roads, with bridges for pedestrians wishing to cross swollen streams. This crossing near Burley was dry,

Stream 1

and clear water flowed fast beneath it.

On this fine spring Saturday there was much traffic on the road. This did not deter somnolent ponies who ignored cars slaloming around them and cyclists whizzing through the central gap.


A domestic horse tore nonchalantly at the beech hedge beside its wire fencing.

Telephone box reflected

At Brockenhurst a working Telephone box was reflected in a seasonal pool.

The structure had clearly been left exposed to the elements without protective paint for a number of years. A pile of rubbish carpeted the floor, and it was necessary to negotiate a discarded poop scoop bag to reach the peeling door.

Perhaps it would have been an idea to offer the management to local residents as in the case of this one at Wootton. This is also reflected, but it would be more savoury to make one’s way through mud and pony droppings than the obstacle mentioned above.

There were many golfers playing on various courses on this beautiful morning.

Dog being dried

Also engaged in forest pursuits were dog walkers like this couple drying their dog after a romp amongst the dewy bracken.

Cyclists abounded. Take note of the two heads ascending the hill behind those in the first picture.

Horse riders on Forest Road

Many horse riders were seen on the country roads and across the moors.

Joggers exercised alone,


or in couples. Do you recognise the two heads seen on the road to Burley? Here they are somewhat later.

For lunch at Holmsley Jackie chose her favourite macaroni cheese. My meal was an excellent fish pie served with carrots, peas, and greens.

This evening the Culinary Queen produced a thick mushroom and cheese omelette for our dinner.



  1. I so glad you explained that the dog-owner was giving his pooch a dry off 🙂
    That one ought to be submitted for (I nearly wrote “entered into”, there!) the World Photo-Caption.

  2. What a treat, Derrick! I truly can’t pick one…they’re all wonderful. The reflecting phone booth was fantastic, and the mist shots reminded me of visited to my grandmother’s home in the mountains. She was in the valley, so the mist always settled in during the early morning hours. As an avid golfer, trust me, it’s no fun going into the water. Cheers!

  3. I was all agog at the photo of the phone booth reflection until the dog poop intervened. Amazing how thoughtless (or worse) people can so easily dump on other people’s lives. This post also made me wonder if the forest’s pony population ever gets out of hand. Does someone come in and geld the pony stallions?

    1. Thanks, Brenda. I Know the dog poop was shocking – as it was to me, Part of life’s pattern. I don’t know about any gelding, but there is an annual roundup called The Drift, when they all have a health check. If they are ailing they are not set free.

    2. I cannot imagine going to all the trouble (and it is no fun, I promise) of picking up your dog’s poop in a bag, and then deciding that you actually are NOT a decent human being and discarding the whole thing.

      1. You should see me – running down the street with a 112 pound dog on a leash in one hand and and bright pink dangling bag of poop in the other hand. I’m sure i’m the talk of the neighborhood. lol

  4. To me it feels as if you captured the loneliness of the old red phone box – no longer much needed, only to be found sitting all alone in the countryside, a bag of discarded poop for company and a reflection of its past worth ……..

  5. FIne outing captured Derrick. The ponies again! I for one would enjoy you doing a little feature on the background and existence of the ponies – they seem to be an oddity with a story.



  6. Was just curious, when you are out and about do you have a theme in mind for your next blog post or does it just come to you? You always have such great pictures.

  7. Brilliant! My brother has one of those telephone boxes in his house with a real telephone in it. No one realizes, but one of the telephone box’s walls opens up into quite a large secret library! He has been working on his house for years, and not a building permit in sight (in site).

  8. Such a wide assortment of photos, reminds me of a delicious box of chocolates, Derrick! The black and white photos before the sunshine fully penetrated through the clouds were very mystical. Then, I was enjoying the green lichen and spots of color throughout. The photo booth is very charming and it could be a little sentimentality is attached for some. I miss seeing nicer booths but ours were never quite as pretty as yours were. Happy Sunday and hope you both relax! 🙂

  9. Fantastic narrative, Derrick. So much to comment about but I’ll limit it to a couple in this post. First, the old oak tree looked like it was doing a yoga stand on its head. See what you think. And the big trunk by the stream? Are you certain that it wasn’t an elephant hiding in the overhead growth? Just saying. And, no, it is demoralizing to hit your ball in the water. I KNOW! ?

      1. Our son’s name is Derek, spelled differently than yours, obviously. The English meaning is ‘ruler of the people’. He’s an attorney, need I say more? Would your spelling have the same meaning?

        1. That’s right, Steve. I was a manager in my working life; and have found myself a leader in most walks of life. Strange, isn’t it. Personally, I think that is more to do with being the eldest of 5 🙂

  10. Wonderful photos, Derrick. Now I understand your comments about your fog photos on my post. 🙂
    Beautiful shots, but I also like the lichen-covered oaks. They make me think of a swamp area. I think it’s the green and the dangling branches.
    I love the reflection of the red phone box–it seems like it’s in the middle of nowhere.
    Your mushroom and cheese omelet sounds delicious.

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