Wind Subsided, Rain Persisting

I took advantage of the one brief sunny spell after lunch to admire the completion of the Back Drive clearance outside the Back Drive gate that Martin had continued with during yesterday’s Storm Babet.

This provided us with a really good rear entrance.

On the way there I photographed a few post-storm views. As usual each image in each gallery bears its individual title.

The day was so warm that the waistcoat I wore over my shirt was surplus to requirements.

When I came to collect my camera for a later forest drive, I found that the battery needed charging. This meant that my chauffeuse needed to double as Assistant Photographer, carry her camera, and produce all the following pictures.

From the bridge over the stream under Church Street, Boldre she photographed the stream; an English Longhorn bull in a field; Heywood Mill House; and ivy seeds.

On Pilley Street we encountered the usual group of Shetland ponies.

Mushrooms filled with water at Norleywood, where some of the many rhododendrons were now in bloom, at the same time as blackberries.

The broken tree further along the road must have come down in the slightly less recent storm.

Although the temperature remained warm later this afternoon, increasingly steady rain reached a violent crescendo before we arrived home.

Our grandfamily returned soon after dark from another house hunting trip to Scotland, fortunately having avoided the Red Weather warning due to hit the area.

This evening we all dined on second helpings of yesterday’s baked gammon and macaroni cheese meal with the addition of crunchy carrots; and the same beverages.

Rhinefield Ornamental Drive

We had intended to photograph Beechern wood on our forest drive today. This has been one of our regular trips.

It was a shock to find a locked gate across the road forbidding access to non-members of the Caravan Site at the far end. The woman approaching the Forestry Commission gate had left the camper van and opened it for the driver. Who, I wondered, owned the road from which I have produced many photographs of woodland, ponies, and Ober Water.

We diverted to Whitemoor Pond, over which stretches this

branch with flaking bark;

a number of trees were reflected on the shimmering surface

on which fallen leaves float above the clearly visible bed.

From there we drove on to the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive along which I took

a short walk amongst others along the now soggy footpath.

Although it wasn’t at all cold, most were wrapped up, and this gentleman clearly need to raise his collar.

This friendly family were very pleased with this photograph showing their dog really straining at the leash. I could not resist asking who was taking who for a walk.

Fallen leaves clustered at the roots of trees,

even of long-dead stumps.

At Wimbledon College, we were once taught by an art master who told us that trees were never just brown. These trunks were obviously what he meant.

We are now recognising so many fallen giants in the forest that we are able to follow their journey back to the soil from which they sprung. We passed this one a few years ago when it had just been snapped by fierce winds and quickly sawn and removed from the road. Its constituents will probably outlive ours.

Over recent months my library has been taken over by items destined for charity shops and the Council Recycling Depot. This has been a losing battle as further goods have appeared as fast as we declutter – one of the consequences of an increased household with many relatives being keen to bring gifts. Now Christmas items are being added at a rate of knots. This afternoon Jackie and I cleared and organised the space so that I can once again reach individual volumes.

This evening we dined on tasty fish cakes: haddock for me, cod for Jackie, and salmon for Flo; crunchy carrots and tender cauliflower leaves; the Culinary Queen’s piquant cauliflower cheese and colourful savoury rice, accompanied by the same beverages as yesterday.