Equine Families

A loosely latched utility room window constantly thudded throughout last night against the whistling rhythm of thunderous gales sweeping through the Isle of Wight at speeds of up to 100 m.p.h.

The Weeping Birch bent its back and tossed it tresses.

As I write we do not expect a cessation until 9 p. m.

A pony couple contributing equine child labour introduced a very young colt to the family business of maintaining the clipping of the verges at the Brockenhurst end of Rhinefield Road. While Dad kept a discreet distance the infant was more interested in clinging close to his unresponsive mother in the hope of latching on for food.

I wandered into the woodland alongside, picking out a split, yet still flourishing tree; watching jackdaws, tidier than Tootlepedal‘s, foraging in the grass; and, when noticing birches swaying scarily with the wind – perhaps to join others littering the forest floor –

returning to the relative safety of the road where I enjoyed a pleasant conversation with a friendly couple, also fascinated with the foal and his mother who sought relief from an itch through the medium of a conveniently angled tree trunk.

Jackie had photographed me on my way in. How long will that torn limb take to fall from the foreground tree, I wonder?

Along an open stretch of Rhinefield Road I was surprised to find the wind so fierce that I struggled to stand still to photograph another equine family blending with the gorse. I decided it would have been unsafe to attempt to cross a ditch to reach them. Turning to include Dad was quite out of the question.

We briefly stopped at Puttles Bridge where I photographed rippling water, reflections, tree roots, and some of the fresh green leaves ripped from the trees everywhere this morning.

As we were leaving, a small herd of cattle were arriving.

This evening we dined on spicy pepperoni pizza; fried halloumi; and plentiful fresh salad, followed by apple and blackcurrant pie with rhubarb and ginger ice cream. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Collin-Bourisset Fleurie 2019.


  1. Beautiful reflections in the pool.
    The beautiful forest animals all look so clean, and unfazed by the beating winds.
    Rhubarb and Ginger Ice Cream sounds a perfect end to a day of such wintry, unseasonal weather.

  2. That sounds like quite a gale — do be careful when you are out photographing the beautiful new pony families and the old, fallen trees!

    1. I’m used to the struggle when on the clifftops, but to be blown about inland was quite an experience – certainly requiring care. Thanks very much, Janet

  3. We’ve been having quite a wind lately, but nothing like what you are experiencing. Good to see it didn’t affect my ponies.

  4. Wind has been the order of the day. It howled so here and was strong enough to snap electric cables, leaving us in darkness for most of the evening. The garden is spread all over with the debris of leaves and twigs. Your photographs show the wind and its effects very well – I love all of those ripples!

  5. I can’t believe it’s almost 6 months since we were up Rhinefield way and we only live in Southampton. First it was lockdown and now the weather has been so bad lately that we have hardly ventured out. It’s our favourite area of The Forest. Hoping Summer arrives soon, but in the meantime enjoying your lovely photos.

      1. I hope so too Derrick. Fed up with this unseasonal weather, but so pleased it was nice this time last year when I was on furlough. I think 2 months on furlough (April/May) with this type of weather would have driven me crazy.

  6. Reblogged this on Poddys on WordPress and commented:
    We love The New Forest and live close to here. If you have never been, it’s a wonderful part of England and an area of natural beauty as you can see from these terrific photos.

  7. What a great selection of New Forest images. You ought to be receiving an advertising fee from the Hampshire Tourist board.

    1. Thanks a lot, Sue. The couple I spoke to were visitors and I was surprised at how much I could tell them that I have learned in 9 years ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I imagine you could even publish a book with the beautiful collection of images youโ€™ve gathered over the past nine years.

  8. Your weather seems a relentless round of from bad to worse and yet the two of you continue to venture out and observe the daily goings on. You’re to be congratulated. I think I’d become a homebody in the face of such wind.

  9. I’m still snug in bed Derrick, a chilly 1’C here in Geelong this morning .. and I’m thoroughly enjoying viewing your equine photos …

  10. I particularly love that first photo of the horse’s head between the legs of the black horse. A lovely capture. Now I have to look up halloumi!!!

      1. Yes it is a goat/sheep milk cheese and yes, they fry it. They said the taste is primarily salt and not very cheesy as it is incredibly salty.

  11. The Weeping Birch is a survival artist, itโ€™s dance in ferocious winds a performance each time. The photo you have produced is top notch. The more slender trees keep perishing in storms. Please be careful when wandering in the woods in high winds. The family of ponies is quite at home in imposing weather. They make interesting subjects and you have made full use of the opportunities presented.

  12. Beautiful equine families! The trees and roots are fascinating – especially the spit tree that reminds me of a figure diving backwards.

  13. Wow…that’s a right gale! Those horses seem so calm. I remember the horses of my childhood would have none of that high wind nonsense.
    I love the photos. I miss horses.

  14. 100 mph winds must have shook your entire house. Are these winds common in your area, Derrick? I’m glad you got out to take photographs, but I’m even happier that you’ve remained upright in the gales.

    1. Thanks very much, Alys. This is the second time in the last couple of years. We are directly in line with the Isle of Wight – about a mile as the crow flies, so 40-60 is quite normal. All is still today, but we had no internet for a while

  15. 100 mph winds! Wowza! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Sounds so scary. ๐Ÿ™ I imagine they can do major damage to plants and trees…and buildings. ๐Ÿ™
    Oh, the faces of the foals and cows are so sweet! It’s so much fun when they look right at you like they are posing for you. I wonder if they think their photos will be put up on Equine-Book or Bovine-Press. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜›
    Jackie’s wonderful photo of you couldn’t have been a Where’s Derrick? as your bright coat and beautiful hair give you away! ๐Ÿ™‚
    (((HUGS))) ๐Ÿ™‚
    PS…Pizza AND ice cream! Lucky ducks! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ?

  16. Wow–I can’t believe you, Jackie, and the animals were all walking about in that wind. So many wonderful photos–I can’t pick a favorite. Those little foals are adorable are so adorable though, and I like the family groups, despite the child labor. I like Jackie’s photo of you, too.
    Your dinner sounds wonderful.

  17. I hope the storm did not do too much damage, Derrick and Jackie. Those are high winds! As always, I enjoyed your trip through the forest, and all the fine photos. The wee foals are adorable!

  18. I’m glad I took time to read all the comments. I don’t have to ask you, “What’s halloumi?” Ny guess is that tree limb is not long for this world as the ponies continue to use it for an itching post! I hope you get sunny, inviting, gardening weather again soon. We have had snow for the past two days… cold and gray days. We’re ready for warmer spring weather to return. We bet you are, too!

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