About derrickjknight

I am a septuagenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs

Bisterne Scarecrow Festival Trail 2019

With the rain hammering down and leaking through the Velux window onto the kitchen table; and with a boiler that isn’t working I consoled myself with drafting this post. Just to recap, Jackie had taken me around the trail yesterday afternoon so that I would have something to work on during these expected conditions today.

As usual we bought a map and list of entrants to the competition at Tyrells Ford Country Inn whose exhibit, “One Giant Leap”, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, as did

“One Small Step” at Garden Cottage.

“Clowning Around” seems an apt title to front the old schoolmistress’s house on which we had put an offer before we bought our current home. No sooner had we done so than the owner removed it from the market. We understood that this was not the first time.

It would have been our “Retirement Home”. This one at Kingston even has its own

bench for those who may wish to sit and contemplate it: and

a comely receptionist ready to welcome prospective residents.

Down a track nearby is found The Hungry Caterpillar eating a melon to make his “Vegan Protest”.

Our paths have often crossed those of Catherine and Michelle who make visiting these scarecrows an annual trip. This time we first met them outside “Kingston Retirement Home”, and again when we approached

“Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory” where

Catherine was photographing Michelle among the straw men at the table. By the time I had disembarked they had finished. Naturally I asked them to repeat the exercise.

Almost opposite “Clowning Around” we find “Woodland Fairies” and their neighbours

“The Flower Fairies”.

“SpongeBob StrawPants” pays homage to an American animated cartoon of a slightly similar name. He stands opposite the entrance to Dragon Lane where we find

“Aliens Love Underpants”, referencing Claire Freedman’s colouring and activity book with stickers.

In the grounds of St Paul’s church we find “St Paul Shipwrecked in Malta”. https://malta.intercontinental.com/2016/02/09/the-shipwreck/ tells us that

‘According to the ‘Acts of the Apostles’ Paul was being taken to Rome to be tried as a political rebel, however, the ship carrying him and some 274 others were caught in a violent storm only to be wrecked two weeks later on the Maltese coast, all aboard swam safely to land. Even though the actual site of the wreck is a mystery by tradition the event took place in and around St. Paul’s Bay and St. Paul’s Island, today a statue sits in commemoration of the event.’

“Hoopy Loopy” is a game designed for children and parents.

While I was reading the rules for “Jeepers Creepers”, I noticed a small boy emerging from a car and asked him if he had parental supervision. Even though I smiled nicely the joke fell flat because he didn’t speak English. He returned to the vehicle and returned with his father. This was good because his Dad spoke excellent English. The boy climbed over the five barred gate to which the legend was fixed, and

photographed

the scary character on the cross.

“There was an old woman who lived in a shoe” certainly had

many children, and she did know what to do. She let them amuse themselves while

she sat indoors with her dog.

On Charles’s Lane stand “Scarecrow FC take on Bisterne Best” and “The Blue Abyss”.

“Lest We Forget” remembers two world wars.

The hat fell off the scarecrow as we arrived, and continued to wobble after I replaced it.

The 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings was commemorated by D-Day Dan and by the thorough

D-Day 75 at Rose Cottage, Bagnum. This was the work of the engaging Terrie (?sp) with whom I had a pleasant conversation, and her mother who had knitted all the poppies. They were so pleased that the strings of planes and the parachutes in the bushes survived last weekend’s gales.

Terrie’s mother had found a suitable object for a the cigarette drooping from the wounded soldier’s lips.

Note the rifleman

and the details on the beams.

At Lower Bisterne Farm Lay-by we find “Woody and Forky” and

“Resting scarecrow (on a tea break)”.

“Penguin Prom” has been adjudged champion.

I understand that penguin fathers take care of

the children.

On the opposite side of Christchurch Road we witness a “Puuurrfect Rescue” from a first floor window,

while Elliot takes ET for a bike ride.

“Stargazing” takes place on the green at Hampshire Hatches.

Finally, beware of “The Wonky Workforce”

whose supervisor takes a break

while mayhem ensues. Fatal accidents abound, while those who have tipped out the gravel

remain fixed, horrified, in their cab.

I was grateful that this marathon was interrupted by Jackie serving up chicken kebabs in herbs and garlic on a bed of her delicious savoury rice with which I imbibed El Zumbido Garnacha Syrah 2017, completing the post with the aid of a second glass.

Later I watched the brief recorded cricket highlights.

Variations On A Game

Today winds were fresh; rain was absent; and the temperatures were cool.

The verbena bonarensis attracted butterflies like this Comma;

and this Small White,

examples of which flitted everywhere, seeming to use white blooms as camouflage. Can you spot any one of these which will benefit from enlargement on accessing their gallery with a click?

Jackie continued her care work on these cosmoses and clematis on the back drive;

these, elsewhere, needed rather less attention.

This somewhat rusty duck had allowed the recent rain to roll off its back.

These bidens are some of many self seeded from last year.

Jackie has successfully tied up Margery’s hollyhocks

with string.

It was quite a stretch for the Head Gardener to tidy the white everlasting sweet peas.

In the process she pointed to a glass robin, crying “there’s Nugget”.

So, now you’ve been given a clue can you answer where’s Jackie?

The real Nugget had come out to play the game. In order to help newer readers who may not be aware of what they are looking for, and to give others a bonus we have today, in order of difficulty:

Where’s Nugget? – 4a;

Where’s Nugget? – 4b:

and Where’s Nugget? – 4c.

Not far from our little friend the stumpery is bedding down nicely.

Late this afternoon, realising that this was expected to be our last dry, sunny day for some time, Jackie drove me round the Bisterne Scarecrow Trail. I have the makings of a photo story which I will save for tomorrow. This is because rain is expected all day then; because I will require considerable time to work on the post; and because I am knackered now.

While I focussed on one of the exhibits Jackie photographed a couple of chickens scratching in the gravel.

Their flamboyant male companion flexed his muscles on my return to the car.

This evening I watched the recorded highlights of what rain has made the first day of the second Ashes Test Match between England and Australia, before we dined on minty lamb burgers, new potatoes, cabbage and carrots with which Jackie drank Blue Moon and I drank Doom Bar.

Not For The Birds

This was a day of wind, rain, colder temperatures, coats, and central heating. A bit like Dunedin’s winter.

During a brief period of lessening rain Jackie continued her work on securing sweet peas and other climbing plants; rehanging baskets; and setting other planters back on their perches.

Here are some of the finished projects. The begonias in the penultimate image lost a few broken stems from which Jackie is attempting to produce roots. She is doing the same with a proliferation of pelargoniums.

These ginger lilies happily survived.

Most flowers were bejewelled with raindrops.

This was not a day for little birds to come out and play.

We dined this evening on a second sitting of Hordle Chinese Take Away’ excellent fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Shiraz.

Ancient And Modern

Today it was mostly raining.

Nugget, however was determined to keep playing the game. Where is Nugget?

Following our trip this afternoon to Otter Nurseries to buy a couple of replacement pots for those damaged in the storm, the precipitation lessened so we drove into the forest.

Just outside Minstead, along the road between Emery Down and Stoney Cross that leads onto the A31

there is a sloping bank leading to an ancient hedgerow.

Clambering over the debris of recently fallen and sawn up trees,

I focussed on a group of ponies at the top of the bank.

One poor creature whose white blaze seemed a magnet for flies bashed her head on a lichen covered branch and shook herself distractedly in an unsuccessful effort to dislodge the pests.

As I made my way back to the car, speculating, as had Jackie, about the juxtaposition of these ancient hedgerows with fenced off modern forestry, she mentioned the three ponies that, with no warning, had suddenly thudded down the bank and clattered at great speed across the road. Any vehicle travelling round the bend in that first picture of the road at the permitted 40 m.p.h. would certainly have been involved in a collision. I had heard them when my back was to them on my return.

I was grateful to a young woman running with a terrier for, with her red sweater, adding a focal point to my landscapes from Picket Post.

This branch from high in an oak tree alongside Holmsley Passage was another victim of the recent storms.

A careful and competent riding group crossed the road outside The Rising Sun at Bashley.

This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s excellent Hordle Chinese Take Away with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Shiraz.

“Turncoat”

The air this morning when we set about further post-storm garden recovery work hung humid and eerily still.

Concentrating on the patio area and the sweet peas corner of the kitchen wall, Jackie trimmed the Lathyrus odoratus and extricated the strangled tomato plant. From less than polite expressions of intense disappointment yesterday when discovering broken geranium stems, her exclamations have been the more optimistic “ah, another cutting”. The greenhouse is going to be pretty full this winter.

Naturally Nugget kept her company.

Where’s Nugget? An easier puzzle today.

Elsewhere pelargoniums, petunias, rudbeckias, and hoverflies sharing a poppy enjoyed the early sunshine.

My task was dead-heading roses in the Rose Garden where

heavy bees clambered over the tiny blooms of the verbena bonarensis;

Lady Emma Hamilton laid her head on the block;

Jacqueline du Pré played on;

a hoverfly flew to the Blue Moon;

Crown Princess Margareta bustled voluminously;

Summer Wine was drunk with joy;

and Absolutely Fabulous certainly was.

Eventually leaden skies and heavy rain brought us inside. When Jackie heard that Nugget, whom she had missed, had come to join me, she uttered “turncoat”.

By mid-afternoon the skies had cleared and the weather brightened. We drove to Ringwood for Jackie to buy some new garments from M & Co. and returned home via the forest.

At first we progressed north along Avon Way and turned right into sun-dappled Sky Lane.

A severed string of ponies spanning the road at Ibsley left space for one passing vehicle or a young neophyte equestrian to thread a way through.

Several donkey families were stationed outside Hyde School. One couple seemed to be waiting to register their foal in advance of its reaching the age of admission;

another little one enjoyed a scratch on the road junction. An alarming driver turning the corner blasted his horn at the unperturbed animal which took no notice. I might have heard it borrowing Catherine Tate’s line: “Do I look bothered?” as, peeking over its flanks, it nonchalantly nibbled its hide.

The loud blast of a foghorn behind me alerted me to an agitated mother ushering her infant across the road at quite a rate.

As we returned through Ibsley the ponies, now on the move, tails twitching, like sensible walkers faced the oncoming traffic.

This evening Elizabeth visited because her phones weren’t working and she needed to phone Mum, which she did from my mobile which was coincidentally being charged up. Naturally, beginning with drinks on the patio, she stayed for dinner which consisted of Jackie’s tasty tender beef and mushroom pie; crunchy cauliflower, carrots, and cabbage; and new potatoes. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while my sister and I drank Casillero del Diablo reserva Shiraz 2017.

Better Than Expected

Today’s winds have dropped to 20 m.p.h.

When opening the gate for Aaron this morning I checked on the storm damage.

There really wasn’t much more than I had noticed yesterday. The downpipe to the water butt on the corner of the kitchen wall had become unstuck; a few extra pots had fallen; the sweet peas had been further loosened; quite a few smaller branches had been ripped off the beech and birch trees; some of the ornamental poplar branches were broken; just one rose stem had been torn; many plants have lost stems; and there was a certain amount of wind burn on one side of the winter flowering cherry and elsewhere, such as various fuchsias.

Aaron began the work of tidying up.

He gathered and bagged up many of the fallen branches and leaves;

trimmed the ornamental poplar, removing the broken branches;

and righted the fallen containers ready for Jackie to replace at her leisure. He observed that the morning had gone very quickly. He likes to be busy.

Bob of Lovewillbringustogether’s Weblog has recently suggested a regular feature of “Where’s Nugget” inviting readers to find our little robin. That, of course, depended on his surviving the storm and returning unscathed. I am happy to report that I heard his gentle chirp as he followed Aaron around.

He nipped up onto a chair for a chat, then flitted off into the Rose Garden.

I admit that the first “Where’s Nugget” puzzle is a little difficult.

The red scented sweet peas may have been blown awry, but there are plenty of clinging seed pods which benefited from an early shower,

and its desiccated leaves provide perfect camouflage for our Meadow Brown butterflies.

These dahlias

and the agapanthuses may have bowed to the elements, but, like the rest of the garden, they have fared far better than expected.

Bees, flies, and crickets have come out to play and to work again,

The Rose Garden has remained virtually unscathed,

and one lily kept its head in the front.

Other flowers, like these cosmoses, dahlias, and rudbeckia are wondering what all the fuss was about.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent beef and mushroom pie in short crust pastry; new potatoes; roasted sweet potato and parsnip; and crunchy carrots, cauliflower, and cabbage; with piquant cauliflower cheese, with which she finished the Austrian white wine and I drank Doom Bar.

Water Sports

The storm which began at mid morning yesterday continues to rage until, we are told, midnight today.

This was the view from our French windows 24 hours after we had laid down the furniture. We had left the blue wooden table standing because we thought it heavy enough to withstand the gales. We were wrong. Against the window behind the figure is wedged someone’s dustbin lid. To have reached its resting point it has to have sailed over a fence as if a giant’s Frisbee and slalomed along one or two of our paths.

Feeling as if I had joined Dorothy in the grip of a Kansas tornado, I made a very brief survey of damage. Aaron had firmly fixed the long, now broken, mirror lying on the gravel to the struts on the fence. Beside it flops clematis Campaniflora, also wrenched from its moorings on the arch spanning the path.

Between that fence and the patio stands an ornamental poplar. Its branches are being severely twisted. Out of shot is a hook attached to wire which is used to hold open the wrought iron gate. I clipped it into place to take the second photograph. With a thunder clap the gate slammed shut when the wire was snapped.

Here is a representative sample of crashed pots and a rose ripped from its ties. A final inventory will perforce be featured tomorrow.

This afternoon, to take her mind off the garden destruction – rather more than I photographed earlier – Jackie drove us to Mudeford, where I discovered that what breaks the heart of a gardener encourages pleasure seekers to rush to become blown about and thoroughly wet.

While their adults hunkered down in the car parks, the younger gulls bobbed about like rubber ducks in a wave bath.

Three or four of these unsuspecting youngsters suddenly appeared toting plastic packaging over which they squabbled.

From the quayside I was able to see both kite-surfers and sailboarders in the distance, operating from Avon Beach.

Crabbing was taking place as usual, however I was tempted to walk along to the beach for a nearer view of those engaged in water sports.

A gentleman rested his waking-boot-clad feet while his muzzled husky took a breather.

The powerful winds had been unable to uproot these secure mooring buoys.

Various groups wandered on and off the warm sands.

Skimming sailboarders and spraying surfers sped across stormy seas.

Races ensued;

other paths crossed.

While the winds were ushering me onwards, the walk to the beach had seemed quite a good wheeze. Not so the return during which, like the gulls in the air I laboured to stay still.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s tasty new “prawns and stuff” – “stuff’ being peppers, tomatoes, and garlic; with Tesco’s firm fish pie; her own piquant cauliflower cheese; and crunchy carrots. We both drank Definition Gruner Veltliner 2017.