Early this morning, after she had shopped and Tesco and we had unloaded her purchases, Jackie drove me to Wessex Photography in Lymington where I bought more printing paper; and further on into the forest.

Although grasses were well-watered beside Hatchet Pond

the surrounding moorland was drying up. It was hot enough for us two days ago, and therefore not surprising that areas 10 degrees C hotter elsewhere in the country suffered numerous grass fires that spread to destroy neighbouring homes. We considered ourselves fortunate that the New Forest remained unscathed.

Waterlily tapestries adorned the pond, and beneath the sheltering

lakeside silver birch

cygnets originally seen in May and posted in have now caught up with their mother.

While wandering around Hatchet Pond, I met and enjoyed wide-ranging conversation with friendly Australian Justin and Spaniard Natalia, on holiday from their home in Andorra, who were happy to be photographed with their boys and dog before Jackie called to tell me that the cygnets were back.

Already, soon after 10 a.m. ponies at East End were lining up in what shade they could find in order to escape the oppressive heat and the myriad of flies that could either be momentarily shooed off with twitching tails, rubbing noses against legs, or simply stoically tolerated. The last of the trio looks as if she may have found a mud bath at some point.

There are usually a few ponies cropping this parched patch which would now be like breakfasting on burnt toast. Perhaps it is the residents of No. 1 Sowley Lane, opposite who have filled these containers of water for the animals who have slaked their thirst and moved on to seek greener grass.

This afternoon I dozed over ‘The Moonstone’.

This evening we dined on roast duck, fried and boiled potatoes, fried onions, and firm carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, with meaty giblet generated gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden; Flo, Robinson’s mixed fruit cordial; and I, more of the Cabernet Sauvignon.


  1. Oh, those pesky flies! I’m glad someone is giving the ponies water, anyway. We’re expecting our hottest day in a decade on Sunday, but we are used to the heat and have air conditioning units in many of our rooms, so it’s not bad. And we’re not looking quite as parched outside as some of your pictures look. Loved that birch tree picture.

  2. I feel sorry for those suffering from grass fires and animals and.humans. Any word on when the heat wave may break?

    Picked a copy of the Murdoch book today.

  3. I’m glad the New Forest has been spared, but sorry for the animals and plants that are suffering–people, too.
    I love the water lily “tapestries.” The poor ponies with the flies!

  4. I’ve always been partial to birch trees and water lilies. You captured some beautiful specimens. The family you photographed looked as it they were having the time of their lives!

  5. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. 🙂 There’s a lot of us over there. The last two photos remind me of the many scenes during our droughts. It’s either dry or wet here. Not much in between.

  6. “Waterlily tapestries adorned the pond,” is a lovely phrase. It’s exciting to see the cygnets growing up. I’m thankful to whoever put out the water for the animals.

  7. I’ve never been a fan of the heat. But luckily we are a little more accustomed to it. And I really sympathise with those can’t get out and find relief.

  8. We had high temps in SD for entire reunion… up to 110 degrees fahrenheit..and strong hot winds. The whole world seems to be feeling the result of global warming..The biggest problem we seem to continue to overlook. Gorgeous water lilies. Poor horses…

  9. Perhaps one day, it will be possible to direct the cloiuds and the rain to specific places where it is needed. I wonder if anybody is working on that?

  10. So beautiful. So hot. Prince Charles recently said, “I told you.” He was actually right, and has been so for quite a few decades now about climate change.

  11. Heat is a payback of reckless exploitation of the planet. I hope we wake up while there is still time. I’ll wait for your crystalline input over the book you dozed off with. Great photos, as usual.

  12. Seems hot everywhere, Derrick. I prefer it over mid winter, though. Lots easier to get dressed. Are the thatched roofs a danger in the oppressive heat, if there are any in your area?

    1. We do have lots of thatched roofs, Steve. They don’t seem in danger, but that is a good thought which our long history of thatching has never had to consider previously. Thanks v very much.

      1. The heat continues here. We’re up north along one of the Great Lakes, Lake Ontario Canada is across the lake) and it’s 88F and will be like that for awhile. We’ve been watering to help some new trees and plants.

  13. I hope the New Forest area remains unscathed by fire. We have been fortunate here with few really hot days, and more cloud cover than usual, especially for late July. Our luck may run out next week if the forecast is correct.

  14. Hope you managed to receive the rain today. We had some overnight and a little this afternnon
    How strange that just a couple of days ago the temperatures here were at 38 degrees, today it’s below average for the time of year.
    Sounds like Andrew was on the East coast where it was much cooler than inland.

  15. We got some much-needed rain yesterday for which I am most grateful. Today, our temp’s peak at 88F, which is better than other parts of the US.

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