“Can We Come And Play”

After a Tesco shop later this afternoon, Jackie and I took a forest drive.

As I photographed a pony by Wootton stream, she moved away from a warning sign about keeping distance and not interfering with the animals.

I turned to photograph a system of roots just as a French gentleman entered the picture. He was very happy to have been included. This led to an opportunity for each us to practice our Franglais, although this became a little too much for his wife and two children, who, nevertheless did join in with some amusement – enough for me to have managed at least one intelligible bilingual pun. My acquaintance wanted to know all about the animals, their ownership, control, etc. In particular, I was able to speak about all aspects of the aforementioned warning sign. Explaining the evident ribs in the animals was interesting. Wolves, wild boar, and badgers were also subjects of interest.

We drove on to Bisterne Close where, while photographing a pony, I met a man who told me of a stallion who had gathered together a harem of 28 mares, where I should find some interesting photographs. I followed his clear directions until I found

the scene of the gathering, which had clearly moved on. Hoofprints had disappeared into a muddy reflecting pool.

I transferred my sights to the woodland, with its fallen trees, its shadows, moss, and catkins writhing on the ground or hanging from the trees.

Some way along the Burley Road towards the A35,

we spied a pony and foal in a distant field.

Further inspection revealed another horse and two small calves. As the bovine parents were at the far end of the field, we assumed their offspring had approached and asked “can we come and play”.

This evening we all dined on pork spare ribs in barbecue sauce and Jackie’s colourful savoury rice, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Campo Viejo Rioja 2021.


  1. I love the way the pony moved on so you could read the warning sign!
    And clear communication was on the agenda again, it seems, when you practiced your ‘Franglais’ – I love that! I was practicing my ‘Polglais’ with some lovely Polish guests this morning… how much more interesting simple conversations are when both sides have to work that harder to actually communicate!

    1. Thanks very much, Tootlepedal. They told me that loup (wolf) was pronounced loo. I said there was no pee in it then. The children particularly liked that one. The female wolf is louve (sounding like louvre)- so it is not a fenêtre (window) then, said I

  2. I love how you captured the moss in the sunshine.???? Also happy you engaged in some intercultural relations and brushed up your franglais a bit!

  3. So many wonderful photos! It’s nice to see everyone getting along. I like the thick trunk in the woodland tree. The moss on the ground looks like the beginnings of a soft carpet.

  4. Apparently, the Scotish parliament discussed the introduction of lynx to Scotland a day or two ago. I just wish they’d give wolves a serious thought!

  5. Beautiful photos of the woodlands–even those poor writhing catkins. I enjoyed seeing the calves with the ponies. They do look like they’re asking to play.

    I think your friendliness and ability to talk to people has probably served you well in life–not to mention bilingual wordplay! 🙂

  6. That was a lovely title for the photos of the ponies with foals and calves! A stallion with a herd is interesting. He is a potentially dangerous Lord of the Ladies. Be careful, Derrick and Jackie.

  7. Now that the driveway is finally completed, we need to relax and take a drive. Pork spare ribs sound good. Maybe lunch on our drive will be just what the birthday boy needs. It’s not every day you turn 70. 🙂 Not sure about the Campo Viejo Rioja 2021. It’s 94 Australian dollars here.

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