A Wintry Morning

Another splendid pastel sunrise heralded a cold, bright, morning, which sent us into the forest early.

We pulled into the entrance to The Joinery Barn, a short distance along our Christchurch Road,

so that I could photograph the sun-misted landscape alongside.

Since there is no real verge I needed to perch on a little bank at the entrance to the field gate.

Gaps in traffic along this road are in short supply, so I had to employ considerable concentration to nip across. The Assistant Photographer was on hand to catch me.

In search of Christmas gifts, we visited Setley Ridge garden centre. It should not be difficult to discern that we did not come away empty handed.

From there we continued along Sandy Down where trees shadows striated sunbeams.

Jackie parked alongside the nibbled tarmac of Church Lane while I wandered back to photograph

cattle in a still misty field,

and fallen trees with reflections in the old mill stream.

Jackie, meanwhile photographed the garden beside her, including its bench and its stream, complete with ducks.

Further up the lane a pair of pampered ponied chomped on heaps of hay.

One took great interest in us as we focussed on

the garden next door, with its dying bonfire

and boxing hares exchanging fisticuffs on the sloping lawn.

A grazing pony could be glimpsed beyond a bend in Undershore on our way home.

Our wood pigeons mate for life and grieve for days when, as a day or so ago, their mate is slain by a predatory raptor scattering feathers.

Nugget, however, is still going strong. He had just left his feeder when Jackie produced “Where’s Nugget?” (50)

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome cottage pie; crunchy carrots and broccoli; and tender cabbage with tasty gravy. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Minervois.







  1. I thought I spotted Nugget right off, but I did magnify it to full size to be certain. I see peacocks every time I go to the store at a home along the way, but never did it occur to me to make a Christmas tree from their feathers! Ingenious! My ponies were out to be counted by you too. (I would have spent far too much in that garden shop!!)

  2. I was the same as your friend GP; not altogether sure I magnified again and then searched every square inch of the photograph (something is having a field day on the honesty seed pods) So yes, it’s a headless Nugget. But any sight of Nugget is good after a couple of days absence. I LOVE that shop!! I would have spent my months budget in five minutes flat I’m sure πŸ˜€ This of course is the reason I avoid shops at all costs. Many lovely seasonal shots from both photographers today and I had a chuckle at the thought of you in headlong rush across the road and Jackie bracing herself for the catch………..

  3. A day spent looking at the beauty of nature is the best way to spend the day, in my estimation. The picture of the field with the fog in the field and the trees in the background reminded me of the 2005 movie “Pride and Prejudice” with Keira Knightly. Mr. Darcy walks across the field at dawn and its the climas of the film. I always loved that scene. Who knew it was in your neck of the woods? πŸ™‚

  4. “He just left the feeder” was a dead giveaway; Nugget is hiding among the greenery right next to the feeder.
    South Florida is famous for its magnificent sunsets, but I’ve never seen a lavender sunset – magical!

  5. I do like a misty beginning to a sunny day. More gorgeous shots. I was at a craft fair today and picked up some nice presents. Those cyclamen were lovely–I’d have been tempted to buy one and those feather trees!! Who would have thought?

  6. You made the most of your ‘misty moisty morning’ and provided us with a delightful array of images – so peaceful, all of them.

  7. It was worthwhile to get up early and see that soft sunrise.

    I’ve never seen boxing hares. That was amazing!

  8. I could spend a lot of time AND money in that garden centre!

    Jackie’s bench photo is fabulous!!! My fav photo of this bunch!

    The colors of the sunrise are breathtaking!

    Ha! In the photo of Where’s Nugget? Nugget is like, “They will NOT find me today!” πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ Thanks for the nugget of a clue! πŸ˜‰

    HUGS to you and Jackie!!! πŸ™‚
    TWEETS to Nugget!!! πŸ™‚
    PS…the boxing hares are real, right? not a sculpture?!?! (I feel so silly asking!)
    I wonder if wrestling rabbits exist.

    1. Thanks very much, Carolyn. Well spotted. I thought that one needed a clue. The hares are made of bent chicken wire. The real ones come out fighting in March. X

  9. Enjoyed your pictures Derrick, one thing I notice is that you have a great array of local places to photograph, seems sometimes that your scenery and views are more closer than your camera, like tripping over your doorstep and Voila, the vista awaits. Cheers.

  10. What a super set of photographs! I love the mist rising off the fields and I agree with the Mr Darcy comment. What fantastic closeup shots of the ponies.
    Nugget was found on the enlargement.

  11. I like the moody mists Derrick. Nibbled tarmac is a real problem on our country roads.
    Yesterday as I drove to the golf course there was a magnificent sunrise. Alas it was transitory and was soon snatched away by cloud. A temporary frost delayed our tee times.

  12. Derrick, wow! The morning sunrise was a glorious and unearthly pink – it’s as if you didn’t want it to change! I love the misty wood images and phew, glad you were okay crossing the busy road. As for the garden centre … did you have to make it look so wonderful and tempting! I think I’ll have to head out now and buy some Christmas things! ??

  13. It looks like a lovely day from start to finish, Derrick. I’m certain you and Jackie found several gifts in that shop. So many beautiful photos–I was particularly taken with the photo that has the red leaves and what looks like a wooden bench (between the mill stream reflections), and the curving road photos.

  14. Derrick, as usual, such a beautiful countryside, so serene and peaceful. And the choices for small gifts were wonderful. Great capture on the two pugilists. By the way, while your β€˜nipping’ across the road, be sure to hurry, as well. Take care.

      1. It’s a very wintry day here, Derrick. Cold and snow are pointing to a very white Christmas for our area. Some plants are so pretty when snow covered.

  15. A beautiful pink cloud and misty morning followed by sun and a drive in the forest! Such beautiful photos! I love those peacock feather ornaments.

    Good to hear Nugget is OK.

  16. Such lovely photos. The pastels and ponies are my favorites, but they are all special, including the work of your assistant haha!

  17. Oh that’s sad to see a grieving wood pigeon. We can relate to the loss, if not to having a loved one eaten by a raptor. Boxing hares? ha ha ha!! “Nibbled tarmac” is great. I’m so glad you successfully cleared the road in between vehicles. Seems like your knees are serving you well again. I found Nugget! (but I had to zoom)

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