I have often featured cattle and other animals basking beneath Bramshaw’s ancient oak. These pictures were produced in November 2018.
This morning the unburied corpse of this once mighty giant, some of its limbs chopped up, lay across the green, being investigated by a solitary calf which is hidden in three of these images. The muddy turf was littered with acorns. The shattered trunk of the tree was completely hollow. A telegraph pole had been pulled down with it. The weight of a few hundred years and the winds of storm Alex had been too much for this venerable Quercus.
We had noticed this disaster on our way to Nomansland in the gloom of yesterday evening and felt impelled to pay our last respects early this morning.
On this village’s other green ponies cast their shadows, donkeys dawdled,
and sheep sheltered under healthier oaks.
Along the road to Furzley Common others rose to their feet in trepidation as I approached.
At the Furzey Lane crossroads I witnessed a close encounter between a somewhat sheepish pony and a snuffling piglet.
Soon the little porker trotted across the road to join its squealing siblings swinging round the corner in the wake of a soggy, grunting, sow.
While I poked my lens at pigs, Jackie aimed at alpacas occupying a distant shed.
Donkeys and a foal soaked up the sun in Blackhill Road.
Our return home was greeted by rainclouds and a showery afternoon.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy lamb jalfrezi, a plain paratha, and turmeric tinted boiled rice with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Cahors Malbec 2018.