“Behind You!”

Early this morning we took a trip in the driving rain which was to continue well into the afternoon. The time span of these pictures was about one hour beginning with the first on Southampton Road just after 10 a.m.

Jackie parked beside Royden Lane so that I could photograph a tree and raindrops falling and spiralling in puddles on the tarmac.

Noticing how muddy it was, as we entered Lower Sandy Down Jackie opined that this might not be a good idea. Round the next bend we encountered a van which, in view of the activity alongside it, was not going anywhere soon and provided reinforcement of her speculation. She, perforce, backed up and performed a multiple point turn.

We turned into the Balmer Lawn carpark beside Highland Water for me to photograph more raindrops in more puddles and give my hair a thorough rinse after my earlier shampoo.

At first it was just me and the crows, but soon a family group wearing suitable gear and sharing umbrellas wandered in among the oak trees.

Out of the corner of my left eye I noticed what Jackie, from the car, had imagined was the family dog speeding to catch them up. My resident Expert on Rare Breeds identified this as a Middle White which was on the endangered list. Even though it was alone, I doubt that it was the last one on earth, or even mud.

“Look behind you,” I cried, thinking that the humans might be in danger, or at least would like to see a pig in a pool.

The animal occupied them for a while until they wandered off and it stopped

for a scratch on a post.

Beechwood Road to Bartley offered fine woodland views.

We have never seen such a forlorn group of damp donkeys as those attempting to shelter under dripping trees at the Cadham Lane corner of Cadnam Common. Autumn leaves even adhered to their hides.

A single pony sporting a leaf sticker on its flank blended well with the colours of the Common

where cattle on the road attempted to persuade us to stay a while.

This evening we dined on oven battered haddock and golden chips; green peas; Garner’s pickled onions and Tesco’s wallies, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Trigales Spanish red wine.


  1. October for us is usually a dry month. We’ll start getting the autumn rains in November. Your pictures are amazing. Especially the Middle White pig scratching his nose on a post. I loved it. Thanks Derrick.

  2. We are told by the weather stations here, Turn Around, Don’t Drown. Good advice, great idea to turn around, Derrick!

      1. Thank you for sharing this beach beauty. So luscious and wonderful. You are such a lucky man to witness and experience so many aspects of this remarkable woman.
        Bowing down to Jackie and the man that partnered her for so many years.

      2. Thanks Derrick! I now know I like wallies too. That photo of Jackie basking is fab! Not many peeps can be so relaxed, authentic and beautiful ?
        You are a lucky man ???

  3. I know some people find raining days annoying…I find them refreshing!
    Thanks for braving your walk in the rain…you got some amazing photos to share with us!
    And thank you to Jackie…your wonderful Chauffeuse…who knows how to maneuver in rain, traffic, mud, animal-herds, etc! πŸ™‚
    The donkeys and the pony look beautiful with their leafy adornments! And looks like the perfect weather for piggies!
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

  4. (Smiling) I felt like I needed a towel to dry off! And yes those donkeys define the terms “forlorn” and “damp” as do all of the livestock and folks in the photos! The image of the drops in the puddles are quite interesting. Good pictures Derrick, as usual.

    1. They are indeed, Lavinia. There are some higher ones at each entrance to the official National Park. The ponies use them for “bum flossing”. Thanks very much.

  5. I bet Jackie has a lot of opportunity to practice those multiple point turns with your narrow roads. Poor soggy donkeys. I hope it wasn’t cold at least. I wonder if the pig may have been looking for a treat.

  6. you’ve been getting a lot of rain lately. lovely photographs despite a lot of water and i’ve never seen donkeys so drenched i feel sorry for them. the pig was a good entertainment and the ponies are always delightful with or without rain πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  7. I really liked “Raindrops in pool” ( I could even see a Cyberman nearest to the camera). Have you tried looking at it in B/W ? It’s one of those photographs that might look even better without colour.

  8. What a pig of a day but I really like “raindrops falling and spiralling in puddles on the tarmac”
    Living in Grimsby I am interested in your opinion about Haddock v Cod?

      1. In Grimsby, chip shops only serve haddock. Cod is considered an inferior fish because it is a bottom feeder. Another theory is that the Cod Wars with Iceland finished off the fishing industry in Grimsby so people won’t eat cod. Like you Derrick, I cannot tell the difference but I always order haddock nevertheless.

  9. Ugh, we had rains like that a couple of weeks ago, when I was working in the gardens of the monastery. I haven’t been that soaked in a long time – despite my rain gear. I feel for any land animal specie (including us) stuck in so much rain. Hope today is drier for you!

  10. Well, I am just smiling ear to ear while reading your post. It’s been a rainy day here in New England as well but I’ve had no white hogs or sad-looking donkeys in my view. Just a flirting squirrel munching on an acorn while sitting on a branch near our kitchen nook windows. What an engaging post with fun photos. ?

  11. I don’t know where to start, so let’s begin with the weather, glorious mud! great photos.
    Pigs, donkeys, ponies and even cattle, what a wonderful day – rain or no rain I would have loved to have been there,

  12. I can imagine quite a few readers being surprised to see such a large pig roaming freely so close to a family of walkers. I am sorry there is worse to come for the dripping donkeys. At least they don’t know how early in the day it goes dark now.

  13. I loved all the shots bu was particularly taken with the ones on the main road. Ones I can never take because I’m driving.
    A long way to go to rinse your hair ?

  14. I know all about wallies and have spent some time over the years trying to convince friends, without much success, that that is what pickled gherkins are called in London. What a comfort you are Derrick!

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