This afternoon Jackie drove me to Sears Barbers at Milford on Sea, where Peter cut my hair. We continued into the forest.
This lane is one we traversed at North Ripley.
From high ground near Linford we admired landscapes over farmland. Horses may be seen in some, and a stretch of hawthorn in another.
The Modus is still managing to cope with the narrow, winding, crumbling Holmsley Passage, on the verges of which bracken is unfolding.
Back at home I dead-headed clusters of the diurnal poppies. On the way round the garden I paused to take a few photographs. Blue solanum scales several arches, and the large wisteria drapes its arbour outside the stable door. Sculptural euphorbias tower in the beds, and clumps of erigeron carpet paving stones and walls. Geraniums macrorrhizum are sweetly scented and make good ground cover. Another rhododendron is blooming in the Palm Bed. A wasp makes a beeline for the open flower in the close-up image of this. The last of these photographs is of Libertia.
A number of our own ferns are unfurling.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s deliciously spicy pork paprika, boiled potatoes, crisp carrots, and tender runner beans, with which I drank more of the Garnacha Syrah.
Nascent bracken now towered above bluebells on the verge.
Horses grazed in the field opposite. One already wore an eye mask as protection against flies.
Generous assorted sheep and their little black lambs shared their pasturage with emus, ducks, and chickens in a field beside Fish Street. (Note Lwbut’s comment below. The large birds are Rheas)
While I focussed on the field, Jackie photographed the field behind me. at the far end of her vision two cows left their watering hole. One showed no interest, but its companion appeared to display some curiosity. The Assistant Photographer also created an image of the occupants of the field through a gap in trees beside the stream. The thatched cottage stands opposite the gate to the sheep field.
The road bridge provides a link between Fish Street and London Lane, alongside which whiter lambs were penned. This lane, along with many others, was permeated with the heavy, sweet, scent of oil seed rape seen in the distance in the first of the above pictures.
This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, pea fritters, and pickled onions. Jackie drank Peroni and I finished the Merlot Bonarda.
Holmsley Passage cuts through stretch of moorland on the way to Burley. There is a sweep down to a deep valley which rises as a little bridge takes us up the other side.
Late this afternoon, as we drove along it, the sunshine and showers offered enticing landscape lighting
bringing a glint to a the eye of a trotting thrush.
Bright yellow gorse blended with burnished bracken,
among which bronzed browsing ponies nibbled
and cloven-hoofed cattle chomped.
A black cow ambled across the junction with the main road into Burley,
pausing to admire its reflection in a gutter pool.
Crossing the road at this point, and turning right takes us up to a popular dog walking spot.
Halfway up the slope lies a small pond also harbouring reflections
admired by a distant robin, its breast russet as an autumn leaf, standing out against the shadow of a lichen covered tree,
Back towards Burley the lowering sun still burnished the trees and the bracken among which
with their straining dogs,
while ponies cropped the grass.
One canine creature, its tail aloft, passed a busy grey pony. They did not pass the time of day.
Heading towards Lyndhurst the skies grew more dramatic,
in preparation for impending sunset which would soon be visible from the approach to Holmsley Road.
Elizabeth returned this evening after her next stint of moving in to her Pilley House. We dined on bacon chops; sautéed potatoes; spicy ratatouille; and piquant cauliflower cheese Jackie drank Hoegaarden and my sister and I drank Terre de Galets Cotes du Rhone 2016.
In order to enjoy what might be our last day of autumn sunshine Jackie drove us into the forest this afternoon. We took the Undershore route to Pilley and beyond. Fallen leaves glowed on the passing spaces necessary on this narrow lane, and on pools and the footpath alongside Lymington reed beds.
As we passed a field along Church Lane, Boldre, I glimpsed working horses within it. In order to create these images it was necessary to poke my camera lens through spiky hedges and spikier still barbed wire. Some of the animals wore their winter rugs. I assumed those without such protection were the hardier forest ponies. I’m not sure what they made of my protuberance. One stood and stared; others wandered away.
Burnished bracken spoke to golden oaks at Puttocks Bridge car park where
the lowering sun caused chestnut ponies’ pelts to metamorphose into rich velvet pile.
The mother of one foal crossed the road and ventured into the woodland on the other side. At first the youngster remained with its older companion;
then ambled across the road and nosed around among the fallen leaves.
The road here runs over the stream also spanned by the eponymous bridge, where a small family paddled in the shallows
while I admired the reflected trees, leaves, and skies.
Apples worthy of tempting Eve hung enticingly just out of reach of
the pony on the pavement initially fooling me into thinking it had developed road sense.
No such luck. Suddenly the creature stepped out in front of a car brought to an abrupt halt, and dawdled off along the tarmac. (The reason there are two sets here is revealed below)
Another adult led another youngster into the road. The skittish foal rushed along the pavement on the other side,
chasing the chestnut before veering off to the left, presumably having spotted something more interesting.
Following elmediat’s helpful advice in his comments on yesterday’s post I have had one more try at enabling these images to be enlarged by readers. One amendment I noticed after drafting all this was that my images were cropped for alignment in the galleries, so, for example, the picture of the pony stepping in front of the car lost the all-important glimpse of the vehicle. Without cropping the shapes are also altered. I have left the very first set cropped, in order to check whether this is how they are presented, or whether the random selection we previously enjoyed is shown.
I still receive the ‘somewhat embarrassing’ message when I try to look at a preview, so I can’t check whether the enlarged viewing is possible before posting. If it is not, I will revert to the old system until the new is forced upon us. I am sure you will continue to let me know.
This evening we dined on roast chicken; sage and onion stuffing; Yorkshire pudding; roast potatoes and parsnips; tasty Brussels sprouts; and rainbow carrots; and gravy with meaty bits in it. This was followed by mixed fruit crumble and vanilla ice cream. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Madiran.
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This afternoon Jackie drove me to Boots opticians to collect a new pair of varifocal specs. I don’t really need glasses for reading or close work, but for TV or distance. This means I have to keep taking the myopic aids off for looking through the camera viewfinder, so varifocals seemed a good idea.
We continued on to the forest to try them out. I am reasonably comfortable with them.
Holmseley Passage, with increasing signs of Autumn, had the honour of breaking them in. We are due boisterous winds overnight, so some of the earliest foliage to fall will probably coat the ground tomorrow.
Burley golf course, never in need of non-equine mowing, lies on either side of Wilverley Road. Hard working ponies were , in the glow of the lowering sun, engrossed in their green duties. A couple who had reached the next hole on the other side of the road carried on regardless.
Sometimes we cannot resist exploring a ‘No Through Road’. Often, as in the case of this one in the vicinity of Linwood, they wend their undulating, serpentine, way for long enough to make us wonder if we will ever get out again. Often, as with this one, the adventure is rewarded with pleasant surprises. Playful sunlight enhanced the lovely lane and lit the somnolent farm horse and its companion pony in a small field, throwing their shadows across the sward. The grey roused from its slumbers and strode purposefully over to pass the time of day with me.
Before sunset we reached Abbots Well, where, from the deeply pockmarked car park we looked down over the layered landscape below and the moody, indigo, clouds above.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s excellent, spicy, pasta arrabbiata and green beans with which she finished the Sauvignon Blanc and Elizabeth and I drank Brancott Estate Merlot 2016
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Our BT Internet reception was so consistently poor that I closed the account a year or so ago and eventually transferred to EE mobile. This is far more expensive, but, by and large, reliable. We regularly need the maximum data allowance. Since Elizabeth joined us in July we have sometimes needed topping up. Suddenly, in the last couple of weeks, the allocation has been ingested through an insatiable, invisible, avaricious, maw. This morning, Nick, a technician from Peacock Computers, came to the house and checked all our devices, including the smart TV and my sister’s two computers. Culprits were identified, and advice given.
Having more confidence in logging on, I added a little more to ‘A Knight’s Tale’, adapting a small section of ‘Questions’.
Later this afternoon, Jackie drove me, via Barton on Sea, to South Sway Lane in time to catch the sunset.
Clifftop visitors at Barton, like this seated, bespectacled, gentleman, created silhouettes against the skyline.
A crow catching the lowering sun at Wootton was more exposed now many of the leaves are falling;
burnished bracken blazed among banks of trees;
Jackie’s handbrake application startled a browsing chestnut pony.
Lucy, a grey with kindly eyes,
chomped, first food from a trug provided by her owner, then from grass, alongside her tubby neighbouring bleating lambs.
These animals were tinged with the red-gold hues of the Sway Tower sunset.
This evening we dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and Elizabeth drank Cahors Malbec 2016, while I abstained.
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One of Aaron’s tasks this morning was to start clearing the falling leaves. He used his handy blower to stir the frisky foliage.
Jackie and I left Elizabeth behind when we left before our friend had finished this morning to meet Frances, Fiona, Paul, James, Danni, and Andy for lunch at the Luzborough House pub in Romsey. Elizabeth had a cold and was careful not to pass it on, either to my two pregnant nieces or to our mother. The venue had been chosen so that sister-in-law Frances, her daughter, son-in-law, and grandson could visit Mum in hospital.
The meals were OK. My choice was steak, prawns, calamari, and salad followed by ice cream sundae. I drank Old Speckled Hen.
On our return home, Jackie and I, having opted not to overcrowd Mum, took a diversion into the forest.
At Bramshaw, we took a lane we have not previously discovered. This led us to Bramble Hill where, sharing the sky with cotton wool clouds, the sun gilded the bright bracken. I was delighted when an obliging young lady brought her steed into shot. As I told her, she had just made a picture.
A string of stately alpacas stepping across the fields of ‘Faraway Alpacas’ in Godshill, passed a blissfully happy hembra suckling her contented cria.
Further along the road a lone chestnut pony took its turn at making its own couple of Autumnal pictures.