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.