Donkeys and Ice Cream


When we arrived home from Elizabeth’s late yesterday afternoon, the house was very smoky, and the garden full of ash, all emanating from a bonfire in the North Breeze garden, which had been almost razed to the ground. The jungle is no more.

Much rain in the night freshened up our garden,

Bonfire in North Breeze garden 2Bonfire in North Breeze garden 1Bonfire in North Breeze garden 4Smoky garden 1

but had not put out the fire which was added to today.


Some parts of our plot and its contents, like these dahlias, still saw the sun,

Smoky garden 2Smoky garden 3Smoky garden 4Smoky garden 5Smoky garden 6Smoky garden 7

but mostly it remained befogged.

By Hatchet Pond

Elizabeth, Danni, and my great nephew Jasper, came to lunch, after which we drove in convoy to Hatchet Pond.

Jasper and Elizabeth 1Jasper and Elizabeth 2Elizabeth and Jasper 1Jasper 1

Jasper and his Gee-ma investigated the lapping wavelets at the edge of the water.

A woman handed the little lad a bag of prawn crackers with which to feed the water birds. As I said, you always receive too many of this freebies with a Chinese takeaway meal. Jasper wasn’t all that interested, so Danni decided to feed them to

Donkeys 1Donkey foalDonkey shadow

the hastily arriving donkeys, one of which was really very young.

Danni feeding donkey 1

She began with a medium-sized one,

Danni feeding donkey 2

which was head-butted away by the largest creature.

Donkey 1

This animal was so aggressive that the crackers were soon chucked on the ground.

Water liliesBall and water lily

Leaving Jackie on a bench, the rest of us walked to the far end of the pond, past the water lilies,

Women on bench

and others seated in the sun,

Jackie, Jasper, Danni, Elizabeth, ice creams, and donkey

in search of ice cream.

Jasper and Elizabeth 3

Elizabeth clutched wipes for protection against her grandson’s drips,

Jasper and Elizabeth 4

occasionally licking her lips in anticipation.

Ice cream melting

Eventually she was handed the melting cone.

Donkey close-up 1Donkey close-up 2Donkey close-up 3

After this, the aggressive donkey rested its muzzle on my lap.

We dined on Mr Pinks’s fish and chips, gherkins, and pickled onions. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, while Elizabeth and I finished the Douro.

Jasper, Elizabeth and Danni

Danni has just e-mailed me our selfie on the bench.



      1. That would be illegal here though our rangers organise official burnt offs to reduce fuel for bushfires. There was one recently and Sydney was engulfed in smoke.

  1. Smoke makes for ethereal pictures doesn’t it Derrick? Do you think maybe the ‘aggressive’ donkey just really, really likes prawn crackers? Or was it your gentle, gentlemanly charm that seduced it? Too many questions? πŸ˜€

  2. I am surprised that they are allowed to burn like that and that it isn’t contrary to bylaws.
    Really close up and personal with donkeys and cones. The latter have set up a longing in me which cannot be satisfied late at night. Thanks a lot!

  3. That is a fascinating cocktail of donkeys and ice cream! I guess everytime you’ll see that selfie you’ll remember the equus asinus family.

  4. I’m with Mary. You wouldn’t be allowed to light a fire like that in Oz, and leaving it to burn overnight could result in a major bush-fire. Imagine the bark and leaf your one eucalyptus drops and multiply that many times, add in its natural oil and you have a recipe for disaster. Even if the fire is permissible, it would have been courteous to have advised you in advance. What if you were having visitors? Or one of you was asthmatic? Oh well, I suppose it amounts to short term pain for long term gain. Interesting donkey encounter.

    1. Many thanks, Gwen. You are right. The problem was we were away. Had we engaged the fire services no doubt they could have been stopped, but at least the jungle is gone

  5. I’m glad the fire was contained to the debris. It seemed like you had a lovely day, once you got out of the smoke–water lilies, donkeys, ice cream, and family–sounds perfect!
    The donkeys are very friendly!

  6. What a fun, pleasant series of photos, Derrick! Oh, these lovely garden photos after the rain are dreaming and beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  7. The whole of Greece was devoured by flames last week. Many properties vanished into air and quite a few people were left homeless. Btw, on a lighter note, I just love the last picture of you, Jackie, and the rest. Have a great weekend, my dear friend Derrick!

  8. Wonderful photographs, Derek, from the first dramatic one of the fire and smoke, to the family heart-warming shots of family, ponds and ice-creams. Made me smile, anyway!

  9. Yes, wonderful selfie! And, such cute pictures of the young child and the young donkey. What is about young ones? Hope the smoke is cleared by now. Yikes!

  10. neat the way the smoke garden images came out, kind of ghostly, and I think that aggressive donkey really wanted its own ice cream perhaps? <3 I love donkeys <3 nice pics <3

  11. You always inspire me. I’d have never thought to take pictures until the smoke cleared and yet the photos of the smoke were fascinating! The close up pictures of the large donkey are amazing!

  12. That big donkey was a very bold fellow!

    There are some controlled field burns over in my area at this time of year, but backyard brush burning is prohibited during the dry season. Smoke from forest fires near and far has drifted through on occasion.

  13. What an enjoyable day and so well described. I loved as usual your famous way of positioning the water features in your shots, the water lilies look awesome. The black and whites too.

  14. The smoke adds such atmosphere photographically but I am sure you are glad it dissipates. The last is a treasure–sure like this one of you, for some reason it just seems fresh and naturally you–and of all.

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