Yesterday’s dinner consisted of Jackie’s superb shepherd’s pie; crisp carrots, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Rioja.

We will have more of this this evening, including the same beverages. The vegetables may be different. I am just going to prepare whatever the Culinary Queen bought in Tesco this morning, where she was very much in the minority wearing a face mask.

This was not the case with field horses on South Sway Lane when we began a brief foray into the forest. Readers will be aware that the masks are for the animals’ protection against flies.

We had not been here since the beginning of the lockdown when the trees were bare;


buttercups had not arrived, dandelion clocks were young blooms;

and moon daisies

and cow parsley were simply seeds that had not yet germinated.

Horseshoe Bottom was quite crowded with grazing ponies having no need to maintain social distance

and walkers who did.

A group of red deer outside Sway seem to have relaxed their timidity during the months without humans.



  1. Masks aren’t mandatory in public in the UK? Our state governor has deemed them so in public until further notice. Kind of a pain, but a necessary one, esp. for us older folks. πŸ˜‰

  2. You’d think the horses would be given something like mosquito netting so they could at least see where they’re going.
    Jackie, I finally made the Hunter’s chicken and my better half and I both enjoyed it!! Thank you again for the recipe.

  3. I’d wager that mask wearing in my part of Florida is about 50/50. I still wear mine, but it’s going to be harder as the days get warmer. Still, I can put up with the inconvenience.

  4. Wildflowers are so beautiful! Love the ones you captured in photos…especially the daises! I think daisies are such a friendly flower!
    ? πŸ™‚ ? πŸ™‚ ?

    Thank you for sharing the pretty ponies and the dear deer! HUGE smile-bringers! πŸ™‚

    There is a quote that says, “Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”
    Thank you, Jackie and Derrick, for always sharing beauty and hope with us! πŸ™‚

    Wishing you all a wonderful week! πŸ™‚
    PS…How is your Mum doing? She’s been on my mind and in my heart.

    1. Thank you for all this, Carolyn. It is our pleasure. Mum is fine. I phone her periodically and she remains lucid, remembering previous conversations. She is not a joiner so has no problem with being confined to her room, as all the residents currently are.

  5. Masks are mandatory anytime you go out here, but I still see a lot of people not wearing them. What an interesting place to walk too! πŸ™‚ And I LOVE a good Shepherd’s Pie, yum.

    1. Thanks very much, M. B. The effectiveness is debated over here – only consensus seems to be it is to protect others from wearers’ coughs – which suggests the mindset of those who don’t wear them.

      1. Yeah, we definitely more wear them to protect others, especially since the ones we have are just cloth. All the more official ones were way beyond sold out by the time they became mandatory here!

  6. I have a friend with horses, and when I stopped by her place the other day, they were wearing their fly masks for the first time this spring. It’s the season, for sure: flies, mosquitoes, chiggers, and every sort of flying and crawling annoyance is gearing up for the summer. What’s interesting is that some of their masks are treated with Permethrin: the very same product I use to treat my clothing before heading out to the woods or prairies. You can buy pre-treated clothing, but I prefer to spray my own, as it’s cheaper, and the effect of a good spraying lasts through several washings.

  7. I’m glad the horses get fly masks. Those deer! It’s amazing how spring came this year at the same time the world seemed to have stopped. For a while I was startled every time I went out and it had gotten so green and beautiful.

  8. Masks are not mandatory in my US state, though doctors offices and some individual businesses are requiring them. I’ve always been in the minority wearing one to the grocery store. I love how your photos show such a wide range of perspectives from close up buttercups to open fields.

  9. A lot of people don’t wear masks here. I hope that our blaze attitude doesn’t herald an outbreak worse than the initial one. Australia and New Zealand have been very lucky; New Zealand in particular for having a woman like Jacinta as a PM.

  10. As usual a lovely post, I do so like the horses… although did frown on seeing the walkers. I had to double take on the horses masks…I have not seen that before what a good idea. Have a lovely day πŸ™‚

  11. wow – even the wild animals are feeling and being changed by the pandemic
    wondering what life will be like later.
    and lovely photos

  12. It looks lovely.
    I saw photos of people back on the NJ boardwalks, walking with many others without masks. I walk around the neighborhood early in the morning without a mask because no one is around, but I would wear a mask if I went into a park.

  13. That must have been such an enjoyable trip, the meadows now full of wildflowers and trees in leaf on a beautiful sunny day!

    Things are opening up too quickly here, too, and I am sorry Jackie found herself in the minority at Tesco. I am afraid there will be another lockdown. I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.

  14. Hey Derrick, since when do you START your blog with the dinner menu? You threw me for a loop! I was afraid something went wrong and you didn’t get to leave the house today!! Whew!! What a relief to see Horseshoe Bottom crowded with grazing ponies and know you were able to go out afterall! I love that pony’s beautiful golden mane. Anther beautiful tour in your countryside. Thank you! <3

  15. I doubt that fly masks would be too popular with the farmers down here. Try putting those on a few thousand sheep. Let alone getting them over the big droopy ears of the Brahman bulls.

  16. Beautiful pictures.. masks are compulsory over here in India. It need not be a medical mask, even a cloth mask or a scarf is okay.
    Take care. ✨

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