Cutting Out The Middle Man?

Early this morning, Jackie photographed the first welcoming dawn we have experienced for a while.

The sunshine lived up to its promise as I wandered around photographing clumps of cheerful snowdrops; bunches of daffodils including tete-a-tetes; bright cyclamen; a variety of abundant hellebores which retained raindrops; and prolific shrubs such as camellias and viburnum. To make room for these images I have begun thinning out some 35,000 photographs in my Mac photo collection.

While I was enjoying myself drafting this post Jackie worked to unblock the shower drain. This afternoon we visited Streets in Brockenhurst to buy cleaning materials, and returned by a slightly circuitous route.

Much of the forest, like this area near Woodfidley, is still waterlogged. Reflective pools bear fallen trees. Still-standing oaks dip mossy toes into clear, still, surface water.

We stopped again at East End to photograph a pony busy trimming a prickly hedge.

Across the road two somewhat battle-scarred bays stood beside East Boldre allotments land. A notice informed visitors that the ponies inside were meant to be there and asked that they should not be fed. Was this, I wondered, a method of cutting out the compost middle man?

This evening we dined on Jackie’s classic cottage pie served with tasty gravy; flavoursome broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and carrots. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank Barossa Valley Shiraz 2017.


  1. The Ponies are beginning to look as though they’ll be shedding those winter coats very soon.

    What a gorgeous sunrise we had today, I also took a few photos at first light, but I’ve scheduled mine for Saturday.

  2. I was reading seriously through your post wondering what the title had to do with ponies, trees and soggy landscape. LOL! Funny man. I even got Norm’s attention with my sudden titter.
    Dawns is the best time of day but I rarely see it too. πŸ™‚

  3. How wonderful – the curtain of winter in yesterday’s post has been drawn open by that wonderful red sky, the perky spring flowers, and today’s bright, almost shining reflective puddles. Even the ponies look spring cleaned! πŸ™‚

  4. A wonderful sunrise, and it’s so exciting to see the flowers! I don’t recall seeing that first big old tree before, though I might have forgotten. It looks interesting. The pony with the do not feed sign seems to have something to say about that, like “Pay no attention to the sign. Feed me!”

  5. It was surely a beautiful dawn. No wonder it drove the aficionados on a photographic enterprise. And that is a breathtaking spurt of boughs you have captured. It must be a proud tree. The oaks dipping their moss covered toes in water is a vividly pictorial and poetic expression. And I am sure there are no middlemen between you and Nature. The part about compost seeking blokes is hilarious!

  6. hi derrick –
    the trees are amazing to look at love this line especially
    Still-standing oaks dip mossy toes into clear, still, surface water.
    oh so good
    and re jackie and her task – hope the drain is all good now

  7. Jackie, your dawn photos are spectacular! You definitely give The Great Photographer a run for his money! πŸ˜‰ Your photos made me SIGH and smile! πŸ™‚

    Some of your tree and reflection photos in this group are amazing, Derrick!

    Oh, those sweet ponies and bright daffodils bring the warm on a cold Feb night! πŸ™‚

    Gotta’ say…the East End photo of the white pony’s “end” gave me a giggle! πŸ˜€
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚
    PS…Way to go Jackie on tackling the drain that wouldn’t drain!

  8. This may not be helpful to you, but it’s worth a try.
    I’ve discovered that we can flush our shower drain by a certain method. If you have a washbasin on the same lot of pipes, fill it up beyond the overflow hole with cold water and then turn the tap off. Pull the plug out and let it drain naturally. I do this every time I use the washbasin and over time it does seem to keep the shower drain clear. You know it is definitely working if you hear gurgles from the shower. The louder they are, the more it is working.

  9. One delightful photo after another! (And a clean shower drain, too!) ? Yesterday was a good day. I particularly like the reflective pools with the branches.
    I envy you your spring flowers–though we had sunshine and warmer temperatures yesterday, too.

  10. You sure got my attention with putting a pony on the head of this post. An eerie story could be written with your pictures of the forest. And then you polish off the post with more ponies – good man!!
    By coincidence, I made my U.S. version of Cottage Pie yesterday too. Good eatin’!!

  11. Kudos to Jacky for the photography of the sunrise. It looks beautiful. I also enjoyed a lot the flower photography and that of the reflective pool

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