Traffic Calming

Today’s weather was hot and humid with intermittent sunshine.

We gardened in the morning.

I am delighted to report that Nugget is alive and well and was in his customary attendance. Those readers who suggested that he might be moulting were clearly correct.

Jackie concentrated largely on the Rose Garden where, among other tasks, she planted some tall lavenders. Among my usual tasks I had not included digging since the first knee surgery. Our soil remains bone hard and I decided to attempt to relieve her of some of it.

I found this surprisingly easy. It may look as if this is my left foot; in fact it is the right one reflected in the mirror against the east fence. This was particularly pleasing since that leg was the subject of the most recent replacement.

Hydrangea Lanarth White sets off fuchsia Mrs Popple in the Orange Shed corner of the Rose Garden; yellow black eyed Susan and orange marigolds are planted in a chimney pot beside the West Bed; a red pelargonium fronted by an ornamental grass stands at the base of the gazebo which bears a blue clematis.

This afternoon, after shopping at Milford Supplies for a pair of hinges, we took a drive into the forest where graced with the presence of a plethora of ponies.

A family of three cropped the verge at the entrance to Bisterne Close, while, further along

a mare did her best ignore her colt persistently attempting to suckle.

As often on such a sultry day somnolent ponies clustered together beneath the shade of their favourite trees, spilling across Forest Road carrying out their own traffic calming project. Cyclists managed to weave in and out, while car drivers were required to demonstrate good natured patience.

Other equines rolled among dried droppings on the cropped grass, or undertook assiduous mutual grooming.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s aromatic variation on shepherd’s pie topped, instead of mashed potato, with sliced, sautΓ©ed ones flavoured with rosemary; toothsome carrots, cauliflower, and green beans; and meaty gravy, with which the Culinary Queen drank Becks and I drank Flores de Soligamar Rioja 2018.


  1. What a surprise when I opened this up – all those ponies!! Fantastic! And so glad to see Nugget once again, molting or not.
    That is a nice twist to the Shepard’s Pie. I might try that one day.

  2. Birds sure look a bit ragged when molting. Nugget, bless him, is no different than others. When I was a kid (decades ago) I often heard around the horse barns that if a horse could rollover while on their back it was worth at least $100. I am glad that the human road traffic shows patience and drives safely when negotiating the herd.

  3. Hi Derrick – love the shot of the horse rolling – do not see that often – and our brown lab puppy rolled in a dead bird last week – was wondering why he would do that? We thought he was playing or just stretching and having fun – but he was all into that dead carcass and smelled so bad after – nice bath cleaned him him – but not sure why he did that??
    oh and love the shoe and shovel close up!!

    1. Rolling

      Some think that rolling in carcasses is something that predators do to mask their own sent while hunting. Possibly your brown lab was just following an instinct.?

  4. I don’t know about traffic calming, it appears your chauffeur needs eyes in the back of her head with all those horses and ponies on the road. I particularly enjoyed the photos of the foals.

  5. Excellent post & compositions. Did a quick speed looking at the shots before thorough reading – momentarily thought there were ponies in your garden. πŸ˜€ Keep in mind we have had bears in our garden, and one of our Vice Principals had a moose in his backyard. πŸ˜€

  6. Good to see the ponies but my mind kept going back to you forking the soil over in your white trousers. I hope you are less of a mucky pup than my sweetheart.

    1. I doubt it. But I was only expecting to did-head. I have to admit that, when flicking flies out of my red wine in the evening I got a spot on my trousers. Thanks very much, Susan.

  7. Boy, I think the ponies out number the people These photos never cease to amaze me. I can’t imagine driving with so much roaming going on. I’d have a hard time keeping my eye on the road. Great to see Nugget. He’s looking like a little butterball!

  8. YAY!!! There’s Nugget! So good to see him! I’d been worried about him.

    OH!!! The yellow black eyed Susans and the orange marigolds are a stunning duet of color!!! πŸ™‚

    Love all of the pony and foal photos! They are so beautiful! Those beautiful faces and soulful eyes! Love the behind-tail shots, too! πŸ˜€ I’m sure the back-rollin’-rubbin’ feels good to them! πŸ™‚

    A Cluster of Ponies…I’m sure that is the official term. Ha. πŸ™‚ (Actually, I’ve heard them called a String of Ponies or a Herd of Ponies. πŸ™‚ )

    The ponies calm the traffic…that’s good! And your photos have a calming affect on us! πŸ™‚

    The Shepherd’s Pie sounds yummy…we grow rosemary and love it on potatoes. πŸ™‚
    HUGS!!! no bugs, or slugs, or pugs, or shrugs…only (((HUGS))) πŸ˜€

  9. It would be so exciting to see the colts. Young animals are such a joy. Puppies and kittens shall suffice for use urban types. I think Brits must be far more patient than the rude and aggressive knuckleheads on the roads here. What a nice way to drive home. Oh, and happy to know Nugget is still gracing your garden with sweet visits!! Cheers dears xK

    1. Thanks very much, Kelly. Urban Brits are just as rude. Here people are generally more patient. Animals (into 3 figures) are nevertheless still killed on forest roads. During the lockdown the number has been significantly reduced. “Cheers dears” is nice. πŸ™‚ X

  10. I never thought of doing Shepherd’s Pie that way. It’s kind of a variation on moussaka, in terms of the potato. So glad that Nugget is back, as well as your digging capacity . . . now, where did Jackie leave that to-do list . . .

  11. I am glad to see that Mr Nugget is back, Derrick. The head shot of a pony lying down took me aback for a moment, until I saw the rolling photos. I might be the only one partial to black and whites, but I find them more expressive than the colored photos.

  12. That is quite a harras of horses out to harass the motorists! You have captured their moods and expressions up close and none of them seems ready to relent to bipeds. Good to see the old robin back.

  13. the header is fantastic! exciting to see Nugget again! the ponies and all the blooms in the garden are always delightful!

  14. Andrew echoed my thoughts – sandals and digging!

    Lovely to see such a lot of ponies such a wonderful sight. So glad that Nugget is still with us.

  15. A plethora of ponies indeed! Great to have a sighting of Nugget; he’ll soon be looking at natty as ever in his new plumage. And marvellous news about you finding the digging easier than you expected. I hope there have been no ill effects from that effort ??

    1. Throughout Hampshire’s New Forest, where we are fortunate enough to live, the animals roam freely with right of way on the roads. Thank you very much, Dwight.

  16. I’m so pleased that Nugget is OK. The flowers are beautiful–good job with the digging!
    The horse photos are wonderful. That golden toast brown little one is very handsome.

  17. Good to see Nugget Sr. again! After listening to the news today I am so glad to see his cherry little face! That is wonderful news!

    I am glad the digging went well, and your new knee was up to the task. And I loved those forest ponies, every one. πŸ™‚

  18. I’m sitting in a hot car waiting for my wife’s return from a local grocery store. It’s early hours for Seniors only. Loved your story to pass the time. I moved the car so I’m wondering if she’s wandering in search. It’s getting a bit toasty in the car. Oh, the things I do …?

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