Preening Swans

Today the air was cold; the cotton-clouded cerulean skies bright and sunny.

After lunch we took a drive as far as Hatchet Moor and back, enabling me to tramp over the

burnt gorse Nash battlefield beside the lake.

Beaulieu Road is lined with pools surrounding the rooted feet of trees which are generally dry in summer.

Walkers with dogs sought dry land and children sought pools in which gleefully to splash.

Muddy tracks surrounded this extension of Hatchet Pond and its environs, paradise to

stately swans exploring the tufted grasses.

Here is Jackie’s take on the swans as they preened and investigated the tussocks.

She waved from her vantage point on the far side of the water, from which she also photographed fishermen in the battlefield and “Where’s Derrick?” (4).

On our return a shaggy grey pony blocked the entrance to Gaza Avenue in East Boldre, opposite which her equine cousins grazed.

One bay crossed the soggy reflective terrain and was immediately followed by a slightly more mottled specimen.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent beef and mushroom pie; creamy swede and potato mash; firm carrots, tender cabbage, and meaty gravy, with which she drank Hoegaarden and, having opened another bottle, I drank more of the Macon.


  1. Lovely photos as always, Derrick. I would love to try your wife’s cooking, it sounds so delicious! โค๏ธ??

  2. Fine prose and beautiful photos from you and Jackie. I love the clouds in the pools, and all those wonderful swan shots. It’s hard to pick a favorite.

  3. Beautiful photos. I’ve never seen photos of moors before. I thought they would be more like grasslands with deep holes and lots of waterfowl. But it’s full of trees, isn’t it?

  4. You had a beautiful sunny day there for your trip out, and I enjoyed all the photos, Derrick and Jackie. The swans are beautiful, and it is always good to see the ponies. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. The swans take my fancy as they are birds of the literature, music and culture I grew up with. We see very, very few here and then only in enclosed areas, such as the Korsman Bird Park in Boksburg. Seeing a real swan the first time I visited England quite took my breath away.

    1. It is odd, Anne, but I never bothered about photographing swans, because many people consider them hackneyed over here, until I realised what a rarity they are for many of my readers. Thanks very much.

  6. That was an engrossing tour to your neighbourhood. The burnt gorse and the swans mark the two far edges of exposure, each pristine in their inherent beauty. Where is Derrick is an easy one in which you are lurking towards the right off the centre. The fishermen are more camouflaged than the writer of the chronicles.

  7. Jackie and Derrick,
    Your photos bring me joy! Thank you!
    I always feel honored to see regal graceful swans…and your photos of them are an honor to see, too.
    The Where’s Derrick? photo is wonderful! Ha, your beautiful hair gives you away!
    Aw! on the ponies! They are avoiding walking in the water, but becoming a beautiful reflection in it!
    (((HUGS))) ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. So many beautiful pictures. We took a drive in the countryside yesterday and I had my camera. But its dry and brown here right now so it different than in the summer.

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