Two Out Of Three

This afternoon Jackie drove me into the forest.

Ponies on the verge of Wootton Road were plagued by flies on this hot and humid day following 48 overcast hours of intermittent rain which encouraged some greening of the grass on the common,

where blackberries were looking plumper, as ponies gathered round the trough, the history of which is told in readers’ comments on

By the time I had walked across to the drinking water the adult equines had turned to grazing and left one foal slaking its thirst.

Bracken in the woodland along Bisterne Close had perked up, while ponies were clustered together in the shade. There was, however, no escape from the airborne flies.

Shallow puddles of water which drew thirsty drinkers beside Holmsley Passage.

In this oppressive weather ponies need water, shade, and relief from flies. Perhaps they will consider that two out of three is not bad.

Jackie also photographed acorns ready to fall, suggesting pannage – allowing pigs to vacuum them up – may start early.

I had a helpful e-mail from the Happiness Engineers explaining that I have used up my quota of space because of the number and size of my images. I was sent a link to how to optimise these, and tried it out on this post. This involved downloading ImagOptim and giving it a go. Now I don’t know how to check whether it has worked. I’ll sleep on it.

This evening we dined on build your own burgers, with fried onions and egg (as cooked by Jackie); crisp oven chips, and plentiful fresh salad, with which we repeated yesterday’s beverages.


  1. Those poor ponies with the flies.
    I think I am getting close to running out of space for photos on WP, too. I had wondered about you with all of your photos. I’m sure you’ll let us know how it goes. ?

  2. In ponies land , flies are queens with this drought!
    You are lucky, Derrick , to still find puddle .
    the black berries are good looking and probably good tasting! ๐Ÿ™‚
    In friendship with you and Jackie.

  3. Those ponies should have been born with longer tails, or need to learn to cooperate by standing face to tail in a circle to swish each others’ heads free of flies. Poor things.

  4. I always resize my pictures to save space because I figure I don’t need mega pixel pictures anyway. This saves huge amounts of space and keeps me within my limit.

  5. Good luck with optimizing your photos. Yesterday was hot and.humid. We went to an outdoor Tiki bar where the flies made me feel like our donkeys or or your ponies. I had to keep moving my arms and legs to keep them off me.

  6. Blackberries back again! That doesn’t seem like a whole year! As well as resizing your photographs, you could also try saving them as “medium” rather than “maximum”..

  7. The pony images are lovely, Derrick. We seem to have a reduction in flies this year, though the sheep, cattle and horse might disagree.

  8. I’ve been wondering what plan you were on to have such photo upload capability. I usually resize my photos now, but I have many in older posts that could be optimised. I’d love to have the WordPress link if you are allowed to attach it (you also have my email address).

  9. Your two-out-three title and remark made me laugh. My first thought was of the American singer Meatloaf, whose most famous song bore that title. The first two lines of his song — “Baby we can talk all night, but that ain’t getting us nowhere…” seemed oddly relevant to your current discussions with WordPress.

  10. I freak out if someone inadvertently lets a fly get inside the home. I kept staring at the number of flies on the pony, and kept repeating, “Derrick, there are flies on the pony!” I am so sorry they suffer the heat and flies. Hope you will be able to open the work you have uploaded.

      1. I am like that too. A fly swatter, a spray, a roll of newspaper, whatever is closest. My children call me “mom the Flyswatter!” ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. I’m glad the horses have the water trough and hope they get relief from the flies soon. When it comes to trying to expand my computer technology, I often sleep on it.

  12. These ponies have such beautiful coats, Derrick. I’m sorry it’s so hot for them. Also, was the egg on top of your burger? I ask because when I was a girl we took a trip to Germany and when I ordered a hamburger, there was a fried egg on top!

  13. Frightening flies! ?? Poor ponies! ๐Ÿ™ I do wish the ponies all three: water, shade, and relief from those flies. When a fly lands on food I freak out…’cause I can imagine where their little feet have been! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ
    Beautiful blackberries!
    I think the photos today look great. Hope all can be worked out with WP.
    (((HUGS))) ๐Ÿ™‚ โค๏ธ

  14. Those poor, dear ponies… Enjoyed your photos, Derrick. The blackberries reminded me of foraging in the South Wales hills during one, memorable September, just after WW11 was declared, as an evacuee. My foster-aunt made the best blackberry and apple pies ever: the aroma irresistible..

  15. I can’t see five of the pictures today, including the left one from the top three and the bottom two. They appear as grey boxes with a small blue ? Nobody else has mentioned that though, so perhaps it is just my computer. The others look fine.

  16. You know I loved the ponies. I do feel sorry for their plight with the flies.
    (I was unable to pull up Jackie’s pictures).

  17. I can ‘feel’ the heat and humidity from your description … a Berg wind is blowing here which sent our temperature up to 31 degrees C. It heralds much cooler weather over the next few days. Nonetheless, along with summer comes flies and moths and … the rain spiders have come out already: found a large one in my cupboard last night ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. When the grass looks so brown and dry like that in your area I worry. That is normal for here this time of year, but not where you are.

    Lots of ripening blackberries here, too.

    Early pannage means more Gloucester Oldspot photos. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Thanks for going to that extra work to show us the photos – they turned out beautifully. So well that I winced as I saw the photo with all those flies on the horse.

  20. I’m reading Wheaton’s To The Devil A Daughter, right now, and it reminds me of thing you’ve said and we’ve talked about – it’s a very English novel, set in France, I’m liking it, and reminded of all the old words used so often in the 1940’s onward and now lost. I think I shall try to bring them back, what say you? ๐Ÿ™‚ I love your forest photos best of all – well those and pics of the family and the memories. Well all right then, that’s all of them really. Yes I love them all. But the black horses own my heart.

  21. You leave me in no doubt about the nefarious purpose of existence of the flies. No wonder they are looked down across cultures all over the planet. I quite enjoyed the travel to the forest, including the detour where you showed us a fully functional water trough for ponies, and explained why did the chicken cross the road. Sadly, commenting on linked posts has become a problem when using the WP Reader.

  22. So glad you and the ponies got some rain. That’s great news. My husband’s favorite burger is a bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg on top. Apparently it’s wonderful. : I

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