Spare Ribs

This morning we drove to New Milton to collect my new specs from Boots and dry cleaning from Whites, then, on a hot and sunny day, continued into the forest

Some way outside Burley we stopped for me to photograph a trio of ponies, including a clinging suckling foal, cropping the roadside verge. I have noticed how the new mare mothers all seem to have bony ribs.

On the approach to Wootton Bridge, Jackie parked beside one of the many hawthorn trees that inhabit the woodlands, and I crossed the road to visit another foal and its family. The dam was another who displayed the spare ribs effect.

These recent mothers all seem to spend time taking in their own nourishment whilst supplying their persistent offspring, Maybe that is why this one led her infant across the road for apparently richer pickings.

I wandered down past bright buttercups, daisies, and young ferns, and crossed to the stream becoming drier by the day. Blown seeds rolled among the shadows; a child kicked an inflated ball while her carers sunbathed.

This evening we enjoyed a second sitting of the excellent Hordle Chinese Take Away, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Cotes de Gascogne.

Le Déjeuner Sur L’herbe

I spent the whole morning foiling a suspected banking scam. This involved several phone calls, listening to long stretches of Muzak, and struggling with a Scots accent on a bad line.

Don’t ask. I couldn’t bear to go through it again.

This afternoon I reeled up the Gazebo Path to join Jackie who had spent the day so far eliminating fungus from the heuchera border in the Rose Garden.

The first picture shows the infested stems which I helped to bag up – the trug beside these contains the tiny rescued root stumps; the second shows Jackie applying liquid fungicide to the soil from which the plants have been removed; the third shows the rest of the border which will need to be similarly treated; and the last the planted stubs which should regenerate quite quickly.

It was truly the best part of a day for repelling pests.

While I sat by my desk with my mobile phone attached to my ear I had plenty of time to gaze at clematis Mrs N. Thompson through the window. The first of these pictures focusses on her. The other two are of what she looks like outside.

Later in the afternoon, when I was feeling less shell-shocked, we visited Otter Nurseries for some more fungicide and continued on a drive into the forest.

Just outside Brockenhurst a pair of foals trotted across the road and, ignoring another youngster, scampered across the heath. Where there are ponies you will usually find attendant crows.

We stopped at Puttles Bridge where Jackie parked the car and I wandered about around Ober Water with the camera.

As will be seen by the peaty water and the shallow bed this stream, albeit a bit fuller now, must have been quite dry during our absence. Reflections of trees and skies merged with the colours of the pebbles beneath. Dog roses abounded. The conversation with the very friendly young couple really cheered me up.

The last three pictures feature a group who put us in mind of Edouard Manet’s “Déjeurner sur l’herbe, except that all the women were appropriately clad and there were no fully dressed gentlemen in the scene.

While waiting in the car park Jackie watched the light moving to where she wanted it for this picture.

This evening we dined on meaty, spicy, pizza with Jackie’s mixed pasta cheese, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Malbec.