A Miracle

Early this morning Jackie and I bought more bedding plants from Ferndene Farm Shop, then continued into the forest.

Much of the day, though still warm, was overcast with the occasional smattering of rain. As we drove up Bolderwood Drive the contrasts in the woodland light from


to sun-splashed was quite marked. As usual each of the above images bears a title in the gallery.

Jackie parked the car at Milkham so that I could walk back to photograph these ponies occupying the landscape.

She photographed me walking back through the heather laden moorland.

Further along the road a group of ponies and their foals wandered onto the tarmac. All along this stretch of road the only possibility of vehicles avoiding nose to nose confrontation is by waiting in the designated passing spots, so it will be obvious that the approaching cyclists had more chance of evading the ponies than we did.

Off the road a pair of adults groomed each other, whilst a foal wandered off.

When we reached Appleslade, a similar youngster left his mother’s side until

she began frantically to roll

from side to side,

arching her back,

in a desperate attempt to

dislodge the flies that tormented her lactating teats.

It was a miracle that her hoofs did not clatter into her anxious progeny

who then emulated his mother.

This afternoon I watched the thrilling rugby Premiership cup final between Leicester and Saracens.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s tasty pasta Bolognese supplemented by left over pizzas with which she drank Hoegaarden, Becky drank Zesty, Ian drank Amoretti, and I drank more of the Cabernet Sauvignon.


      1. You’re welcome, Derrick. In less-populated areas north of us, moose will run out of the woods and onto the highway trying to get away from the flies.

  1. Pleased to report that I wasn’t irritated by flies at Twickenham this PM, only a few boisterous Tiger supporters. Good game as you rightly said.

  2. Aw, the photos of the mom and baby made me wince (Those pesky flies! 🙁 ) and then smile (When the smart baby emulated his smart mom!) 🙂 It makes me sad that they get to tormented by those flies! 🙁
    Such gorgeous woodland photos! The forest has so much going on…life in many different stages. 🙂
    Jackie, your photos are beautiful, too! 🙂
    (((HUGS))) ❤️

    1. I absolutely melted when I saw what that cute foal was doing.

      Pesky flies. I remember my father lighting a smudge with green foliage to create lots of smoke. The cows and horses jostled for a spot in the smoke that gave them some respite from the insects. We had vicious horse flies that would take a hunk of skin when they bit humans or other animals. I think you have those insects in your country also.

      1. I am so pleased that you both appreciated the foal’s response; and your story about the animals’ usage of the smudge smoke is fascinating, Yvonne

      1. Yes – most of the time we can
        But a while back – the hubs was kayaking and had a horrible time with biting flies attacking him (he goes bald headed so that was the worse part – trying to bite his head)
        It was the peak of summer and Virginia can be so green and humid – anyhow – now he takes a salve or spray (peppermint oil or other essential oils m)

        Anyhow – thanks again for such beautiful animal photography!
        I don’t see animals often (besides our pups and the horses in some yards here and there)
        So your beautiful nature photography always sends me on my way with such a lift!

  3. I love the deep greens of early summer, especially the ferns which spring up and cover the forest floor.

    That poor mare having to roll to dislodge flies! That is a hard place to get a good tail swish. Her little one learns quickly. 🙂

  4. What a terrific example of a young one learning from its mother! To be honest, I was glad to find out it was flies that were the problem. A horse-owning friend has described colic to me, and I was afraid that was the problem. All’s well!

  5. The woodland floor covered by ferns and withering foliage has been recorded in detail. The outburst of pony’s desperate upside down belly dance fuelled by flies and meticulously emulated by the foal is hilarious. I couldn’t help but commiserate for our equine friends at their predicament.

  6. You outdid yourself with these photos, Derrick. The woodland shadows and light are beautiful, and the series of action shots of mother and foal are wonderful. It must be so awful to have those flies, but looking at the photos again, it does look like the mother is teaching her child what to do.

  7. OMW! That poor mare and those tormenting pesky flies and the foal copying the mother is so cute. These are amazing shots, Derrick.

  8. How lovely to see the foal copy its mother.
    The other day I watched rabbits in the field below my bedroom do a similar thing. The adult, presumably the mother, began scratching frantically at a patch of bare ground (previous molehill) and then rolled around in the soil to have a dust bath. When she’d finished, the two youngsters with her did exactly the same thing. I’ve watched rabbits grazing in the fields before but I’ve never seen them take a dust bath.

  9. Derrick, I have to say your post lived up to its title. What an absolutely amazing thing to witness! (AND photograph!). Thank you so much for sharing. How did you come to realize it was the files? I think if I had witnessed the mother arching her back (in seeming agony) like that, I would have thought her intestines were twisted or some other terrible horse malady. I just can’t get over that little foal doing the same thing. Absolutely charming!

  10. Great shots Derrick, and so well done I think the horses were waiting for you. A great share, I’ve been missing that touch with horses so you have pleased me greatly, thank you ? ❤️ ?? ?

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