Today’s weather was warm, sunny, and dry.

Jackie drove us to Tyrell’s Ford Hotel where we enjoyed a reunion lunch with Helen, Shelly, and Ron. We all missed Bill, who was unwell.

Jackie photographed her sisters and Ron.

We all enjoyed the welcoming environment, the friendly service, and the excellent food. My choices were whitebait starter; a main course of chicken and leek pie, chips, and peas; and Eton mess for dessert, with which I drank Flack’s Double Drop. I had no need of further nourishment later.

I photographed a magnificent rhododendron beside the car park.

On our return home, we meandered into the forest.

We stopped on a verge at the high point of Burley Road. To our left, a lone tree with bright gorse in the foreground stood out against the sky. The pairs of blue arrows lining the road are effective traffic calming measures no doubt designed to protect ponies such as the seen on the surrounding moorland. A may tree can be seen on the left.

Beside Forest Road a solitary cow stopped for a drink in the reflecting pool bearing water crowfoots and starbursts of windblown seeds.

The warm sun played with shadows among the almost human trunks and fallen limbs of trees, the pony-cropped grass, and the bright young bracken stems of Bisterne Close’s woodland.


  1. I’m glad you all had a nice visit. I hope Bill is feeling better soon. The rhododendron is really magnificent…wow! I love the photo from the top of Burley Road. It would make for a fun jigsaw puzzle!

  2. The thirsty bovine has my vote for β€˜Best in Show’
    It must surely have earned its place in a frame and hung for all to see.

  3. As a child of an English mother, I’ve had Eton mess many times — never heard that name for it, as we called it strawberries on meringue! I love your forest photos — the traffic calming is smart when one might otherwise run into ponies! And the trees are magnificent, with their humanoid faces!

    1. I’ve never had Eton Mess, but it sure sounds delicious.

      One of those trees seemed, to me, to have a bovine face.

    2. Thank you very much, Janet.

      Eton mess is a traditional English dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries, meringue, and whipped cream.[1] First mentioned in print in 1893, it is commonly believed to originate from Eton College and is served at the annual cricket match against the pupils of Harrow School. Eton mess is occasionally served at Harrow School but will always be referred to as Harrow mess. [2]

      Eton mess was served in the 1930s in the school’s “sock shop” (tuck shop), and was originally made with either strawberries or bananas mixed with ice-cream or cream.[3][4] Meringue was a later addition.[5][6] An Eton mess can be made with many other types of summer fruit,[7] but strawberries are regarded as more traditional.

      Lancing mess (which uses bananas) is a similar dessert that is served throughout the year at Lancing College in West Sussex, England.

      The word mess may refer to the appearance of the dish,[5] or may be used in the sense of “a quantity of food”, particularly “a prepared dish of soft food” or “a mixture of ingredients cooked or eaten together”.[8]

      In recent times, “Eton mess” has often been used by commentators in the media to describe political infighting within the UK Conservative Party over issues such as Brexit. Eton mess is used because a number of Conservative politicians were educated at Eton College.[9][10][11] (Wikipedia)

      1. Thank you, Derrick, for this explanation! Eton mess is delicious in all the variations you mention here, and would be good with any summer fruit. I love, too, that the term is used also to describe political infighting! Good to know that your commentators consider the infighting a mess, just as ours do, and that they make no bones about it!

  4. There’s always something new and wonderful to see in the forest, like twisty trees and delightful starbursts. Yay for anything that protects the ponies!

  5. Well..I learned something new..did not know there was such a thing as Water Crow’s Foot. Ranunculas are marvelous in their variation. It looks like you had a lovely day. I also liked the long shot of the road with ponies..why? I don’t know..I like road trips and to me your roads are ‘different’.

    1. Thanks very much dunelight. I had to learn what those flowers were. I had never seen them until we came to the New Forest. We often stop at that spot on Burley Road. Sometimes the ponies are all over it – and it is wider than many of the lanes.

  6. What is “Flack’s Double Drop”? My favorite today was that “almost human” tree! Fascinating! Always fun to share your day with you, {{{Derrick}}} – glad you had an opportunity to spend time with Jackie’s sisters. <3 <3 They look like fun-loving ladies.

      1. Ah, no wonder I had not heard of it. Not my choice of beverage! I have some dark Guinness in the fridge… may stay there a long time!

  7. That looks like a refreshing and a very fulfilling outing. The vantage point where you paused to survey and capture the vista is indeed excellent and reflects in the output. Those trees amidst woodland shadows look like lignified djinns or aliens.

  8. I hope Bill is well soon. How lovely to spend time with sisters and their hubbies! πŸ™‚
    What a beautiful day! Your photos here are amazing! So many unique captures! AND your descriptions of your photos are poetic and lively!
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

  9. It sounds like a lovely meal with family. I can understand why you needed nothing further. ?
    That rhododendron is wonderful.
    I really like the shadow play photos.

  10. Sorry to have fallen behind here, Derrick. I enjoyed this forest drive with Ent-like trees, ponies, cow and gorse. I am glad you were all able to get out for lunch together, and wish Bill a speedy recovery so he can join you next time.

  11. I remember asking you about Eton Mess before, but I enjoyed reading that section you included — especially the funny reference to certain political tiffs as “Eton messes.” I fear my mother never had anything as appealing as strawberries, meringue, and whipped cream in mind when she’d tell me my rooom was a mess!

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