On The Bend

Early this morning we drove to Lymington to buy birthday presents, and continued into the forest on this cooler, leaden skied, day.

We stopped at Crockford Clump where small pine cones littered the bone dry ground

on which lay two striking mandalas side by side, one composed of droppings from the trees probably crafted by human hand, and the other consisting of feathers plucked by beak and claws of a predatory raptor. (The first black and white picture of the Clump is by Jackie).

This birch tree was one of the many already shedding autumnal leaves.

Just as I wandered into the murky landscape

rain began to fall.

The Assistant Photographer waited, camera poised, for my dampened return.

Visitors are now, mostly sans masks, dominating the supermarket queues. For that reason we seek out local shops which are largely less crowded and safer. We tried a Farm Shop near Beaulieu which normally has few customers. Today, even in the rain, there was a line outside it. On we travelled to the East Boldre Community Shop which was a much better option.

Oblivious to what may be coming round the bend further along the road dexterous donkeys clipped the hedges with precision.

Nearby a group of ponies obtained what nourishment they could from the very dry grass.

Closely followed by the ponies, the donkeys ambled across the road. Fortunately nothing whizzed round the bend.

The rain continued until midday. This afternoon Elizabeth visited and we had a stimulating and enjoyable wide-ranging conversation. Interestingly she has, throughout the lockdown, been, by use of mobile phones, reading to Ella a Jill Murphy story “Peace at Last”, to which we had introduced her to when Sam and Louisa, contemporary with Elizabeth and Rob’s Adam and Danni, were small. Our great-niece now quotes from it.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb sausages in red wine; boiled new potatoes; and firm broccoli with which the Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank Motepulciano D’Abruzzo 2018.


  1. Signs of Autumn already? Oh well, we have the wild cherries in blossom – so yes, time is moving on. You will be pleased to have a slight drop in heat and humidity I suppose? I have finished my early birthday gift and it was most enjoyable too. It was such a treat to read that prose and go back in time like that!! Thank you both <3

      1. I like books that bear signs of having had a life, it reminded me of me when I opened it πŸ˜€ I also discovered one of the bookmarks tucked inside too. It was a nice surprise!

  2. A murky day looks wonderful right now — it is approaching 100 degrees for the second of about 10 days to come, and the air is filled with smoke from 3 major brushfires in the hillsides behind Los Angeles.

  3. I’ve seen some autumnal leaves here, too. It doesn’t seem right when it’s so hot and humid.
    It’s good you have other options for shopping.

    I like those black and white horse and branches shots–and the donkeys, too. Yes, I’m glad nothing whizzed around the bend.

  4. Great photos Derrick, nature sure is beautiful.
    I hope you and Jackie have a great weekend.
    I’ll be catching up on reading post I’ve missed.
    It’s been a hard week my mom whom I help take of was not doing so well and it’s alot going on. But I will still try to keep up on reading post to help ease my mind.

  5. It is very hard to get a sane view on the current state of risk so I don’t absolutely condemn the non mask wearers but I agree that it would be more comfortable if everyone took a prudential view of the situation. At least you have a good stock of photographic subjects to take your mind off the world’s troubles..

    1. You are right about photographic subjects, Tootlepedal. The thing about the masks is that they are compulsory in shops, yet widely ignored. Thanks very much.

  6. I thought of you this evening coming home from my parents house and a dog ran out in front of me on the road. I don’t know how you navigate around all those critters! Nice photos today!

  7. Yeah.. I’ve enjoyed a good sleep-in this morning, 9.30 and just starting breakfast…. and we in for a sunny winter’s day (16’C)…. I adored your little poetic piece about the donkeys Derrick…” along the road dexterous donkeys clipped the hedges with precision.”

  8. you perfectly captured a gloomy day, Derrick! and with some rain, i’m sure it cooled down a bit. lovely photos and the ponies are delightful as always. πŸ™‚

  9. You two know how to make even a murky day beautiful! Love all of the photos!
    Your smile made me smile! πŸ™‚ Jackie poised and ready made me smile! πŸ™‚
    The dexterous donkeys made me smile! πŸ™‚ The pine cones and feathers are fascinating! πŸ™‚
    The book Peace at Last is wonderful! And I love when beloved books are shared down the family tree and several generations enjoy them! πŸ™‚
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚
    PS…I have some new potatoes waiting on me to cook them…I best do that before they get old! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜›

  10. I really like the black and white pictures.
    Most people around here are obeying the face mask rule but I haven’t been to the coast or the busy places to check.

  11. The photo of the birch is my favorite. It’s beautifully framed, and it’s nice to think of autumn in the midst of our heat. I know better than to wish time away, but I am guilty of wishing our heat away!

  12. Most delightful images Derrick. I’m intrigued by the two mandalas, one via human hands and the other from a natural episode in Nature. We always get a kick out of the sequences that Assistant Photographer capture of you on your walk, and the added picture of her in the automobile.

  13. Beautiful photos, Derrick and Jackie, both B&W and in color. Even grey drizzly days have their beauty and sense of peace. “Peace to Last” – now that is something I would love to see. Glad to hear stories continue down through the generations.

    It is already over 90 here today and climbing. I’ve been out early watering and gardning, and am now retiring into the cool of the house.

  14. Both mandalas are even more striking in black and white than they would have been in color. Fantastic black and white photos of tall and slender tree trunks, as well as the one with gnarled branches reaching across. The little donkey looking over its shoulder is cute.

  15. I went past a pub yesterday on my way home and people were sitting crowded in a beer garden with no masks.

    Children don’t have to wear masks in England, or people with learning difficulties or people with health problems, or people who who trot out some ridiculous health-based excuse. Some shops have announced they won’t enforce it, the police have made it plain they aren’t interested.

    All you can do is give your custom to places that enforce mask-wearing or where most people do wear masks.

    I am continuing to take as many precautions as possible and wait for a vaccine.

  16. When we were doing our walk to Left Bank yesterday, my friend commented on the queues – surprised as there hadn’t been any since the strictest lockdown. I hadn’t noticed in our village either since then, so we wondered what was going on! Anyway, I think you are wise to go for smaller shops. Last time I went into a supermarket, it was so stressful with large numbers of shoppers and little social distancing.

  17. Murky landscape indeed, but photos of Derrick, donkeys and ponies saved the day! Thanks for sharing your vistas, Derrick… so different from mine!!

  18. Thoroughly enjoyed the black and white photography of the horses. The remaining photography is also great but the black and white are always so striking!

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