Our forest trip on another bright and sunny day began with
scraping ice off the car.
In a field beside an unnamed lane near Gorley Common
a sleeping pony stood characteristically with one rear foot bent was not the only backlit equine the we were to see.
Ogdens North lies alongside an unmarked muddy lane labeled NO THROUGH ROAD which culminates in a running stream of clear water.
The splendid hillside landscapes were beautifully lit when we arrived there shortly before lunch.
Autumn colour greeted our approach to the lane at the end which I disembarked and clambered over the rough terrain with its
fallen logs slowly rotting into the soil from which it sprang,
and muddy tracks tramped by hoofs of the ponies I was to walk among.
I watched thirst being slaked
by strings of ponies descending the grass covered rocky banks
onto the gravelly stream bed
to drink and dribble crystal clear water.
As I stood, like the ponies, watching an apparently amphibious cross the stream, Jackie also observed the oncoming vehicle with more alarming feelings. It was undoubtedly heading in her direction requiring her to back up the muddy path pictured above. This forced her to abandon focussing on
the pony on the bridge if favour of a snatched shot. “What”, she exclaimed, as she began reversing, “are the effing chances…..?.
The tractor tucked into the side of the road. A large Waitrose delivery van then proceeded down the hill. “What”, she repeated, somewhat increasing the decibels, “are the effing chances….? The unfortunate driver had taken a wrong turning.
I photographed a few more reflecting ponies before ascending the slope to rejoin Jackie.
Neighbouring field horses enjoyed the warmth of their rugs and breakfasts of bags of hay.
We brunched at Hockey’s farm shop then drove home in time for me to begin drafting this post before Giles collected me and transported me to the bird hide at Milford on Sea.
There we encountered gaggles of winter visiting Brent geese;
a flapping cormorant;
a wandering little egret;
and the ubiquitous gulls.
As we departed sunset approached, producing vibrant reds and yellows, with pastel tinges
enshrouding the Isle of White and The Needles;
and festooning windows opposite.
Giles had also been out to lunch, so when he stayed on for dinner we all enjoyed pizza and cold meats with fresh salad.