Santa’s Float

On another cold, albeit slowly brightening, day Jackie and I took a forest drive just after 11 a.m.

Autumn leaves flocking on the still, silent, surface of Pilley’s icy lake will need a thaw before they begin their slow, rocking descent to the bed beneath.

Sage green lichen clung to branches

and decorated damp ivy coated trunks;

lesser limbs became embedded;

spectral skaters scraped converging rimy streaks across the frozen water,

while shaggy Shetland ponies quietly grazed.

The majority of this stubby little herd had rectified their recent absence from Bull Hill

which they now shared with curious cattle.

This bovine fixed me with a customary stare, then turned and

crossed the road. I tried not to take it personally.

Lymington River is tidal and therefore not frozen, and able to ripple and reflect the weak sunshine and Santa’s float.

In an effort to reorganise her fridge and larder, the Culinary Queen produced a varied menu for this evening consisting of left over helpings of my Susan’s chicken, of Shelly’s beef stew, one of her own earlier penne Bolognaise dishes from the freezer. She and I opted for the Bolognese while the others enjoyed some of everything. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Cabernet Sauvignon.


  1. The ice images, both leaf covered and embedded with various branches are truly unique, Derrick. Surely that Shetland is with foal judging from her belly profile. And cheers for Santa’s Float.

  2. I love the icy cold feel from your photos today, Derrick, a perfect day to be at home with a hot drink! Stay warm, guys. ???

  3. Lovely seasonal photos!
    ‘Tis the weather Santa seems to enjoy! (We’ve had snow and rain the past few days.)
    Aw, on the little grazing ponies! Ha, on the directly staring cows! Yay, for the Santa float!
    (((HUGS))) and the left-overs-meal sounds delicious! 🙂 ❤️

  4. Such amazing photos to be viewed in my warm Florida weather. I hope those skaters were safe after reading about the awful incident in Solihull. The cows are obviously very hardy creatures, unlike myself.

  5. I remember puddles being frozen when I was a boy but never such I see you have. But, two weeks before an Australian Christmas and it is 5 deg Celsius outside my window and blustering winds and pelting rain.

  6. Such beautiful photos of the near-frozen forest, Derrick! I especially enjoyed seeing that stubby little herd of shaggy Shetland ponies again. 🙂 I suppose all the pannage pigs have been sequestered back on their farms?

  7. Especially beautiful photos and lovely text describing the images. The leaves on the water are beautiful, and the bovine stare well-captured (What an interesting face!)

    We’ve had meals like that–bits of leftover this and that.

  8. Hi Derrick, it looks beautiful but cold. I’ve only ever seen frozen water twice in my lifetime, once in the UK and once in South Korea. I tend to opt for visits during warmer weather.

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