We took a morning drive into the forest,

through Holmsley Passage where low gravel strips border the crumbling tarmac, a woman follows her dog , and unconcerned ponies continue with the important business of the day,

In order for me to photograph Ringwood Road, Burley, Jackie parked the car at the junction with

Honey Lane.

A number of lanes in the New Forest. This one is an example. It leads to Highwood and comes to a dead end.

A brook runs roughly alongside the wandering, undulating, track. As I stood watching the sun’s rays casting shadows on the reflecting waters I noticed floating, swooping, midges flashing in the beams.

Just a minute. Midges? Surely not in 12 degrees centigrade?

Well, no.

Closer inspection revealed Lilliputian parachutists seeking a safe landing after being prised from their perforated perch –

or seeds from a dandelion clock.

The dwellings along this lane are beautiful houses with a quantity of land generally accommodating a horse or two.

On our return journey, at South Gorley, we had the opportunity for a staring match with ponies laying claim to the road.

Back at home I noticed that a pink climbing rose is mingling with potted pansies in the porch.

Elizabeth joined us for dinner. Jackie produced beef roasted long and low; roast potatoes, including sweet ones, and parsnips; crisp carrots, cauliflower and broccoli; and tender runner beans with tasty gravy, followed by apple crumble and custard. My sister and I finished the Merlot Bonarda and Jackie drank Hoegaarden.


  1. Nice to stop and get some pretty photos – and I smiled to see the rose mixing with the pansies – connecting πŸŒΈπŸŒ·β˜€οΈ

  2. I am delighted by your sighting of the Lilliputian parachutists and the identification photo – and the horses playing their own game of Russian Roulette with you and Jackie πŸ™‚

  3. Such a lovely post with beautiful photos–the lanes, the close-up of the dandelion, and the horses. The last photo is such an example of simple beauty (and your garden). It sounds like you had quite a feast. I’m assuming it was a low temperature, and not the roasting height. πŸ™‚

  4. How I love a post that begins with a drive in the forest. It has a fairy tale sound to it and then we come to Honey Lane and I wonder where is Pooh Bear? Thank you for the daily fairy tale and the ponies.

  5. You know I’m loving all of these gorgeous lanes! I love the up close dandelion. When I was a little girl, I called them “blow fros.” My friend and I used to blow them in each other’s faces. πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Derrick.. when I use your photo of a pony drinking water in my “water” post, I’d like to add a little description. I assume I can describe it as “New Forest pony, Hampshire, UK”. On your “About” page I was interested to see your garden design map and loved the “wind”. Who drew the map? Just being nosey.. for the sake of full disclosure my OH is a landscape architect and I’m always interested in gardens and design!

  7. I’ve joined a Facebook site that posts historic photos of Bradford. Given the New Forest looks so rural now, imagine how even more bucolic it looked in the era of Bradford’s photographs of busy streets and belching factories whose interiors were lined with machinery and workers in wraparound aprons and headscarves. As if the two scenes were from different countries.

  8. I am always happy to see those photos of your New Forest drives, Derrick. They are as restful to the soul as they are pleasing to the eye. Give our best to Jackie.

  9. Honey Lane is sweet!
    The dandelion close up is beautiful! Brings back good memories of living next to a huge patch of them!
    So glad the horses and cars are sharing the road well.
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

  10. Wonderful scenes yet again! πŸ™‚

    “parachutists … being prised from their perforated perch.” Alliteratively attractive! πŸ˜‰ They do make a fine subject for a close-up.

    And we’ll have no tendrils fraternising with the potted pansies on MY watch thank you very much! πŸ˜€

    Trust the knee is behaving itself?

  11. Thanks for the country lanes and views of my ponies (who can have all the road they want!).
    Jackie, I haven’t had parsnips since I was a kid. Do you just cook them like carrots?

  12. Before reading this post, I had never heard the term “dandelion clock.” Wonderful, and I just might have to use this in the current book I’m writing—“Out of Time.” Also, very nice picture of the dandelion clock.

  13. I had forgotten how the empty heads of dandelion clocks look like little pin cushions. Thanks for that picture! Glad it wasn’t midges, as I fear you would have had unpleasant positive confirmation of what they were pretty darn quick.

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