Careless Mother


A rare glimpse of the sun this morning reminded me that I had neglected to offer any photographs of the front garden in yesterday’s post.

Plants in front of garage door

These are the flowers fronting the garage doors. I am sure that the Head Gardener would wish to have it pointed out that she swept this area later.

Japanese anemones in front garden

Two general shots display Japanese anemones and a couple of clematises;

Front garden 2

and petunias, hydrangea, and erigeron. The tree is a winter flowering cherry.

Honeysuckle and solanum on trellis

On the trellis honeysuckle and solanum are prominent,

Trellis and hanging baskets

while petunias in hanging baskets and orange nasturtiums add vibrant colour.


Although patches of blue sky would peek between occasional gaps in the threatening clouds, we didn’t see much more of the sun.

I spent much of the day on form-filling and other administrative tasks. This afternoon Jackie drove me to the soon to be closed down Hordle Post Office to avail myself of a box that would take larger envelopes. We then drove into the forest.

Donkey and foal

At East Boldre it seemed sensible to stop as a donkey foal wandered in front of the car.

Donkey eating thistles 1Donkey eating thistles 2

Not worried in the slightest, the mother lived up to the reputation of her kind, and tore at thistles

Donkey eating bramblesDonkey eating brambles 2

and brambles in contented oblivion,

Donkey foal 1Donkey foal 2Donkey foal 3

whilst her offspring, after a little thought, ventured back into the road,

Donkey foal in road having a scratch

causing an Openreach van to give the creature a wide berth when it stopped to enjoy a leisurely scratch. Either the adult was extremely negligent or she considered that the youngster had learned that it had the right of way on New Forest roads. This is almost certainly the same mother and child I photographed in April soon after the baby’s birth, when it was sprawled out across the verge.

Heather hillock

Further on, beneath a heather covered hillock at Crockers Clump,

Pool 1Pool 2

on the edge of a Stygian pool,

Fallen tree 1Tree trunk 2Tree trunk 1

a long tree had fallen across the sward, coming to rest against one still upright. In compliance with regulations in the interests of ecology this tree will remain where it lies until it rots away.

This evening we dined on succulent chicken Kiev served with new potatoes, crunchy carrots, and toothsome green sprouting broccoli. Jackie drank Hoegaarden annoying 1445, and I drank Parra Alta malbec 2016.


  1. Interesting mother-child dynamic that equates to humans too … is she very relaxed and confident or is she negligent? Should we involve social workers or will that result in magnified donkey problems? Whatever the conclusion they are a glorious pair of donks, that is certain ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I am not surprised that every portion of your garden is lovely, Derrick–front, back, sides.
    The baby donkey is so adorable. I do hope he doesn’t decide to test out his right to the road again.
    Wonderful photos, as always, though perhaps you’d better stay clear of the Stygian pool.

  3. Crockers Clump. I believe I read that it was the location of a donkey race in the in the late 19th century which was won by Old Crocker, a donkey with a limp.

  4. I can’t tell the difference between the back, or front, garden, they both seem to have a lot of stuff growing in them. Lovely shot of the late summer sky, brought back happy memories. of winter in Melbourne. Smart baby donkey, exercising his right like that.
    The Stygian pool reminded me that I shall soon be crossing it’s mighty river.

      1. Goodness me. He even piggybacks on your blog to throw nasturtiums at Melbourne’s weather. Anyway I love the majesty of tall dark clouds. And the solanum – do you call that a potato vine?

    1. Thanks very much, Lisa. As we drove past that hillock, a number of ponies were grazing on the sides, giving a splendid terraced effect down to the pool. By the time Jackie had parked and I had returned, they had all come up on the level, so I settled for the tree.

  5. Your stories are so fun. “beneath a heather covered hillock at Crockers Clump”. It’s like reading something by Virginia Woolf ๐Ÿ˜€ That little donkey certainly has some wild bed head! Do you know this term in the UK. It’s when you wake with crazy messy hair! I’m sure *you* never do ;D Also, any animal that wants to eat up thistle is a pal in my books. We have ‘Canada Thistle’ and it’s super invasive and sharp and prickly. It’s almost impossible to get rid of. Go Donkey go! Cheers, Boomdee

  6. Wonderful photos. Kudos to your gardener for cleaning. Animals walking freely among the populace still amazes me. Exactly when is it okay to remove fallen trees. I mean, if I was stuck under one…oh, never mind, I know the answer. ‘Goodbye, cruel world!’ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Hope that sweet little donkey makes it to adulthood! From what you have posted, I take heart in that the drivers really do seem to watch out for the animals.

  8. We were out in The Forest on Weds. and Thurs., and there seemed to be donkey foals in evidence everywhere. Near Beaulieu, there was a pair like this, the mother (or, at least, adult) chewing away in the hedge, not causing any traffic problems, and a baby semi-oblivious to the enormous queues both ways.
    For the first time, I saw a piebald donkey, sandy with whitish patches.

  9. Can I start a minor furore about the plural of clematis? By most Latin standards, it should be clemates, with the last -es as a separate syllable. Perhaps it looked too confuseable with a sexually-transmitted disease to gain acceptance among the horticulturentsia? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. “I am sure that the Head Gardener would wish to have it pointed out that she swept this area later.”

    She’d probably prefer to have it pointed out that YOU swept the area later. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. A beautiful trip to the forest, and I always love to see the donkeys and ponies. It is still hot and dry here. I love these photos with lush green.

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