Ecology 2

This morning we drove to Ringwood for Jackie to make some purchases with her M & Co vouchers, and then on into the forest.

Homeowners at Mockbeggar were happy for ponies to crop the lawns in front of their houses, but installed cattle grids to keep them from their inner sanctums and away from their washing lines.

Donkeys lazing outside Corn Store Cottage had no intention of emulating their equine cousins.

The residents of an extensive thatch cottage at North Gorley could look out on a gathering of ponies and cattle strewn about their green. Many of the ponies seem to have earned a rest. Most of the cattle continued chomping. One cow had indulged in a nether mudpack.

In the vicinity of Emery Down Jackie parked the car and I went off-piste across the forest floor. Alternately crunching on fallen twigs and last autumn’s leaves, or sinking into the now fairly dry mulch beneath my feet, occasionally reaching out to retain my balance with the help of still standing trees,

I wandered among fallen trunks and branches of varying girths making their own contribution to the ecology of our historic forestation.

As the arboreal remains returned to the soil from whence they originated, mosses, lichens, and fungi made their homes in trunks and branches while celandines, violets, and wood sorrel sprang from the mulch which will soon nurture ferns and bracken to replace those of last year.

Ponies provide additional fertilising nutriment.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb chicken jalfrezi and savoury rice served with vegetable samosa, onion bahjjis, and paratha. She drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc and I drank more of the Carménere.


  1. Fantastic picture of the violet. They are so small that it’s not always easy to get a good shot. And Mockbegger? The names of our towns aren’t nearly as cool as yours are.

  2. “As the arboreal remains returned to the soil from whence they originated,” well – that is pretty fabulous.

    I was just thinking today that Johnny Jump-Ups (Violets to you) are one of my favorites. I have both them and the Celandines blooming in my own yard right now.

    So you are back to leaping out of the car and tromping through the forest? Bravo, sir.

  3. Such graceful stallions that also double over as Nature’s lawn mower. Your excursions recall to my mind the words of Wordsworth, the pensive mood and ‘the bliss of solitude’ that such an excursion affords. It is truly a sterling effort towards forestation when the concept of preservation of the planet is at a deeep discount.

  4. Oh, what a wonderful day you and Jackie shared with the animals and nature! 🙂
    I’m so glad you were able to wander safety among all that beauty on the forest floor! 🙂 You captured such amazing details! I love woods and forests…I feel such peace and humility to be able to walk among the trees and flora and fauna, even for just a few minutes. Thank you for sharing your walk with us, Derrick.
    HUGS!!! for you and Jackie! 🙂

  5. The cycle of Life continues…. with the occasional lie down for a well earned rest! 😉

    Your forest posts always bring a ray of sunshine and quiet into an often cloudy, noisy world we live in.

  6. What a post for me today!! All those ponies and donkeys and cattle! I hope that walk in the woods was level enough so that you didn’t injure your knees.

  7. I’ve never before seen horses stretched out on the ground the way the are here. So wonderful and extraordinary to me to imagine looking out a a group of cattle, horses, and donkeys on the lawn!
    The photos of the woods and the close-ups of the moss and small flowers are wonderful, Derrick.

  8. I love the celandines, violets, and wood sorrel, Derrick. And of course, the horses! Wonderful photos. Thank you for sharing. <3

Leave a Reply