The Grass Is Greener


“We must find a lamb,” announced Jackie this morning. “To prove it is Spring”.

So we did. Quite a few in fact. This wasn’t very difficult given that Christchurch Road is flanked by fields full of them. The farmer appeared to be conducting an inventory. The golden heap in the fourth picture is gravel from New Milton Sand And Gravel.

On such a morning it was a pleasure to continue up to Hockey’s Farm Shop at Gorley Lynch for brunch. Ponies were out in their multitudes today. This group on Holmsley Road couldn’t make up their minds on which side of the road they wanted to take up residence. We thought it best to stop until they had decided.

Many players were out on the Burley golf course, where, to complete a round, they must wheel their clubs across the main road.

Donkeys breakfasted from the middle of the thoroughfare at Rockford Green, while another, oblivious of a passing cyclist, took up her stance on a junction at South Gorley.

Chestnut ponies at Gorley Lynch, having slaked their thirsts in the full ditches, set off down the road to cross at a well-trodden path. One, skirting a welly atop a traffic cone, created a mighty thud as it leapt the ditch and set off in pursuit of its companions. I exchanged pleasantries with the walker being followed by three cyclists. Jackie informed me afterwards that she had waited patiently behind me whilst I wielded my camera. I hope the young woman hadn’t wondered why I hadn’t thanked her.

The paddocks at the farm were, as usual, shared by donkeys and alpacas. One of the latter animals knew very well that the grass is greener on the other side, and seemed determined to taste it.

Not every pony we saw was exercising its right to dominate different road users. Others, occasionally outlined on hillsides, occupied the moors. The one pictured here with its legs in the air is not dead. It is rolling on the grass in order to dislodge something irritating.

For our dinner this evening Jackie produced spicy piri-piri chicken, soft sautΓ©ed leek and peppers, and colourful vegetable rice. She drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Azinhaga Portuguese red wine.


  1. First the ponies and now the golfers – it’s a wonder you ever get anywhere! Love the wellie atop the cone – may have to take up doing that myself, I’d go for pairs though πŸ™‚

  2. I enjoyed this post very much, Derrick. The lambs, ponies donkeys and alpacas; cyclists, walkers, golfers and drivers – all out enjoying the sunshine.

  3. Jackie’s remark at the beginning of your post sounds like the start of a story. (And I guess it was.). The photo of the lamb at the top (and at the end) is such a great shot. It looks like you had a wonderful outing.

  4. ‘We must find a lamb’. That is how great stories begin! Of course you found more than the lambs, ponies and alpacas. You found the Spring! Out here, unless the koel turns up and its fervent calls begin rending the mango orchards, it is not Spring. Of course, my perception could be limited to my childhood experiences of the season of joy and regeneration, when I would prepare myself for the year end examinations by eating hot jalebis off the conical plates made of leaves.

    1. Oh we have a migratory koel who turns up here (90km south of Sydney) every spring. I have no idea if he ever finds a mate, but it is not for want of calling . . . and calling . . . and calling. I can still hear the echo in my head right now.

  5. Baby lambs are utterly adorable. Reading your blog was a lovely way to end the day.

  6. Delightful as always. That boot (welly?) on the traffic cone had my imagination going for a second or two, like someone had fallen in the mud and left a leg sticking up. No wonder the pony skirted it. πŸ™‚

  7. So one of those photos set me to thinking . . . wot if ya called a taxi, cos ya had to get to the station like, to catch a train, which ain’t gonna wait innit it? And then it gets stuck in a line of little shaggy ponies, so whadya’ do? How d’ya to get around those parts when ya gotta’ stick to a timetable?????

  8. That photos of the four “Ewes and Lambs” is priceless. The baby in the middle has the same dour expression as her elders. But that lamb on the end – she knows how to have a good time.

  9. What a beautiful spring day! The lambs do make it really feel like spring. We see many lambs around here now too.

    The ponies and donkeys look like they are enjoying their spring day, too. πŸ™‚

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