“The Smell Of Autumn”

Today was pleasantly temperate. We took an early drive into the forest where the wider roads are often crossed by hoofed animals who make the own tracks into the woodland.

We stopped at the junction between Crow Hill and Charles’s Lane for me to photograph examples.

The track forks with one tine running alongside Charles’s Lane

and the other crossing it to

continue beside Crow Hill.

Serendipitously, as I was making this record, a young equestrienne left the hill, crossed the lane,

and continued on down the slope. The horseshoe in this picture will be leaving its own print in the dusty soil;

the cloven , heart-shaped, depression in this will have been left by one of the string of cattle who are the real sappers of this terrain.

A couple of keen, fit, cyclists who stopped at this junction struggled to find a cycle track with the aid of their modern device. I offered them an example of old technology in the the form of an Ordnance Survey map. The woman said she preferred old technology, perused and returned it once they had established that they would probably need to continue on the road for a while. The gentleman recently cycled from Land’s End to John O’ Groats with a companion who had received two knee replacements three years ago. I suppose this should have been somewhat encouraging.

The first of these samples of verge detritus was photographed on the edge of Crow Hill, the second at Ibsley,

perhaps stamped on by an angry cow.

Outside Burley a group gathered beside a pony being fed by a young girl. At one point the animal turned away from the hand that the young lady extended, but later thought better of it.

“The smell of autumn”, fondly uttered Jackie as the scent of oak smoke from burning branches drifted into our nostrils.

We followed a splendid veteran car through Ibsley. The driver indicated that we should pass him. We waited on ahead so I could photograph him from the front. He turned off into a side road. Perhaps there cannot be too many happy accidents in one day.

We enjoyed a late breakfast at Hockey’s Farm shop in South Gorley.

A pair of young donkeys, showing signs of moulting, stopped for a snack in the middle of the road outside.

This afternoon Ronan of Tom Sutton Heating visited to check on our central heating problem. He diagnosed a drop in pressure resulting from a hidden leak in the system. He applied two cans of stuff designed to seek out and seal it.

This afternoon, Jackie gave the lavender in the Rose Garden a good haircut. She was not alone. “Where’s Nugget?” (10)

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent beef in red wine; creamy mashed potato; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; and tender runner beans I picked earlier. The Culinary Queen drank Blue Moon and I drank Tesco’s finest Western Cape Malbec 2017.


  1. When Mrs T and I cycled from Lands End to John o’Groats a few years ago, I had a real map for every day. Half the fun of the trip was the map purchasing and planning though I did use print outs of digital OS maps too.

  2. I see the distinct possibility that Nugget will soon be sitting on Jackie’s knee, expecting to be hand fed! There was a distinct feel of spring in the air for our walk this morning – we are in balance πŸ™‚

  3. OOH! I love some of the smells of Autumn! (And Autumn sites, tastes, colors, and feels, too! πŸ™‚ )

    Wow! Nugget will soon be perched on Jackie’s foot, knee, shoulder or head! Ha! That is a sweet pic! πŸ™‚

    Such beautiful photos, Derrick! The cyclists, the cows and horses, the trails and tracks, the cool car, the peoples, etc! BUT, I especially love the little donkeys! πŸ™‚
    UGHS on the litter. πŸ™
    HUGS!!! to all!!! πŸ™‚

  4. Meteorologically speaking it’s the last day of Summer tomorrow, and the weather here certainly proves it, sad isn’t it? I feel as though I’ve missed out this year
    I’ve not seen donkeys looking like Holstein Friesians before and I do enjoy seeing the classic cars.

    We have an event that my husband took part in called The Yorkshire Pudding Run. It was such fun watching all those carefully maintained classics coming up our lane at the start of their five hour journey.

    1. The farmer had removed the lower branches from an oak tree in the centre of his field. We thought the branches would have made good logs, but perhaps he thought otherwise.

  5. Another wonderful ramble through the countryside beautifully photographed and scripted.

    I’ve heard of wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve but on the hoof? Why not? πŸ˜‰

    I see the rice cream puddings were not the only ‘clots’ on the roadside! πŸ™

    So adorable to see the trust tiny little Nugget has in Jackie the Giant (Sorry Jackie – relatively speaking, i mean) πŸ˜‰

    I spotted him ‘off the well-beaten track’ without biggifying, but biggified anyway! πŸ™‚

  6. What a wonderful day!! Horses, cows, friendly people and Wow is Nugget ever getting close. We know Jackie’s a very nice person, but how does the tiny bird know? Must be instinct.

  7. That is a well preserved vintage buggy indeed. I reckon Mr Nugget is bang in the middle of the frame indeed, rapt in conversation with Jackie.

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