Witchcraft With Acorns

The light today was gloomy and the slate-grey overhead colander-canopy constantly leaked drizzle.

Jackie reported that this morning while Muggle tweeted in her ear she realised that there was another exchange of battle cries between

Nugget and someone else who occupied the garden of No 5 Downton Lane. There are now three robins setting out their territory. Later, when Jackie tried to engage Nugget in conversation while he was perched on the rose garden fence, he turned his back on her. “Aren’t you talking to me?”, she asked. He peered over his shoulder, fixed her witheringly, Β and turned away again.

“Where’s Nugget?” (41).

Given the date, we thought a trip to Burley, the village of witches, might be order.

In Everton Road the New Zealand flag fluttered limply at half mast. This was clearly in mourning for the All Blacks’ defeat by England last Saturday in the Rugby World Cup Semi Final. The New Zealanders have been the acknowledged best team in the world throughout my lifetime. Three times world champions, they had not lost any match in the tournament for twelve years.

Nearby a cross-eyed pumpkin face sat on a wall.

Despite the dismal drizzle Holmsley Passage managed to put on a bright face,

even though someone had dumped a sofa on the verge.

Jackie photographed me as I wandered along for a while.

Landscapes on the moorland section were misted by dripping precipitation.

At Burley a pair of guinea fowl created their own mix of havoc, amusement, and trepidation, as they wandered back and forth across the through road.

One young lady crouching with her mobile phone graphically expressed her concern as they stepped off the kerb;

two young cyclists seemed a bit bemused.

While I concentrated on these two, Jackie observed a chicken eating an ice cream.

Shop windows venerated the season;

we both pictured The Mall,

guarded by a pumpkin witch.


All the little shops in this small street sported suitable Β adornments.

Jackie entered a gift shop in search of stocking fillers. She emerged with two owls, which, if Orlaith got her sums right, makes the current garden total 93.

This evening we dined at The Wheel at Bowling Green. Jackie enjoyed tempura prawn starters followed by a rack of ribs, fries, onion rings, and plentiful fresh salad; my choice was equally good breaded whitebait, salad and toast followed by rib-eye steak, chips, mushroom, tomato, and peas. Mrs Knight drank Kaltenberg and I drank Malbec.




  1. I hope there isn’t a robin battle for turf, and that Nugget remains safely in your garden.
    It looks like a fun outing with wonderful shots. The black and grey-toned tree could definitely illustrate a ghost tale.
    Jackie seems very pleased with her owls!

    1. Thanks very much, Merril. I’m pleased you spotted the ghost tale potential – it seemed appropriate for the date. We think Nugget is secure, and hope to make Muggle so.

  2. 93!! Let’s make the count 100 for Christmas time – Go Jackie!! Nugget might need another teapot to placate his hurt feelings – there’s definitely a need for more shopping…… The Passage is looking beautiful!

  3. Okay, I’ll admit…I’m not very happy with little Nuggets behavior. How dare he ignore the hand that feeds him. At least Jackie has her 93 owls! Loved the photos, Derrick, especially Jackie with her owls. πŸ™‚

  4. So much in this post today, Derrick. Nugget with his back turned made me smile. I loved the picture of Jackie and fleetingly thought I’d almost certainly rather have a parliament of your 92 rather than our 650, new or old… (do I hear you saying “Don’t go there?”)

    Happy Halloween to you both!

  5. The village of witches, wow….I’m not into Halloween as is too scary for me but this village looks fun to visit πŸ™‚
    Nugget was not in the right mood for a talk πŸ™‚

  6. You know what they say, β€œTwo’s company, three’s a crowd.” I’m presuming this also applies to robins. Love Jackie’s owls. I only have one, so much catching up to do. I like the shot if you wandering up the lane in the drizzle. Shame on whoever thought dumping that old sofa by the roadside was the perfect solution. Disgusting people. ?

    1. Many thanks, Sylvia. Fly-tipping is quite a menace over here, but I was surprised to see that the New Forest is not immune. The robins keep to their own defined territories, otherwise one gets killed.

  7. Your mysterious misty photos are fantastic, Derrick.
    Jealous Nugget is slightly off the center of the photo, playing Othello with his back to us. Are you starting a robin colony?

  8. It seems a Hunger Game of Robins is afoot in your neighbourhood. I hope an armistice is worked out soon. Some of those which-pumpkin creatures are capable of curdling the blood of many humans if encountered in half-light. Photos of you walking in the foggy distance are poetic.

  9. I have enjoyed all your pictures: not much is made of Halloween in South Africa – although commercial ventures try for yet another seasonal push to make people part with their money. I was most surprised to see ‘our’ Helmeted Guineafowl walking in the streets – then, they may be French.

  10. Everything has already been said, but please allow me to add, I love all the images, especially the monotone views of the moors. I do hope that Nugget fixes his behavior soon! I wonder if he is feeling jealous? Wishing you and Jackie lovely day and weekend ahead!

    1. Thanks very much, Takami. Because of your own excellent landscapes I am pleased you liked the moors. Nugget was certainly behaving like a petulant child – perhaps they know more than we think.

      1. Thank you for your kind words!
        The moors are famous all over the world, so it’s a real pleasure to see them through your lens.
        I do hope Nugget shapes up soon πŸ™‚

  11. Beautiful photos, all! And perfect glimpses of the season! The photos of you walking down the road are so wonderful!

    I love the foggy, gray-skies days! Most people feel depressed on those days…I feel like a soft blanket is wrapping me in love and it makes me happy! πŸ™‚ As does Jackie’s beautiful smile! Such a warm, welcoming smile! πŸ™‚

    The layers of color you captured in your photos are stunning!

    Oh, Nugget…showin’ us your backside in today’s photo! Ha! Don’t be a party pooper! πŸ˜‰

    So glad 2 more owls adopted Jackie! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ I’ve always loved owls!

    A chicken eating ice cream! Love it! Ha! πŸ˜€
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

  12. A ”cross-eyed pumpkin face” was very good i thought!

    Great shot of Jackie with her two new acquisitions – i’m sure they will not pull a huff like Nugget and turn their backs on her, or you.

    I’m sure it is just juvenile jealousy and a few tasty morsels may ‘turn him around’ πŸ˜‰

    Found Nugget today filling out a twig triangle in brown feathers! πŸ™‚

    Love your photos of the woodland and misty moors! πŸ™‚

  13. Great to see people having fun with Halloween!! The mist helped to add ambiance to the holiday, don’t you think?
    I’m getting pretty darn good at finding Nugget. I’ll bet he thinks it was Jackie’s idea to house the other robins!!

    1. Thanks a lot, GP, especially for noticing the reason for the misty shots. Well Nugget spotted. He wouldn’t be far wrong about whose idea it was to welcome Muggle.

  14. You showed us Halloween at its best. Thank you, Derrick. I love the varied shots from humorous to misty gray… you captured it all. Thank you! (Oh, and I love that photo of Jackie with her owls.)

  15. Love the autumn shots, the way orange keeps puncturing the grey, some bracken, a leaf, and of course those pumpkins. Favourite time of year, thank you for these.

  16. I giggled at the ‘cross-eyed’ pumpkin. There was a good bit of creativity shown in some of the decorations: far better than off-the-shelf everything. It was fun seeing the guineas, too. My grandmother had some as watch animals, and they’re still used that way here in Texas — at least, if you get far enough out in the country.

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