Slow For Ponies

Today the weather was sun-bright-clear-chilly-cold.

We began by purchasing vegetables at Ferndene Farm Shop, then drove into the forest by way of

Beckley Common Road where Jackie parked, a jogger passed, and I pictured

the surrounding woodland where the harsh squawking of disturbed pheasants interrupted the melodic birdsong.

The next parking spot was a lay-by off the A35 where gorse bushes balls emulated stationary tumbleweed.

My next disembarkation was beside Lyndhurst Road where no discordant notes clashed with the avian melodies.

A friendly gentleman led a rope-tacked pony past the resting Modus while I photographed

more woodland and its reflecting stream.

I was surprised to see several euphorbia plants accompanying the primroses, celandines, and violets dotted among last year’s leaves carpeting the forest floor.

Along a side track leading to several private properties a number of large trees had fallen recently, and someone had lit a fire between two smaller trees, burning off some of the bark.

Showing signs of shedding their winter coats, ponies on Mill Lawn and the verges of Mill Lane tucked into their all day breakfasts.

Others trooped across Bisterne Close to sample something more prickly. A pair of cyclists stopped to take photographs. New Forest drivers are encouraged to display stickers stating “I go slow for ponies”. The animals crossing here make their requests on the tarmac.

For dinner this evening Jackie produced some of her thick, wholesome, chicken stewp with fresh crusty bread and we enjoyed eating it with, in her case, Hoegaarden, and in mine, more of the Bordeaux.


  1. A beautiful drive, and I enjoyed the scenes of the surrounding countryside as well, Derrick and Jackie. I always enjoy seeing the ponies, too, and the occasional pig when you come across one. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks very much, Pat. The New Forest traditions re ponies rights of way go back centuries. Since the area became a National Park about 25 years ago no more building as been permitted, except on an existing footprint.

  2. So happy (as always) to see so many ponies. I am surprised thought that this wonderful countryside doesn’t have more people hiking and exploring.

  3. The beautiful calm horses, and soft reflections of arching branches on the road and glassy water paint such tranquil pictures.
    A good way to end the day.
    – And Jackie’s chicken stewp sounds an even more satisfactory way to end the day πŸ™‚

  4. Wonderful images, Derrick. Was the chap leading the pony retrieving it from the free range, perhaps? Or (laughing) were you and Jackie witnessing an equine rustler at work?

    1. I wondered about that, Maj – especially as he was using a rope πŸ™‚ He clearly wanted to keep moving, so, although we exchanged pleasant greetings I didn’t ask him. Thanks a lot

  5. I particularly like the landscapes with the gorse bush tumbleweeds. I’ve only seen real tumbleweeds once. (Not quite as depressing as in the movies. πŸ˜‰ )

  6. It looks like someone who lit a fire burned the bark off healthy trees? If so, I hope Karma gives them a clear lesson soon. Good for the New Forest drivers who “go slow for ponies”.!

  7. I really love seeing the ponies! Photographs of shadowy lanes and reflections are fantastic. IMO, Derrick is a writer who works in entertainment!

  8. What a lovely day and drive out Derick. Some of those trees you photographed are pretty impressive. And of course I love the ponies!

  9. I’ve not seen any euphorbias in the wild yet, but I could have missed them. If not, they’ll be around soon. I laughed at the suggestion of “I Go Slow for Ponies” stickers. I have friends who have suggested an “I Brake for Wildflowers” bumper sticker for me.

Leave a Reply