The Equestrian Quartet

On another cold and bright morning we drove into the forest by way of Brockenhurst.

From the Hinchelsea car park I photographed a somewhat misty moorland landscape.

The winterbourne pool just outside the town had iced over,

as had some of the terrain

leading to further distant scenes.

Rhinefield Road,

where bracken provides burnished autumn colour,

crosses Ober Water with its clear reflections. Jackie parked nearby to enable me to wander around the

frosted banks. She moved on the the

Puttles Bridge

car park where she noticed a sign indicating the Ober Water Trail. Naturally I walked along this. It is marked by very helpful posts bearing colour coded strips – red for one and a half miles and yellow for one mile. I took the yellow option, giving me a two mile total. The track was mostly flat with occasional variety provided by

tree roots

and mud.

Along the way I enjoyed sunlit views of red-brown bracken and autumn leaves, some decorating sawn off stumps; fallen lumber logs; backlit foliage; and tree shadows stretching across the forest floor.

The trail clearly runs alongside the eponymous water, but one needed to go off piste to see it. I am not yet ready for that, since this was in itself my longest post-operative trek.

The yellow marker disappears from the post at a bridge crossing the now visible stream.

On reaching the bridge I noticed an equestrian quartet approaching.

Realising they would be crossing the river by this route, I crossed first and stood, poised, to one side,

ready to tracked their clattering over the planks and

gentle thudding off into the forest.

Leaning on the bridge, I took one last look at the water before retracing my steps.

The sight of Jackie’s Modus in the car park had a rather similar impact as that of Big Ben coming up to the end of a London marathon. Either is welcome, but you know you are going to be hard put to make it.

Those who have been concerned about Nugget’s apparent absence will be pleased to know that, although not photographed, he was about this morning. From the comfort of my passenger seat I did, however, spot

one of his relatives. Can you spot him?

This evening we dined on a second helping of the Chinese Takeaway with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Minervois.




  1. Are you sure you are not overdoing it on your walks, Derrick? Even your incredible reflection photos are not worth endangering your health (I am sorry for being a Jewish mother, but I can’t help being concerned).
    Nugget’s cousin is a little dot in the very center of the photo.

  2. Congrats on the longest trek so far – you did really well considering roots and mud not to mention ponies. Your comment reflecting on the Modus and Big Ben gave me a chuckle. Glad to hear the news of Nugget and to spot his relative.

  3. These are beautiful, magical pictures, Derrick. That first one has enviable light in it and the one with the frosted oak leaves is captivating. I expected Mole and Ratty to appear at some point.

  4. So glad Nugget was spotted and is okay! His robin-relative seems to like to be center-stage/center-of-attention, just like Nugget does sometimes! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

    So happy for your long, photo-fruitful walk! And thank you for taking us along with you via your camera! πŸ™‚

    Please be careful leaning on bridges! Sometimes those bridges look rickety!

    I just love your leaves, reflection, ice, trees, shadows, etc., photos! πŸ™‚

    And it’s nice to see that man out walking his dog (in the fourth photo from the top)! Coop and I get out to walk even on the coldest, wettest, snowiest, or iciest days. We just take care not to slip or slide. πŸ˜‰ And sometimes Coops wants to make it a shorter walk when the rain is falling hard on him. πŸ™‚

    HUGS for you and Jackie!!! πŸ™‚
    TWEETS for Nugget!!! πŸ™‚

  5. Having been an equestrian in my youth, I realized when I saw your title how much I miss being around horses. This post was quite a treat – combining horses and forest. I can imagine being there. And I love that shot of the old tree standing over the icy pool.

  6. It’s quite the juggling act when deciding how far to push ourselves when we’re on the mend, never forgetting that no matter how far we’ve gone there’s always the walk back! πŸ˜€ Well done. πŸ™‚

  7. Excellent sequence. We have been with snow since Halloween. Not a lot but it never completely melted away, a slow accumulation with some very cold nights & mild afternoons.

  8. I love the photo of the bridge and the frosted trees and tree reflections on the water. But, try as I may, I could not find Nugget or his companion. Can you give us a clue?

  9. An idyllic woodland English landscape photo essay, Mr Knight. You are a modern British Courier and Ives though I’m not sure who of the duo you’d be. Maybe Ives? And Bravo for your long walk!

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