On another warm day of clear blue skies we accompanied Matthew and Poppy to Everton Garden Centre to buy a birthday present, then lunched in their Camellia’s Café.
The very well cooked, plentiful, meals set us up for the day. Mine consisted of chicken and ham pie, new potatoes, and vegetables; Mat’s was roast duck; Jackie’s jacket potato; and Poppy’s roast beef.
Later, our son and granddaughter left to return home, breaking the journey with a visit to Becky and Ian, while we drove into the forest,
taking the Lower Sandy Down route and enjoying the sun-dappled environment, with its
reflections in the stream crossed by Church Lane,
where blackberries ripen
and lichen coats the beams of the fence to Heywood Mill House.
We caused a group of walkers on Rodlease Lane to hug the verges.
I have often thought of photographing this very rickety building on Pilley Street before it falls down. It is Tootlepedal who prompted me to actually do it. An elderly gentleman often sits on the chair leaning to our left of the structure. Is he, I wonder, selling the eggs?
Further along the road, a number of ponies continue to thud down from the road and the field opposite into the dry quarry pit lake. It is almost as if, like us walking fast down a slope, run away with ourselves until we can straighten up on the level.
Not that this pitted terrain is level. The myriad of grassy mounds and dips created by the animals’ hooves at wetter times are now rock hard. I wandered over them taking shots that would not normally be possible without thigh-length waders.
No sensible pony would eat the acorns that are strewn about, for they are poisonous to them.
While we took our pre-dinner drinks in the Rose Garden we grew of the opinion that our little robin, Nugget, is now engaged in courting. He still cries from his various vantage points, but is answered more gently. On one occasion he darted across the the sky from our Weeping Birch to a neighbour’s false acacia, after which all was quiet for a while.
We dined on huntsman’s pie and salad with which which I finished the Saint-Chinian.