Rich Pickings

This morning Nick completed his painting of the garden room and vacuumed and tidied everything, as he always does.

After lunch Jackie drove me into the forest.

As I walked down the slope from Wilverley Road to capture the views of Longslade Bottom, its landscape festooned with ponies, foals, and dog walkers

I noticed buttercups and daisies on the lush verges and blackberry blossom and ferns flanking the stony tracks produced by generations of wildlife.

At the corner of the dog-rose-lined Armstrong Lane on the approach to Brockenhurst a small group of ponies including a leggy foal and their short limbed Shetland acolyte grazed among glowing buttercups; while another group preferred to shelter in the dappled shade. Perhaps the couple in the last image, prone to weird moaning sounds and a certain amount of head butting, were engaged in some kind of unrequited courtship ritual.

On the bridge over the ford at Brockenhurst a group of amused tourists photographed ponies on the road.

Along Meerut Road a woman approached a small highland cow, and seemingly oblivious of this bovine, stood beside it photographing the landscape and pointing out something of interest to her male companion.

I wandered over to a pony and foal and discovered that some small corvine creatures had found rich pickings at the equine hoofs.

This evening we all dined on Becky’s flavoursome savoury rice; succulent chicken Kiev; fresh salad; and tomatoes with mozzarella and basil. Jackie, our daughter, and son-in-law drank Rosé Prosecco; I drank Château Sainte-Clotilde Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux 2018; and Flo abstained.


  1. Buttercups and daisies ! Do you remember the old custom of holding a buttercup under somebody’s chin to see if the yellow reflected on the skin? If the chin did shine yellow, I’m sure that that meant something, although I’ve unfortunately forgotten exactly what!

  2. I love the 6/11 image of the beautiful foal and its gorgeous expression.
    I also enjoyed seeing the black ponies, Sophie as a teenager had a black 14.2 pony named Black Magic, he was a brilliant show jumper; sadly he died suddenly of a stomach problem.

  3. I liked the picture of the lady ignoring the Highland cow. I enjoyed the pictures of the open heath. I think that that is my favourite sort of countryside.

  4. I had to look twice to see if the children’s slide was in you garden. 😉
    Paint job over. Will there be new carpet or other floor coverings before you put the furniture back?
    I wouldn’t think it would be a good idea to get that close to a cow.
    Lovely photos.

  5. I have slotted your ‘golden fern’ photo into my ‘Derrick File’ of images, … it seems to have captured my imagination Derrick ..

    1. In the First World War, Brockenhurst hosted the Lady Hardinge Hospital for Wounded Indian Soldiers. The name Meerut Road recalls the Indian troops of the Meerut and Lahore Divisions who fought on the Western Front in the war and were patients at Brockenhurst. Specialist sections were also established in the Balmer Lawn and Forest Park Hotels.

      The hospital was later transferred to the New Zealand Army and, as No. 1 New Zealand General Hospital, continued in use until 1919. Auckland Avenue and Auckland Place commemorate the stay of the New Zealanders. (Wikipedia) Thanks very much, Uma

  6. You’ve outdone yourself again, Derrick. The landscapes are quite lovely and those are the most adorable foal photos I’ve ever seen.

  7. As varied and beautiful as your photographs are, I particularly enjoy the golden fern glowing in the sunlight.

  8. Rich pickings, indeed! 🙂
    All lovely photos!
    I especially like the two ponies (the couple) standing together on the side of the road. Apparently trying to work out some stuff. 😉
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  9. The pictures are excellent today, Derrick.
    Can you explain what I’m seeing outside the garden window?

  10. that was so fun, the woman and the shaggy bovine, I wonder did her friend take a photograph – and how will she explain the situation!

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