The Fox And Hare

On a sun-bright, but still chilly, breezy, morning we took a drive to the east of the forest.

Jackie parked the Modus on the verge of Sowley Lane and decanted me and my camera.

Ponies shared the broad verge pasturage with basking cattle, one of whom looked askance at me when I photographed her feet. The close-up of the sorrel pony demonstrates why they all sport wrinkled noses to enable them to nibble the short grass.

A cock pheasant canoodled with a spotlit hen beside a gated path leading to Sowley Lake until they and others disappeared with harsh squawks.

A wide-wing-spanned buzzard, taking care to keep naked branches between itself and my probing lens, glided smoothly overhead, until an eerie silence rent the air.

Meanwhile, Jackie photographed another pheasant hiding in the shrubbery on the opposite side of the road.

Similarly, the Assistant Photographer focussed on a camouflaged chaffinch I captured in plain sight.

A dead tree stretched over the animals on the verge; a brightly clad cyclist blended well with the myriads of brightly-hued daffodils lining the lanes,

which were rife with other groups of pedallers practicing defensive cycling. The first of these trios was happy to collect a convoy behind a delivery van on Lodge Lane; the second swept round a bend on South Baddersley Road carrying out a debate about where they were.

Pheasants usually scuttle off into the hedgerows when we arrive. This one, its feathers all puffed up remained motionless enough for me to become concerned enough to disembark for investigation. It was ambulant enough to walk slowly across the road. Another trick of these birds is to dash from the undergrowth in an apparent suicide attempt on vehicles’ wheels. We wondered whether this had been a survivor from such a game of chicken.

Having, through a five-barred gate, spotted another pheasant approaching a couple of horses on the far side of a field on Lodge Lane, I poked my camera over the gate in order to picture the impending encounter. In ample time, as the equines picked up speed, the bird veered off to avoid their thudding hooves.

Leather-lipped donkeys munched prickly gorse at East End, where, a few days ago, I had photographed a thatcher at work.

We now see he had crowned his roof with a fox chasing a hare which would never be caught.

As we passed Lymington harbour yachts we noticed a man descending rigging.

This evening for dinner we enjoyed our second sitting of Hordle Chinese Take Away fare, which keeps well for two days, and the same accompanying beverages.


  1. So many wonderful photos, Derrick. The countryside is greening up nicely it seems. The cows and ponies walking freely along the lanes is not something you would see here but what a great way to keep the grass and weeds cut down. You live in a beautiful area! ???

  2. Lovely, Derrick. You live in such peaceful surroundings. Everyone must be relaxed all the time, eh? When does the cattle make its way โ€˜homeโ€™? I can see by the ear tags that theyโ€™re owned.

  3. Gorgeous photos, Jackie and Derrick!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love seeing the pleasant pheasant, the pretty ponies, the content cows (HA! That one cow DID give you side-eye! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜€ ), camouflaged chaffinch, darling donkeys, ETC!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Oh, that house and thatched roof is beautiful! What artistry! And I love that the hare will always be ahead of the fox! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Love the Branches Against the Sky photo!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    HUGS and hope you are all having a good day!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Fantastic photos today! The thatched roof is gorgeous and so creative. I’m happy to hear the second day of takeaway was good. I got my second jab today. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I’ve never seen a thatch-ed roof
    But I’d love to see one.
    I’d rather see a thatch-ed roof
    Than to be one.

    That finishing touch to an already magnificent thatched roof was just gobsmacking!

  6. I enjoyed your forest drive photos, Derrick and Jackie! I love those thatched roofs! That is a nice decorative touch on top with fox and hare.

    The pheasant does seem ill or injured in some way. I hope he is alright.

  7. The crystalline beauty of the pleasant day is reflected in the vivid, idyllic and lively photographs. The framing and exposure are top notch. The Modus parked expectantly on the verge, ponies and cattle lazing by the wayside and the leathery-lipped donkeys are all fascinating images, the fox frozen in its chase of the hare is a favourite.

  8. What fun to see pheasants in the wild. That decorative finish to the thatching looks beautiful enough and then the embellishment of the fox chasing the hare is the ‘cherry on the top’.

  9. Absolutely beautiful animals and narrative. How fine the fox and hare are too – what a talent! While the surroundings seem to be gently awakening for the year ahead, those two players are making a very showy dash – what a contrast, and what a magnificent piece of artwork; so good to see traditional skills living on.

  10. My word, you had a very adventurous outing. The highlights for me were the fox and the hare – what a delight to have atop oneโ€™s house – and the look on the cowโ€™s face.

  11. Not sure which I liked best today, the leather-lipped donkeys, the gorgeous pheasant, the magnificent horses, or the row of daffodils. All made me want to come visit right away …. you live in such a phenomenal place. Thank you so much for sharing it with us in your terrific photographs. <3

  12. Such wonderful photos by you and Jackie. I can’t pick a favorite. There are so many things for you to see when you go out for a drive. I love the thatcher’s roof sculptures! (I hope they are secured well.) ?

    1. That is just what we thought about the roof sculptures. They always seem to last well, their only threat sometimes birds taking nesting materials. Thank very much from us both, Merril

  13. Your photos today are wonderful! The poor pony isn’t getting much grass! Beautiful pheasants all puffed up like they are cold. The Fox and Hare are an interesting touch on the roof!

  14. I do enjoy this time of year when the pheasants are out and about and attempting to pair up with a mate and I love hearing their calls.

    The Fox and Hare thatched roof is wonderful, what a great artistic touch.

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