Flora And Fauna

On another very warm afternoon we visited Otter Nurseries in search of a garden bench. The queue inside was most uninviting, so we took a forest drive and revisited the outlet on our way home when the queues had subsided and Jackie ordered what she wanted.

Otter’s car park was lined with the moon daisies that are very prolific at the moment.

Gilpins’s cornus in full bloom towers, as usual, above the garden wall.

Perched on a stand at Portmore a spectator supervises a caprine push-me-pull-you.

Through traffic at Pilley needed to drive round ponies on the road

while avoiding calves on the verges.

Hatchet Pond accommodated water lilies, a moorhen,

Canada geese and their goslings,

and swans with their cygnets,

while a black-headed gull kept an eye on Caring for the Forest.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome beef and mushroom pie; boiled Jersey Royal potatoes; swede and new potato mash; firm carrots, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, with which I drank more of the Malbec.

Garden And Forest

Today was largely overcast, yet very warm. This morning, entertained by trilling birdsong, I carried out a dead heading session; the scents of a multitude of plants pervaded the garden even more as the warmth increased when I stepped out after lunch to walk around it.

I photographed a day lily, numerous roses, two clematis, poppies, a yellow bottle brush plant and a white solanum, all of which bear titles in the gallery.

Later, Jackie drove us to the north of the forest.

Almost the first signs of life we saw were ponies lingering leisurely along the road at North Gorley

and cattle giving drivers an opportunity to rest on the road to Hyde.

We admired the view from Abbotswell Road, on a

verge of which a squirrel hid with its mouth full. I’m not sure who nibbled the tree in the foreground.

Driving down Blissford Hill is always a bit nerve wracking because it is necessary to get up speed to the dappled area beneath the trees in order to climb up the very steep slope, hoping not to encounter another vehicle coming down.

We hope to arrive at the wider top where dog walkers are enjoying the levelling out of the surface.

Donkeys are usually in evidence outside the school at Hyde. Today they were accompanied by a number of foals. The last two photographs in this gallery are Jackie’s.

On our way home a helpful Jay pointed the way to Ringwood.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s very tasty liver and bacon casserole; mashed swede and potatoes sweet and white; and carrots, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts flavoursome and al dente, with which I drank Chilean reserva privada Malbec 2022.

An Ancient Thoroughfare

The weather has calmed down, with a merely gentle breeze.

After a morning shopping trip to Tesco we proceeded into the forest.

While seeking to locate its tail, the smaller of two calves alongside Forest Road

showed us a newborn clean pair of heels.

Along Braggers Lane bracken and foxgloves share the verges

with a single poppy from which an investigative bee was departing.

Before the Ringwood Road drops down into Burley several ponies grazed the high bank.

Every time we take this road to the village we regret that it is impossible to pause for photographs. Jackie couldn’t stop the car on the winding bends while the ancient flanking banks would be unsafe to attempt to scale even if she could.

For the first time today there were no vehicles behind us and Jackie could drive slowly enough for me to capture sunlight striating the ancient verges. I have to click at the moment the sun is not shining on the windscreen, otherwise I peer through the milky film on the fourth image, which in the context of this story is quite acceptable.

“People have lived in the Burley area since prehistoric times. At least 23 Bronze Agebarrows are known in the Burley area.[11] The site of an Iron Age hillfort can be seen just to the west of the village at Castle Hill.[12]

There is evidence of Saxon occupation as the name Burley is composed of two Saxon words ‘burgh’, which means fortified palace, and ‘leah’, which means an open meadow or clearing in a wood.[13]

Burley is not specifically mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086, but the entry for nearby Ringwood may well refer to Burley when it mentions lands in the forest with “14 villagers and 6 smallholders with 7 ploughs; a mill at 30d; and woodland at 189 pigs from pasturage.”[14]

Burley was part of the royal lands of the New Forest.[15] By the beginning of the 13th century the family of de Burley was firmly established here.[13] Richard de Burley held the estate from Edward I who gave the village of Burley and Manor of Lyndhurst as dowry to his second wife Margaret, sister of Philip IV of France.[13] The manor is said to have belonged to the Crown down to the time of James I.[15]

This is an extract from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burley,_Hampshire which contains much more information.

Another group of ponies lounged on the moorland as we made our way home via Holmsley Passage.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome liver and bacon casserole; boiled Jersey Royal potatoes; crunchy carrots; and tender runner beans.

Playing Chicken

Following the same pattern as yesterday, overnight winds gusted all day until early evening, which meant I made much more headway on reading The Old Wives’ Tale before we took a brief forest drive, mainly along St Leonard’s Road where

valerian still thrives on the Old Barn ancient stone walls;

dog roses decorate the verges;

plants we can’t identify accompany foxgloves (see Sandra’s comment below, identifying this as navelwort) ;

and waterlogged fields are drying out in various layers of colour.

A pheasant played the breed’s favourite game of chicken among the traffic on the road to Beaulieu.

This evening we dined at Rokali’s where I enjoyed duck jalfrezi and Kingfisher; Jackie paneer shashlik and Diet Coke; and we shared mushroom rice and a parata. The food was excellent and the service as friendly and efficient as we have come to expect.

Prolific Pony Progeny

Our fierce winds and intermittent rains continued throughout the day, making it one for staying in and reading, until all was calm and the sun put in an appearance late in the afternoon, when we decided to set off for a brief forest drive.

We travelled no further than Tiptoe Road before we encountered

a pair of foals molesting the traffic until a driver chased them off onto the verge;

further along the road, more mares and their offspring found their own methods of disrupting the traffic.

One young foal showed great concern for the rolling discomfort of her mother.

Jackie’s picture makes it clear that the mare was trying to dislodge flies attracted to her area of recently having given birth.

Others wandered in the shrubbery. The first two of these four images are mine; the next two, Jackie’s.

Some of very frisky offspring dashed backwards and forwards all over the place. The last four images in this gallery are Jackie’s.

This evening we dined on roast chicken thighs with a spicy coating; boiled potatoes; tender cabbage and cauliflower leaves; crunchy cabbage and firm cauliflower.

More Dead-Heading

With yesterday’s overnight fierce winds roaring into this morning, taking a break for lunch, I began a further dead-heading session,

filling a trug with clippings – those that I could reach, from

Peach Abundance which demanded by a long way quite the most effort.

After lunch I turned my attention to the Back Drive and, on the proviso that I could reach them,

white Félicité Perpétue with Emily Gray;

white Perpetual Blush with Emily Gray;

yellow Doris Tysterman and deep red Ernest Morse;

tiny red Super Elfin;

and an unnamed pale pink rose bought some years ago for £1.

I filled the trug once more, emptied it for the second time into a compost bin, and staggered sweating into the safety of my sitting room chair.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s excellent fish and chips, Garner’s pickled onions and Mrs Elswood’s pickled gherkins.

Dead-Heading Roses

Our Covid vaccine reactions dissipated overnight.

I carried out a lengthy dead-heading session on the morning of this Cold. Overcast. Wet. (COW) mid-June day.

Here are a selection of the beneficiaries of my labours. Keen readers may spot some spent buds I have missed. If so, I do not want to know. Each image bears a title in the gallery.

Martin took the dead blooms from Wonderful Grandparents because it was unsafe for me to reach deep into the bed.

Soon after 3 p.m. when we set off for Ferndene Farm Shop to buy salad, sausages, and eggs rain set in for the rest of the day enabling me to produce a variant acronym: Cold. Overcast. Wet.

Here are a pair of pictures of the shop from through the car windscreen;

another of Holmsley Passage;

and one along Bisterne Close.

When viewed through the open passenger window I was able to focus

on a tree draped in honeysuckle,

and two different cornuses.

This evening we dined with Elizabeth at The Royal Oak, enjoying friendly, efficient, service and excellent food. The ladies both chose a very tasty Caribbean chicken curry and rice, while my pick was a fish and linguini dish which I relished. My sister and I each selected baked Alaska for dessert. Elizabeth drank non alcoholic Peroni, Jackie Diet Coke; and Merlot for me.

Vaccine Reaction

For the first time ever Jackie and I have experienced a reaction to a Covid vaccine – the Moderna Spikevax. No doubt this will be short-lived, but today we have each experienced an ache in the spiked arm, swimming headaches, and joints more painful than usual.

Fortunately I am enjoying reading Arnold Bennet’s “The Old Wives’ Tale”, so I continued with that.

Raiding the freezer, Jackie dined on Mac and Cheese, while I repeated last night’s roast pork meal without the wine.

A Visit From Sam

Jackie and I received our Covid booster vaccinations at Milford Pharmacy this morning.

After this Sam, on a whistle stop tour from his home in Fremantle, visited us for the day, which was spent in pleasurable reminiscing and catching up. He also managed to send control of my Ancestry DNA file to his mother-in-law Gay.

His friend, James McNally has provided him with fascinating accommodation as a base for his last few days here. When he was younger, my son lived on a boat moored for a time beneath Tower Bridge. Unbeknown to Sam, James had spotted this very vessel, left to decay in a shed in Plymouth. He bought it and brought it up to a mooring near Southampton, where he is working on restoring it. Sam is helping out with this.

The three of us dined this evening on succulent roast pork; crunchy crackling; crisp roast potatoes; carrots al dente; firm cauliflower; tender broccoli stems; and meaty gravy. Sam drank Old Farts beer and I finished the Chilean Malbec.

Never Flowered Before

The narrow brick paths between the beds in the Rose Garden had become so covered in weeds as to be dangerous for me to dead head many of the roses further in when I couldn’t see where I was putting my feet; Martin’s clearance of these a couple of days ago made this much easier for me – a mixed blessing because I have no excuse for leaving them. Today’s session was therefore longer than of late, and I am still behind.

Roses pictured today include pink Compassion; an unnamed white; pale pink New Dawn, singly and along the Rose Garden south fence; pink and white striped Rosa Gallica; an unnamed peach; red Aloha, bought as unnamed for £1; yellow Absolutely Fabulous; crisp Lady Emma Hamilton in a group and individually; red Gloriana, alone and in the company of foxgloves; elegant little Ballerina; and Gloriana, clematis, and foxgloves.

I also photographed a hebe, without having noticed the insect settled on it; another clematis in company with another New Dawn, and a deep red hemerocallis, or day lily.

Finally, and clearly another tribute to Martin’s painstaking clearance work, we have an inherited philadelphus inodorus, which has never flowered before.

This evening we enjoyed second helpings of last night’s wholesome casserole meal and the same beverage.