Catkin Time

Given that we are to expect two consecutive named storms in the next few days it was imperative that we took a forest drive during intermittent sunny periods this afternoon, because we may not enjoy such pleasant weather for a while. We shopped at Tesco, then continued from there.

We were to encounter more than usual traffic hold ups on this trip.

The first was a veteran paying his respects to the police who had clearly been called to investigate the case of the fallen number plate at the roundabout forming a link between Southampton and Wellworthy Roads,

which had caused an extensive tailback on the major road to Lymington.

We turned into Sandy Down where a large flatfish in a ditch revealed itself to be a foamy buildup of the collected rainwater. Roots, ferns, and other plants clung to the bank on the opposite side of the road.

Later a group of cattle pressed their claim to Norleywood Road,

and a pregnant donkey paused for a scratch outside the East End Arms.

Wherever we looked catkins hung from trees. These images are from Sandy Down and from Church Lane,

which has varying characters, from residential to more open land

including a field where we are enjoined not to feed the horses, most of which are still sporting rugs.

This evening we dined on mildly spicy piri-piri chicken; new boiled potatoes; firm cauliflower and broccoli; and tender green beans, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Merlot.


  1. The change of seasons influences everything, including plans. Here we can smell Autumn in the air and the past month of heat and humidity is easing enabling more time in the garden. Catkins are a good sign that the earth continues to live on in the circle of life giving us a hope of the future ahead.

  2. Wow, you have lots of obstacles on the roads today, Derrick! Animals and humans doing a fine job of backing up your traffic. The roads seem very narrow compared to country roads here.

  3. The forest area in late winter has its own beauty. The was a pleasant sunbeam on that brown cow. She looks happy!

    The catkins on our own hazelnuts are hanging long and golden. In angled afternoon sun they are quite beautiful.

  4. I’d say today wasn’t a day to be in a hurry in your neck of the woods. I really like “Fence and Trees against the Sky.” It has a cinematic feel to it–but not in the usual golden kind of way.

  5. A few holdups today, but that makes for great photo opportunities. I loved seeing the cows and quite a lot of them today too. I hope the storms don’t prove to be too damaging.

  6. It sounds like it was a day for patience. I like the winding church lane, though would probably drive it very slowly. I hope you and your family stay safe and dry.

  7. Here’s a coincidence. When I went off to work this morning, all of our cypress trees were bare-branched. When I came home from work tonight, nearly every one was hung with brand new catkins! They often lose their leaves in unison, but I’ve never seen them put on the catkins in the same way.

  8. Today’s platter consists of highly interesting photos of traffic snarls caused by a vintage automobile, cattle and donkeys. Catkin amongst dense woodland streaked by narrow, meandering roads have been captured tastefully. The silhouetted road with wired fence to the left can appear on the cover of a Thomas Hardy classic or a Stephen King issue with equal grace and effect.

  9. Is that an MG Tc that suffered the indignity of its bumper losing a grip on life?

    On a +34C day, we are yearning to see the leaves start to fall from the trees.

    1. Looks more like an MG TD Midget to me, though I’m no expert on the matter. I’m guessing (based on photos of various years’ models) this one might be a 1953 or 1954 model.

  10. That foamy flatfish is very realistic looking. How odd to block the roundabout like that, why didn’t the police tell the driver to follow them to the police station or at least off the main road?

  11. The catkins are so decorative!
    Lovely to see such sweet faces looking at you and your camera!
    Bestest wishes to Mom Donkey and her soon-to-birth baby!
    Your fence and trees against the sky photo is breath-taking!
    Thank you for taking us on this journey…so healing to traverse the forest!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  12. Hooray for the catkins, a sign spring is approaching. The poor soul with the fallen number plate needs some ducktape. I love the photo of the cow looking into the camera as if it was posing.

  13. I am glad that you were able to get out for a nice drive before the storms hit. * Dan & I watched a documentary the other night on how global weather change is working to make England a centre for producing award winning wines. It was fascinating. I will have to make a special effort to check out wines from England the next time I visit our liquor store.

  14. I just discovered that I had missed this post. So many beautiful, unusual photos. I think it’s the cloudy light. The fence and trees, the ponies with blankets, and the lanes that look either inviting or ominous. It’s good you weren’t in a hurry.

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