Heathers And Asphodel

Early this morning we filled up with petrol and shopped at Tesco before going for a forest drive.

The recently re-thatched Pine Tree Cottage at the corner of Ringwood Road, Bransgore now has a squirrel on its roof.

off to the right a short distance down the road lies Betsy Lane with its

Post Office and postbox now bearing a somewhat wonky yarn roundabout.

A hundred metres or so beyond the post office the lane bears left with a sharp right angled bend lined with

verges sporting an array of hollyhocks, poppies, moon daisies, thistles, and other now rather spent wild flowers.

A rider in training was helped to negotiate oncoming traffic.

This thatched cottage is of quite ancient construction; its adjacent shed face with attractive wood;

alongside this is a further building bearing a weather vane fashioned into skeins of geese.

On the outskirts of Burley I tramped among the moorland varieties of heather and asphodel.

Ponies and foals were beginning to flop and to shelter from the high temperatures and humidity we were expecting.

We are now into the season when food and drink containers add their own brands of contributions to the forest ecology,

and around every bend in the road you are likely to encounter bunches of cycling club members. This group was less than half the size of the one which went before, and their leader did acknowledge that we had stopped – actually in deference to the oncoming car.

Along Beechwood Lane the first pair of cyclists dismounted rather than attempt to weave among a pair of ponies and a foal.

The foal and its Dam made for the sheltered corner of Burley Lawn;

a loud neighing emanated from a field horse decked out with full PPE against flies.

The knitted crown atop the postbox outside the cottage in Wootton Road has been replaced by a peacock and a little card inviting smiles.

This evening we dined on tender roast lamb; crisp Yorkshire pudding; boiled new potatoes; crunchy carrots; firm Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli, with really tasty gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden; Flo drank raspberry, rhubarb, and orange blossom cordial; and I finished the Chianti.


  1. What a delightful windshield tour of the quirky and beautiful English countryside with a knowledgeable local. All topped with another one of Jackie’s excellent meals. Is AC an option during the heat and humid periods?

    1. We only use it in cars – traditionally it hasn’t often been hot enough to warrant AC indoors – except for supermarkets. Thanks very much, Pat

  2. I love how the post boxes are decorated, so cute! The animals are so cute too, Derrick, lovely photos as always!

  3. Thank you for the tour. Should you ever need a new career, you’d be a perfect guide. 🙂
    I was quite taken with the geese weathervanes and the flowers and ponies on the moorland, but it’s interesting to see the town, as well.

  4. The Aspohdel brought to mind a poem by William Carlos Williams that’s titled “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower.” The first lines, which I remembered, are:

    “Of asphodel, that greeny flower,
    like a buttercup
    upon its branching stem-
    save that it’s green and wooden-
    I come, my sweet,
    to sing to you.”

    I’ve always found the poem mostly impenetrable, and best for the over-analysis of graduate courses, but you can see an excerpt (!) here if you like.

  5. So many engaging sights in this post! I particularly like image #4 of the heathers. There seems to be something magical going on with the focus.

  6. Love the wildflowers, the ponies, the foals, the geese and the squirrel, the clowny-folk and the peacock with the little card! All are smile-bringers. 🙂
    Your photos of the ponies beneath the tree AND the photos of the thatched house and shed are so amazing! Love the texture and “life” in the shed…”if walls could talk”… 🙂
    (((HUGS))) ❤️

  7. It is really annoying when you catch a glimpse of an exciting colour in the undergrowth and then instead of being an exotic wild flower, it turns out to be a drink can. Shooting is too good for litter louts.

  8. Surely the first line of your post today ought to read ‘Early this morning we drove to the Bank to arrange an overdraft before filling up with petrol and shopping at Tescos.’

  9. Love the post box topping… 🙂 and wise cyclists to dismount… And I feel sorry for that horse kitted out in PPE. There use to be one near to us kitted out similar… It always felt so sad when ever I passed it… I know flies can be a nuisance and can cause problems… But I wonder how the poor horse really feels looking through gauze and having its ears covered up.. Made me feel for her/him..
    Wishing you a great weekend Derrick

  10. The thatched cottage of quite ancient construction; and its adjacent shed face with attractive wood, attracted my attention this morning Derrick … ??

    1. It looked as if it was a cob (mud and straw) construction. Although there is a resurgence of this material this design looked pretty old. Thanks very much, Ivor

  11. I had never heard of ashodel, and found this fascinating information about it: “The ancient Greeks associated it with the death and the underworld, believing there was a meadow of asphodel in Elysian Fields, and considered it sacred to Persephone, goddess of the spring and queen of the underworld.”

  12. This was a wonderful outing in which you captured the beauty of unsung flowers adorning the verges and moorlands. The thatch-work squirrel, decorated post box, skein of geese moulded into a weather vein, cyclists weaving through ponies and the PPE-clad equine dignitary make for a deeply interesting proceeding.

  13. I’m surprised your site hasn’t been picked up as a travel log to advertise England. It is grand.

  14. The postbox decorations are always a cheery sight! The thatched roof with squirrel and flying geese weather vane was also fun to see.

    Have you seen or had any further word on the foal with scours? I hope the little one is doing well.

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