Seeking The Shot

A chill wind belied the sunny periods today.

This morning Jackie continued with her general garden maintenance, including pruning, while I dug more weeds out of the Gazebo path gravel.

I can just about manage this for half an hour, but imagine the exercise is doing me good. Crouching is now possible; it is rising from the crouch that has me thinking I might not make it. So, after the pain barrier had been reached, with the gait of a man on stilts, I stumbled indoors for my camera and recovered my questionable flexibility wandering around with it.

Various Japanese maples are exhibiting their vibrant colours;

The crab apples at the front are blossoming, and the Amanogawa cherry is having a second flush. The blossoms of this Japanese tree that I photographed more than a month ago were on the lower branches; those higher ones, reaching to the skies, have now burgeoned at a more usual time.

Shadows fell across the lawn and across mosses and ornamental grasses.

Variously hued heuchera leaves join forget-me-nots and bluebells waiting for roses to bloom in the Rose Garden.

Although the sun was clearly taking a long siesta we took a drive into the forest this afternoon.

We stopped to admire the new crown to the thatch on the Woolpack Inn at Sopley with its attendant peacock.

Overlooking both the pub and Mill Lane stands

the 13th Century grade II listed St Michael & All Angels Church around which graveyard atop a steep hill I wandered.

The inscriptions on most gravestones and sarcophagi are largely obscured by colourful lichen.

Although some of the images above display the drop down to Mill Lane, this view from very close to a corner of the building demonstrates the vertiginous nature of this ancient place of worship.

Two woolly schoolchildren seem to have been left inside this currently Covid-locked church, which will definitely be worth a further visit when it is possible for visitors to enter once more. Services are held following strict regulations.

From the churchyard I could hear the rush of the mill race to what is now a wedding venue. Maybe the people in this photograph were checking it out for such an event.

It has recently been necessary to cut down a tree.

When we spotted a small herd of deer on nearby hillside,

Jackie parked on Rockford Lane,

along which I walked in search of the final shot.

For dinner this evening Jackie produced succulent baked gammon; piquant cauliflower cheese; stir-fried leeks with pre-boiled cauliflower leaves; and crunchy carrots with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2019


  1. From garden to all about the countryside–I felt like I was really wandering with you today, Derrick.
    I love that peacock thatch!
    And that old graveyard is wonderful.

  2. My favorite shot is the first and last one. Thanks for making it the header for this post.
    Growing up, we had a large and what seemed like a dwarfed crabapple trees. In lazy, hot summer days, sometimes I’d read under the large one.

    1. Thanks very much, GP. I’m pleased you liked the shot. I had thought it might be potentially visible from further along the lane. That would have been a great place for you to read

  3. Derrick, your words often depict with the same clarity as one of Keeping’s marvellous illustrations –
    I’m sorry the weeding was so uncomfortable, but your garden is looking beautiful, and your description ‘with the gait of a man on stilts, I stumbled inside…’ is so graphic!
    From the final sentence of today’s post, I take it that you are feeling 100% better – so glad!

  4. I was interested to see your lichens. I’ve recently found a variety of them on the edge of the moor. I got a book out from the library thinking it would teach me about them but it hasn’t helped all that much. It did say that some lichens only grow 3mm in a century.

  5. You live in proximity to so many beautiful, historic, and interesting things to see. I would love to see that thatched roof in person. It’s gorgeous. They are rare around here. I many have seen one or two in my lifetime. It’s always nice to start the day with garden chores, though like you, I find it increasingly hard to get back up from the ground.

  6. Garden is looking good! We have some Japanese Maples at our house that the owner before us planted. I absolutely love them, they sure give character to the yard and flower beds ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. The thatch is craftsmanship at its best. I love old graveyards it must be three years air or so since I featured one on my site.

  8. You are very brave to crouch. I leave that sort of thing to Mrs T. Your crab apple blossom is delightful.

    The mill race is impressive. Is there still a mill wheel?

    It was good to see that traditional thatching skills are still being practised.

    1. Thanks very much, Tootlepedal. I am hoping the crouch will loosen things up a bit.
      We couldn’t get near enough to see whether there was a wheel or not. I have scoured hundreds of wedding photographs on the website without finding any. I can’t imagine that any photographer would miss such an opportunity.
      Any thatched roof in the area needing repair or replacement must be thatched.

  9. That thatched roof is impressive, and the decoration is especially pleasing. Is there a particular reason a peacock would be sited there? Are the birds connected to the area in some way, or simply attractive?

  10. I always enjoy seeing the Japanese maples in your garden. They’ve always been a favorite of mine. The thatched roof with its peacock adornment is very impressive!

  11. Your finale shot of the deer and horse on hillside, is quite spectacular Derrick … and one for my ‘Derrick’ file of photos… ?

    1. I’m pleased, Ivor. I realised when I first saw the scene that the final one might be possible if I walked further along and found a suitable gap in the hedge – it paid off. Thanks very much.

  12. I Love the old stone church and never get tired of seeing your garden. The thatched roof with the peacock is pretty impressive!

  13. Boiled cauliflower leaves! Now I regret all those I have put in the compost bin.

    You seem to live in an area of thatched rooves. I would love to have a glass of wine in that inn, and then go and look the the shed with thatch that shows up behind the pretty deer.

    1. You would be welcome, Yvonne. Jackie always serves up the leaves as cabbage. This time I thought I would say so, because they are the same thing really.

  14. I like your description of your stiff knees. I have the same problem and describe it myself as walking like the tin woodman from The Wizard of Oz.

  15. always a delight to see your beautiful garden, Derrick! love you header photo and the picturesque countryside! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. The gardens look beautiful, Derrick and Jackie, especially the apple blooms. The apples here are in full blooms too; the air is quite fragrant now.

    I enjoyed your forest drive too, especially the thatched roof with peacock!

    The colorful lichens mark the passage of time in the cemetery.

  17. What a gorgeous day and you captured it so wonderfully in these magnificent shots!
    YAY for crouching! Yes, the getting down is usually easier than the getting back up. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
    Love the peacock guarding the house from a perfect vantage point!
    Your final shot is glorious! Love the deer and pony sharing space!
    ? ? ?

  18. Your descriptions are so delightful. I need to look up baked gammon – (What’s gammon?) I only know about backgammon! And vertiginous … that’s new to me, too. Thank you for enhancing my vocabulary while your pictures draw me in… love that new crown on the thatched roof!!

  19. What a lovely garden you both have and your photos are fabulous, isn’t that new thatch with the bird atop fantastic. There was a house with a thatched roof near my parents and the roof burnt down a couple of years ago its still not repaired now, quite sad.

  20. The 13th century cemetery photos are quite interesting, and the dolls in the church window are amusing.
    I have heard of boiled cauliflower leaves but have never tried to do it. I am thankful to the Culinary Queen for inspiration.

  21. Beautiful flowers and nice stroll. If you are having difficulty recovering from a crouch position, you might want to get those plastic footstools from Amazon. They can be put away flat in a small space and when you pull the handle out, they make a very convenient stool for doing things that you would normally be crouching for

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: