The Fascinator

This morning Jackie drove me to New Milton where I bought a pair of sandals and delivered some dry cleaning. We then continued into the forest for a short trip giving us time to return home for a FaceTime date with Sam and Malachi.

Our first tail-twitching ponies were encountered alongside

Holmsley Passage, where,

pausing for the occasional bite, a group of ponies emerged from the woodlands;

crossed the road,

and made their way onto the moorland;

tails twitching in efforts to deter flies.

As we neared home, on Holmsley Road, two foals accompanied another group.

One fascinated infant snuggled up to the bonnet of a small van, the driver of which disembarked and persuaded the traffic hazard

onto the verge.

Back at home I enjoyed a torchlight FaceTime conversation with my son and grandson in Perth. Sitting here in our summer mid-day it was fascinating seeing Sam and Malachi in pitch-black darkness, just after their 7 p.m., enlivened by the flames of a garden fire and Mal’s bright reading aid. The torch was also shone on the chooks in their coop. I was reminded that the sun sets very rapidly over there.

This evening we dined excellently on lamb leg steaks; roasted parsnips and butternut squash; Lyonnaise potatoes; carrots, cabbage and mange touts. I finished the Carinena while Jackie abstained because she had drunk her Hoegaarden on the patio when we had pre-dinner drinks overlooked by a

goldfinch perched atop

a towering bay tree.


  1. A lovely day, filled with fascination, Derrick. 🙂
    Modern technology does permit some wonderful things–like being able to communicate with loved ones at a distance by FaceTime.
    (Beautiful action shots of the ponies.)

  2. I’m fascinated by these ponies – I have said this before, but I can’t imagine living in a place where horses go free. I’m also inspired by your dinner reports – they always give me ideas!

  3. I love the ponies! They are beautiful and look sweet! I love the Tail End photo and the one of the little pony dreaming of what his first car will look like…or maybe he’d contemplating becoming a mechanic! 😉 🙂
    HUGS!!! 😀

  4. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s going on in an animal’s mind. That foal — who knows? And isn’t Skype great? It’s nice to be able to see and talk at the same time.

  5. I think this are some of the loveliest photos you’ve taken of the ponies. It’s hard to know what the magic is with a set of photos sometimes, but these seem to have it.

  6. New Forest seems to be home to fascinating ponies and their feisty followers. It’s indeed a wonder that as the sun shines over the treetops and greenfinches on one corner of the planet, it takes leave from the other quarters drowning those in blackness.

  7. Always love your photos of the ponies (and the donkeys!)

    The ignominy of such a beautiful, vivacious and curious foal being reduced to the lowly idiom of ‘traffic hazard’! 🙁

    Some time after your Facetime with Sam and Malachi i was out under the stars in that same darkness photographing and videoing Jupiter! 🙂

  8. Such beautiful ponies! The only ones we see running wild up here in Durham are the tatty little gypsy ones when they sometimes break free from their tether at the side of the road. ☺

  9. Phew! That foal was flirting with disaster. Glad all turned out well for the young creature. We Skype with our North Carolina children. It really is wonderful. Feels like we’re having an honest-to- gosh visit. I think it’s being able to see their faces.

  10. Gorgeous animals! I love the bird’s serenade, too. I can see you had a lovely day, topped off by a scrumptious dinner. You are blessed!

  11. Australia and its short twilight takes many visitors by surprise. Gives context to the expression “night fell”. You can practically hear the echo at this time of the year as we approach the shortest day. Sunset today was just before 5pm. . . and beautiful photos, as always.

        1. I’m afraid it was Jackie. Her response to my reading her your comment (restraining my smug) was that she would like to know why, and was it anything to do with big skies?

          1. Hah! Gloat away, smug one.
            Well, one answer is; it’s just like that, okay????
            Another, more scientific reason, is, I think it has something to do with our relative distances to the equator; and the effect this has on the angle of the sun dipping below the horizon.
            I haven’t spent much time in Tasmania, but I guess it’s possible their twilight goes on a bit longer. Sorry to burst Jackie’s bubble, but I don’t think it has anything to do with big or open skies.
            As a child, reading the Sweet William books (Crompton), I used to get very confused about the amount of time he spent outdoors before being called in for supper and bed. (I also wondered at all the meals he seemed to be served. That kid ate a lot of crumpets and jam). It wasn’t until I lived in England/Europe I realised “day” could go until 10pm in summer. Conversely, working in Leeds in the winter, the street lights coming on at 3pm always caught me unawares, too.

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