Proper Rain

The heavy rain that fell this morning was more welcome to us than to the influx of holidaymakers. Thinking that now was our chance to find Ferndene Farm Shop without a queue we set off in hope.

A four-way traffic control gave me ample time to photograph the lights through a wet windscreen.

After the wait our hopes were dashed. Even in pelting rain a line of bedraggled visitors stretched round the outside of the shop, so we set off for a forest drive instead.

The caravan site at Holmsley is one of a few that are closed because of Covid-19. Consequently would-be campers tend to park on the approach road when the adjacent car park is full. Ponies and cattle are no doubt appreciating the raindrops settling on their hitherto hot dry hides. One of the ponies sports a fern fascinator.

Dogs still had to be walked, some patently not very far because, despite

notices there was more dog shit than pony excreta around the edges of the parking area.

Car headlights glowed on Burley Road stretching down the hill towards the hazy landscape.

Many ambulant visitors, like these on Chapel Lane, were cheerful enough under their colourful umbrellas.

During the heatwave strings of ponies could be guaranteed to block Forest Road as they clustered together to shelter from clegs, heat, and humidity. Today they kept more Social Distance and even ignored the less prolific flies. Like the walls of concrete buildings today’s previously dry ponies all bore downward streaking water stains.

Alongside Holmsley Passage golden-browning bracken and purple heather glistened in the still driving proper rain as we made our way back home.

This evening we dined on tasty garlic and pepper coated roast chicken; herby sage and onion stuffing; crunchy carrots, firm cauliflower, tender kale; crisp Yorkshire pudding, and flavoursome gravy, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Montepuciano.


  1. Photos taken through the wet windshield have an almost surreal feeling to them. I would have loved to hang one on the wall, enlarged and framed. Now you know my taste in art, Derrick.

      1. Of course I will make it myself, Derrick; I don’t want you to trouble yourself on my account. For some reason I wasn’t able to access the gallery by clicking. I’ll try to do it in a different way later.

  2. It’s too bad you didn’t get to the Farm shop, but lovely photos nonetheless. The bracken and heather are beautiful, and that calf turned around to look at you.

  3. Love the fern fascinator. Hate seeing the poop. I always hope there is a good reason it has been left, like the owner ran out of bags or the dog chose a moment when the owner wasn’t looking…… But still!! The rain is good for you and no doubt the garden too, even the ponies look like they can bear it. Hope to hear it is cooling down just a little bit. <3

    1. Thanks very much, Pauline. It should soon be cooler. I normally refrain from photographing the poop, but it is always there around the car parks. This particular spread made me feel like showing what some people can do – same with the drink cans and food cartons.

      1. On Sunday I saw a council worker taking photographic evidence of the mess left behind by the Saturday night revellers up on the High Road. I was impressed by that – though I wonder what the next step might be. Some people are worse than pigs – and I apologise to all pigs………

  4. Sounds like everyone else had the same idea of using the rain to avoid a queue at the Ferndene Farm Shop πŸ™‚ I was even surprised to see people out walking in the rain.

  5. I love that when there are too many people you simply take off into the forest! That was quite a rain, too — we could use a drop or two of that water, please! The horses look as if the rain was so strong that it washed their color right off them, streaking down their sides!

    1. Thanks very much, Janet. I would happily send you some. I thought that maybe they had been coated with dry particles which would have had exactly the effect you describe.

  6. I’m sure the rain felt nice to the ponies. We had torrential downpours yesterday afternoon. I think we had around 2 inches of rain in a short period of time. I love the last photo!

  7. Loved the fern fascinator – both the picture and the description.

    Women pushing ponies, car drivers facing off, irresponsible dog owners – what sort of bedlam do you live in?

  8. Another great selection of life down your way.

    I love how the the pony in the final image in the second gallery is sporting a fern fringe.Very becoming!

  9. Those first three photos look very cinematic. I enjoyed the bracken and heather landscapes as well, but my favorite out of this group has to be the cow with the white face: Excuse me, I’m eating here. Can’t a bovine enjoy a meal in peace without being disturbed by the paparazzi??

  10. I liked the pony in the rain picture a lot. There was just a hint of, “Don’t take a picture of me looking like this”, in its eye, I thought.

    1. I agree with you re the Brits in the rain, seems they still venture out shorts and T-shirts on and just a big brolly!

  11. Is the “caravan site at Holmsley” what we in the states would call an RV Park? Interesting that the RV in the photo seems to be similar in size to ours. The fern in the forelock may be setting a new trend in equine fashion!

  12. the rain must be a relief for everyone! except that visitors come rain or shine! the last photo of pony looking at you is so precious! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  13. It seems the ponies and rule-breaking plebeians are back in their spirits. I know the elation one might feel walking under a colourful umbrella in the middle of a downpour: I love that shot. Cows and ponies in those images could exist in idyllic paintings of yore.

  14. Rain is always good. Too much is sometimes frustrating.

    No rain forecast for us for at least 10 days which will help while finishing the garden. After that you can send some our way. πŸ™‚

    1. I agree… too bad to litter up the landscape with dog poop. I always always always pick up after my dog when we are out walking – even in the Montana mountains when we are on our ATV. How inconsiderate of someone!!

  15. Nobody realises that dog droppings may contain “toxocara canis” a parasite which will finish up, if you’re unlucky, inside your eye. It may be treatable which can’t be much fun, I imagine. If the treatment doesn’t work, you may go blind.
    One of my younger brother’s friends suffered the latter fate in the 1970s when there were no drugs at all to combat a dreadful disease.

  16. I went collecting wild blackberries last week. In one bush someone had hung a full dog poop bag on the branches. That is even worse than not picking it up in the first place!

  17. Your first 3 photos are so beautiful! So artistic and eye-catching! πŸ™‚
    Aw, the pony who decided to wear a hair accessory! Very fern-y! πŸ˜€
    Your last photo is the perfect The End(s)! HA! πŸ˜›
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

  18. The rain seems to have added a touch of interest to your day. I live the horses and your view of the landscape. It helps those of us who have never been there to get a sense of geography! I like the way the rain is painting the big gray horses belly!! Great post!

  19. Oh God don’t get me started on bloody dog-walkers, they’re the bane of my life. I appreciate that most are completely responsible, but there’re so many dogs in this country that that still leaves an huge amount that aren’t!

    The rain’s been very heavy up here as well, to the extent I’m wondering if the conservatory roof will last the course!

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