Keeping Their Distance

In recent days goldfinches have joined the ranks of birds swooping on the feeders.

We think we may be harbouring an extra long tailed variety.

Mum’s care home is now in total lockdown. Several of us telephoned her in turn.

I believe that is now widespread. Jackie photographed this conversation through a  window at Barton on Sea. The son had left flowers at the door.

The cliff top grassed area was as crowded as any other spring Sunday afternoon, except that all the groups appeared to be keeping their distance from others.

Mudeford harbour was even more crowded, yet people picnicked

and played;

walked dogs;

and occupied benches in company

or in solitude.

Gulls simply winged it overhead or

over the shore at low tide,

while a pack of motor cyclists came along for the ride.

Turning inland,

on Braggers Lane

a jogger maintained his solitude.

Across the landscape in a roughly central position stands All Saints Church, Thorney Hill.

Pools still line Forest Road near Holmsley,

where ponies ponder,


and reflect.

Early this evening Jackie nipped out to photograph Elusive Eric the pheasant, who evaded her, so she settled for



the Cryptomeria Bed,

the Dragon Bed,

 daffodils and wood anemones.

This evening we dined on succulent duck breasts roasted with new potatoes; with crunchy cauliflower, carrots, and Brussels sprouts. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the El Zumbado Garnacha Syrah, this time 2018 vintage.



  1. Good Morning Derrick!
    So far in the wilds of Portland, OR, we have seen Dark-Eyed Juncos at our feeder.
    We are expecting the Black-Capped Chickadees to make their entrance soon.

  2. Lucky that you can still get out and about. We’re fortunate in that we can walk/run around our 27 hectacre Domaine gardens but we can only leave the grounds for a spot of shopping but not together, just singly. We certainly can’t go to the beach or for a wander round any of the harbours.

  3. Jackie’s photo of the conversation through the window got me all emotional. My heart is with all of the seniors in care homes…that they can’t have family/visitors for awhile is good, but still sad. My heart is especially with your Mum.

    Love the B&W photos, especially the gulls. We might have to fly solo or in pairs or in small family groups these days…but we can still fly, soar even. Especially in our hearts. 🙂

    And like the ponies…we can still graze and reflect. 🙂

    We are getting out to take walks with Cooper, to the post office once a week, and to get groceries once a week. And we have our yards to enjoy. Next time we need some food, we will try and have the grocery store deliver it to our porch.

    (((HUGS))) and more mush <3 🙂

  4. Siddy and I still go for our walks everyday. He gets to say hello to everyone while I just give a cheery wave from a few metres back. As our figures almost doubled over the weekend I’m expecting us to reach lockdown position pretty soon. I’m really grateful for my revamped tiny house!!

  5. I love those pondering ponies! It looks like most of your daffodils have escaped Eric the Pheasant. Hopefully Jackie will be able to capture his image next time. 🙂

    We are having a bright sunny day here today. Rain returns tomorrow, so says the weather forecasters.

  6. I really like the black-and-white photos. They remind me of the mid-1960s, when I was a kid. The nursing homes and assisted living facilities are on lock-down here, too. There was a news story last night showing a high school girl Irish step dancing on the patio of her grandfather’s nursing home, while he watched through the window. It was his birthday.

  7. This morning I counted fourteen magpies in the field opposite our house. Spooky. No social distancing. People like the bikers who ignore advice will get us all locked down!

  8. It’s all a little surreal isn’t it?
    Despite the new guidelines, we managed to get around them safely today. I will tell all tomorrow.
    Good to see that you are still getting out.

  9. I’m sorry about your mom, though you expected it was coming. I’m glad she’s able to talk to all of you on the phone.
    Wonderful photos–that horse reflection was excellent.

  10. We decided not to visit my parents because we were worried about giving them something, but then my dad became worried he could give us something since he has a sore throat. My mom offered we could come down to their house, 40 minutes away, and wave in at them through the window but my daughter is handling this okay for now, if she knew she could only see her grandmother through a window, I’m pretty sure she would have a complete meltdown. I declined my mom’s offer and instead my husband took them some supplies and transported some boxes for our move in two weeks.

  11. The photo of the gulls on the beach at low tide is my favorite. As for new birds, I caught a flash of a woodpecker late this afternoon, working its way up and down a nearby tree. I’m not sure which species it was, but it will be fun to find out.

    The conversation through the window is just so sad. It reminded me of prison conversations I’ve seen in films and tv shows: one on either side of the glass or wire. I suppose the comparison’s apt; we’re increasingly imprisoned by this horrid disease.

  12. These are extraordinary times. Those folks are doing the right thing being circumspect. Perhaps Eric the pheasant too is observing social distance from humans…

  13. Another beautiful day! Stunning pictures Derrick! I guess is better they locked down the place! It will be easier for the healthcare people to take care of the elderly! Stay safe too Derrick!

  14. Great post – but – Where’s Nugget?
    Looks like the ponies are shedding their winter coats, are they forecasting warmer weather for you?
    It’s been forever since I made duck – I’m going to have to keep that in mind.

  15. Thank you, Derrick for these beautiful and heartfelt moments. I need this bright garden in my morning, and must admit my eyes misting as well a few times looking over the people.
    I hope you and Jackie and all of yours stay utterly safe.

  16. If I could grow cyclamens in my garden, I would be beside myself with joy. Must be so very hard not being able to visit loved ones who are in care facilities. Stay safe, be well.

  17. Beautiful photos, Derrick. Oh how I wish things were green and blooming here, as it would help make things much more bearable. You and yours all stay safe and well. <3

  18. You live in such a beautiful place, Derrick. Thanks for the snapshots into your day. My cyclamens are up, too. They were a favorite of Mum’s so I always think of her.

  19. I think that people really, really don’t get what two meters apart looks like … however, enough of that mad lot, back to the beauty that is your ‘sanctuary in the storm’. I’m sure Jackie will get that shot of Eric one day soon. 😀

    1. Thanks very much, Widders. Last night in Coventry 20 people, including a toddler, refused to break up a barbecue party. Police had to tip it over. Jackie does keep trying.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: