I Hoped Not

Given the forecast (accurate) of the very hot day we gardened in the morning.

My contribution was weeding the central brick paving of the Rose Garden,

where, later, Jackie took a break sitting in the shade.

This afternoon my Chauffeuse drove me into the forest. A parliament of rooks was held beneath a dead tree alongside

Mill Lane, where walkers, cyclists, and motorists were to be seen. In fact many visitors were about this afternoon, so we kept away from the more popular areas.

A cricket match was under way at Burley. Jackie opined that one of the bowlers reminded her of me in my youth, which she described as tall and skinny. Having watched his action, I replied that I hoped not.

The only livestock out in the sunshine today appeared on Wootton Common.

A small Highland cow nibbled at the verge, with its crop of

buttercups, daisies, and ferns.

A while ago I had photographed a heron beside birches in the middle distance. Today I spotted

a bovine trio in the same place.

Remembering the heron and realising that there was concave dip beside the tree, I wondered whether I might find cattle in a pool. My reflection was rewarded.

A pony mare grazed on the sward, hoping to build herself up enough to satisfy her nearby foal.

The usual two little Shetlands accompanied a group of their larger equine cousins.

Early this evening we continued emergency watering which Jackie had been doing on and off all day.

We then dined on spicy meat feast pizza with plentiful fresh salad. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Doom Bar.


  1. Sounds like and looks like you had a great day for photography. As always I’m delighted to see the ponies. Loving the cattle too.
    Not quite as warm up here in the north but lovely to sit in the sunshine with a gentle breeze.

  2. Our temperature has dropped twenty degrees since the beginning of the week. The air is cool and refreshing. Jackie looks lovely among the roses. I particularly like the black-and-white version of the dead tree.

  3. The black and white parliamentary meeting under the dead tree photo is quite striking. The small Highland cow seems to be posing. Excellent bovine reflections. πŸ˜€

    I hope it’s cooled off a bit now.

  4. The Head Gardener does indeed look suitably regal – and in such a beautiful setting.
    The weed free path contrasts with the sumptuously blooming flower beds!
    Those poor Highland Cattle – good that some found a pool to paddle in and cool down πŸ˜‰
    I had not realised that the forecast was for an even hotter day tomorrow…
    perhaps we’d better nip out now to get tomorrow’s gardening done whilst it’s a bit cooler?!

  5. A hot day sounds like a good day for a forest drive, Derrick and Jackie. I enjoyed all the photos, especially the Highland cattle and ponies. That one Shetland looks like she might be heavy with foal.

    It is warming up here a bit today.

  6. Another enjoyable day, Derrick. It’s interesting to look at the black and white photographs – they really tell a story, or suggest one, don’t you think?

  7. Jackie looks quite comfy in the shade. That is one effective looking tool laying on the bricks! Weeds don’t stand a chance against it, do they? πŸ˜‰

  8. Phew! Sounds as though it’s pretty darned hot if emergency watering is necessary. Been very dry here. Thank God we have hoses for the gardens out front.

  9. The parliament of rooks benefits from black and white rendition, Derrick. You rose garden is as splendid as ever, and the perfectly clear reflection of the cow is marvelous.

  10. Winter has deserted us this week in favour of temperatures akin to your summer! We have been hovering around 26 degrees C and are enjoying the respite from the cold – as I have enjoyed your selection of photographs today.

  11. The Brick Path has been shorn of rogue weeds and the relief is reflected in Jackie resting in the chair under the shade. The β€œparliament of rooks”reminds me of the human equivalent in my own country! The Mill Lane shots are fantastic.

  12. Your B&W photos and reflection photos are fabulous! That tree is amazing! So much life it lived and it still has great character even in it’s current “season”.
    So glad The Head Gardener has a comfortable shady resting spot! She earns it every day! πŸ™‚
    Those cattle have quite the hairdo going on! πŸ˜€ Coop had a similar hairdo but he got it cut recently! πŸ˜‰
    Please stay safe and cool on these very hot days.
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚
    PS…we dined on roasted chicken and salad…the salad was chopped kale, zucchini, two kinds of cabbage with some pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries thrown in. πŸ™‚

  13. I’m a little surprised that there are no Cattle Egrets yet in your neck of the woods. They breed in Cornwall, Somerset and Norfolk (at least) and would find easy pickings with all of those various quadrupeds.

  14. Seems like a hot/layback day we often have here in summer. I just wish we had the animal population you have!!

  15. Even though the area seems quite crowded with tourists already, I contemplate adding to it every time I see your garden and pictures of the forest. It could be a while, though, so I’ll just visit your blog for now.

  16. You DO have a fabulous new tool to teach me about! Thank you for leaving it there, despite Jackie’s misgivings about untidy pictures. I have never seen anything like that. I always just use my weeder stick.( What ARE those things called? They have a handle, about a foot long neck and a fork on the end.) Anyway, your tool looks perfect for the job! I just googled “path weeder tool” and all kinds of exciting things came up – many of them similar to yours. I just never thought to look for anything better.

    Jackie looks wonderful in her garden, and I LOVE that black and white picture of the tree! Great job “reflecting” on the heron. Your wording is often so clever.

  17. If you ever need one, that weeding hook you picture is available with a long handle too – less bending. πŸ™‚ Garden is looking good. Jackie really needs a cold drink in her hand for that picture to be complete. You may wish to consider that if you try to repeat the shot. πŸ™‚

  18. What a great, shady corner Jackie has. Almost as if she’s sitting upon a throne, casting her eye over her domain.

  19. It has been hot and sticky, hasn’t it? I wonder that you could bear to be out at all but then it can be cooler than in a building.

  20. It looks like Jackie is wearing a pretty blouse with purple embroidery along one side! Perhaps this is how fashion ideas are born? Lovely photos, as always, Derrick.

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