The Drove

On yet another warm and sunny afternoon, Jackie drove me to Milford on Sea where Peter, of Sears Barbers, cut my hair. Afterwards we took a trip into the forest.

Despite the record high temperatures for February that we have recently experienced, there remain many waterlogged areas offering reflective surfaces. These examples lay on the high water plain at Norleywood, East End, and Pilley.

All provide temporary residences for mallards.

Anyone in a hurry on the B3055 from Hatchet Pond to Brockenhurst later this afternoon would have been very disappointed and either found a new route or joined in the fun. We passed a quite substantial herd of determined, plodding, cattle; calves in tow; trooping across the moor, arriving on and beside the road, set on course for somewhere ahead. Imagining that a parking space some distance further on would give us a good vantage point for photography, Jackie drove on until we came to one. Initially we needed my wife’s binoculars and my long lens to confirm that the dots in the distance were still on the move.

A young woman in a pink jumper had the same idea. She, of course, used a mobile device – until the cattle took an interest and she settled for discretion.

It took this labouring drove surprisingly little time to catch us up, and continue disrupting the traffic as they passed,

into the hazy evening sun en route to

disappearing into the woodland beside Stockley Cottage.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb cottage pie with most flavoursome gravy, crunchy carrots, tender runner beans, cabbage, and leeks.


  1. haha, that lady in pink should have known that was nothing wrong in a cow being a ham! Good pictures, Derrick, we don’t often see such a large herd along a country road.
    Oh no, now you’ve got me craving Cottage Pie – see what you’ve gone and done!!

  2. I love the photos of the the roots and branches and reflections. Stunning! Then all the cattle–it’s like a cattle drive scene from a western–but quite wonderful, too. I like the mama cow with her baby.

    1. Stockley was my interim husbands name, and the name derives from The ‘stock’ or bole or stump, of a tree and ‘Lee’ a field or meadow. It is not surprising that there is an area in the New Forest known as the ‘meadow with tree stumps’. I used to feel it was mine! Now I am a Knight and expect better things!!!

  3. Great photos of the herd and the’lady In pink’. ? She has no idea how famous she wa about to become on WP. Nice reflection photos too. Would that be Stockley cottage pie you had for dinner?

  4. What a beautiful day you had! Getting a new “do” (hairdo/cut! Ha! πŸ˜€ ) and getting to take such great photos! Love the reflection photo and the calves photos and the one of the Mama and baby…both with white tummies! πŸ™‚
    HUGS to you and Jackie!!! πŸ™‚
    PS…I’d love to see a photo of one of Jackie’s Cottage Pies sometime! I think those pies are topped with ‘taters (???) like a Shepherd’s Pie. We have SP’s here, and we have Pot Pies that are filled with meat and veggies or just veggies with a piecrust-crust. πŸ™‚

  5. Now that is a mighty drove! I suspect the lady in pink might have been in for a surprise embrace but for the discretion displayed at the last moment.

  6. Your post reminded me of my dad. If we ever ran into a herd of cattle or a flock of sheep on the move then he would worry about damage to his car as they sometimes brushed past. I can’t think why the car was by no means a classic and didn’t even have door mirrors to be broken off! Thanks for the memory nudge!

  7. I love the way cattle remember. The farm at the top of our lane was once a Dairy farm that owned the fields opposite us, the fields stretched down to the edge of the village. Twice a day, at milking time the farmer opened the bottom gate and the cows happily trooped up the lane until finally turning into the farmyard. It was a lovely sight, not only that, it had the advantage of cutting down on the cars taking a shortcut to the airport road. How I wish that farm was still Dairy.

  8. Wonderful photo’s Derrick! I especially like the heifer ‘racing’ the Beemer. πŸ˜‰

    They seem to have a remarkably lax method of animal husbandry down your way? Although, to be fair, in the rural parts of my state one can often find Kangaroos, Camels, Horses, Emu’s and even the odd crocodile casually wandering over the roadways. the Cows and Sheep generally tend to stay on ‘their’ side of whatever fences may be around.

    Jackie’s cottage pie does sound good – i hope you are getting your appetite back? πŸ™‚

  9. One day through the primeval wood
    A calf walked home, as good calves should,
    But made a trail all bent askew,
    A crooked trail, as all calves do.
    Since then three hundred years have fled,
    And I infer, the calf is dead;
    But still behind he left this trail,
    And thereon hangs my moral tale.
    The trail was taken up next day
    By a lone dog that passed that way,
    And then a wise bell-weather sheep
    Pursued that trail oer dale and steep,
    And drew the flock behind him, too,
    As good bell-weathers always do,
    And from that day oer hill and glade
    Through those old woods a path was made.
    And many men wound in and out,
    And dodged and turned and bent about,
    And uttered words of righteous wrath
    Because twas such a crooked path;
    But still they follow do not laugh
    The first migrations of that calf.
    The forest became a lane
    That bent and turned and turned again;
    This crooked lane became a road
    Where many a poor horse with his load
    Toiled on beneath that burning sun,
    And traveled some three miles in one.
    The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
    The village road became a street,
    And this, before men were aware,
    A citys crowded thoroughfare.
    And soon a central street was this
    In a renowned metropolis;
    And men two centuries and a half
    Followed the wanderings of this calf.
    Each day a hundred thousand strong
    Followed this zigzag calf along;
    And oer his crooked journey went
    The traffic of a continent.
    A hundred thousand men were led
    By one poor calf, three centuries dead.
    For just such reverence is lent
    To well established precedent.
    A moral lesson this might teach
    Were I ordained and called to preach.
    For men are prone to go it blind
    Along the calf paths of the mind;
    And work away from sun to sun
    To do what other men have done.
    They follow in the beaten track,
    And in and out, and forth and back,
    And still their devious paths pursue,
    To keep the paths that others do,
    They keep the path a sacred grove
    Along which all their lives they move
    And how the wise old wood-gods laugh, [sic]
    Who saw the first primeval calf.

    Author unknown

    Excellent photos !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I was off for a little road trip myself last weekend, but the only creatures I saw lumbering along the road were a llama, an armadillo, and plenty of deer. I’ve always enjoyed Belted Galloways — is that the black and white breed I see in your photos? I was most intrigued by the black and white mama with the brown and white calf. I’ve never seen a brown and white Galloway — a different species, perhaps, or just a genetic variation?

  11. Glad you had such a remarkable day. Thank you for sharing it with us. We have to dodge these same kinds of “traffic jams” here in Ennis, MT, too! <3

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