Hale Purlieu And Godshill

Yesterday having been Bill’s 90th Birthday, Helen hosted open house today, so, carrying gifts, Jackie and I visited for a short time in the afternoon where we also met John, Stephanie, Billy, Max, and Rory; David and Jenny; and, briefly, Rachel. Helen provided plentiful snacks and a variety of beverages.

We retuned home through the forest via Hale, where cattle were in the

process of leaving the green and following walkers down the rocky sward of the hill.

Further on along the Purlieu ponies on the march rustled and thudded

in the woodland, or, with frisky foals, clopped along the tarmac flanked by mossy roots on raised banks and sculptural piles of similarly greened logs.

On the approach to Godshill we encountered another mare and foal. Note the wooden posts intended to deter drivers from parking on the verges.

We arrived home in time to see the last set of the Wimbledon Men’s tennis final between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokavic.

Then we all dined on Jackie’s lemon chicken and savoury rice with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Passamano Frappato Syrah 2021.

The Early Ponies Catch The Shade

I headed off the worst of the rising heat with an early dead heading session this morning, before Jackie and I set off for a sultry forest drive.

Beside dappled Holmsley Passage a splendid stand of Foxgloves could be spied through the trees. I wonder whether that ice warning sign will now be redundant.

The driver of ponies and trap on the equally brindled Bisterne Close pulled over for Jackie to drive past.

Marbled banks sloped on either side of Beechwood Lane where rooftop chimneys were discerned among lush undergrowth and a mossy log decayed on the verge.

Shade at the corner of Burley Lawn is at a premium on such a day.

A pair of ponies spooked by passing traffic risked losing their spot when they nipped across Chapel Lane and took their chances on the streaked tarmac.

Another troop, including a foal, heading for shelter were to be disappointed,

and forced to wait in the hope of chances of returns.

Further along stippled Chapel Lane cattle made do with the verge, occasionally spilling over to upset tourist traffic.

In addition to continuing his meticulous clearance of the gravel paths,

Martin this morning loaded his van with the bulk of the garden rubbish and took it away for us. He will do the same next week.

With the help of Wayback Machine I reinserted three missing pictures and added a header to the following post:

This evening we dined on Jackie’s first class beef and onion pie; potatoes sautéed with onions; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; firm Brussels sprouts; tender green beans; horseradish sauce, and meaty gravy, with which the Culinary Queen drank more of the Blume and I finished the Malbec.

Some Forest Denizens

We saw no sign of the forecast sunny intervals on our afternoon forest drive.

Highland cattle, including friendly bulls Blackie and Splash, lounged lazily on the green at Bramshaw. After I photographed them we drove on to Penn Common where

Ponies cropped the

soggy terrain,

on which Jackie focussed. Just to the left of this drinking pony’s right ear perches one of the robins that flitted about.

She caught this pony reflected in another stream, and

a mallard having taken up residence in a puddle.

She also caught me photographing the pony beside her,

and I got my own back.

Cattle, donkeys, and ponies shared the drier woodland outside Nomansland,

where there were numerous new calves; one wobbly specimen being licked clean by its mother.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome chicken and vegetable stewp, which we have decided needs no alcohol, so we didn’t drink any.

Three Little Pigs

On this oppressively warm and overcast afternoon we took a brief drive into the forest.

Unobliging cattle grazing on Bull Hill took off across the road when I disembarked from the Modus to photograph them.

Jackie provided me with today’s title when she said that it was a shame that a fourth piglet joined the smallest trio we have ever seen loose during the pannage season. I therefore excluded the interloper. I trust the road markings will give an adequate indication of scale.

The recent ice cream and other summer symbols decorating crocheted letter collection box on Pilley Hill now sports current seasonal delights.

5 days ago we had to turn back when the trunk and limbs of this blighted oak blocked Undershore.

This evening Elizabeth came to dinner and helped us finish Angela’s authentic Chinese chicken and prawn curry with egg rice, spring rolls, prawn toasts, and wontons, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and my sister and I drank more of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Keeping Its Balance

The weather today was very dull with a couple of hours of rain of varying velocity early this afternoon.

When the precipitation had desisted we took a drive into the forest.

A group of ponies gathered on either side of Charles’s Lane wandered back and forth across the road. I am normally quite at ease among these fairly large creatures, but when they come clopping and thudding straight for me two or three abreast down such a narrow lane requiring a decision about whether it is them or me on whom it is incumbent to move aside it is somewhat disconcerting.

The bay in this last picture had an issue with the grey which fortunately declined the challenge.

The post boxes on the overgrown verges in this countryside present quite an access problem for the Post Office staff whose task it is to empty them.

We stopped beside this one in Crow Lane so I could walk back and photograph a few deer I had spied. Despite the distance they very soon sniffed me out which meant I needed to poke my lens through a hedge for fear they would be gone before I reached a gate that would have given me a better view.

They then promptly scarpered.

Beside the ford at Ibsley, children played in the stream, while a cow and calf played with the traffic. Every year visitors like these build a dam.

Further on donkeys with a foal kept the verges well clipped.

Along Roger Penny Way the green keepers were the ponies and foals who lined those verges. This little one had difficulty keeping its balance when having a scratch.

This evening we dined on the plentiful left-overs from last night’s Indian takeaway with which Jackie drank Becks and I drank McGuigan Black Label Shiraz 2019 provided by Danni.

More Young Life

Jackie spent the morning and part of the afternoon in the garden. Later she drove me into the forest for a short trip.

Ponies cast their shadows on the sward beside Holmsley Road. One enjoyed a good scratch.

Two mares suckled their foals. In the first picture the youngster is in the process of rising for a feed. The adults are so ungainly when they heave themselves upright that I was quite surprised at the nimbleness of the little one. The mother ignored the flies crawling over her muzzle. The grey became a little self-conscious at my approach; unplugged her infant; and moved off. Her persistent progeny latched on from the other side. I left them in peace.

While Jackie waited in the Modus I took a walk down the far end of Forest Road outside Burley as far as the very dry ford and back.

The high banks and exposed roots at each side of the lane betray its ancientness.

The stream is so very dry that much of the gravel bed is exposed; reflections on the shallow surface mingle with the small strip that does contain a smattering of liquid; and the depth gauge stands proud of solid ground.

I was not the only photographer focussed on groups of small Highland cattle on the outskirts of Bashley where a calf was learning to forage.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy pasta arrabbiata; pepperoni pizza; onion, tomato, and mozzarella salad; and juicy ratatouille, with which the Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Cabernet Sauvignon.

It Didn’t Seem Politic

The best light of the day was forecast to be seen this morning. And so it proved.

Fairly early on we drove to Tesco’s for petrol; to New Milton Post Office for currency exchange and Christmas stamps; and to Brockenhurst, where, in common with New Milton,

poppies ahead of Armistice Day adorn the lampposts, before making our leisurely way to Hockeys farm shop for lunch.

Our first pause was at Wilverley where a pair of pensive ponies beside the road from Wootton paid no attention to two walkers on the opposite side –

they were more interested in their necking session.

Meanwhile a friendly horse rider emerged from the

 

autumn landscape,

more of which was seen in the forest scenes on either side of

Roger Penny Way.

Jackie decided that I blended in rather well with the environment.

Having, tentatively as always, in second gear, scaled Blissford Hill we encountered a shaggy calf using a scratching post beside Hyde Parish Hall.

Coming across a band of bulls further along the road I speculated about which one may be the father.

Somehow it didn’t seem politic to enquire too closely into the infant’s parentage.

This evening we dined on spicy pizza and plentiful fresh salad with which I finished the Merlot and Jackie didn’t.

 

Fauna And Flora

This morning I watched the recorded Rugby World Cup quarter final match between England and Australia.

After lunch Jackie drove us into the forest where most of the free ranging animals were on display.

Donkeys with a foal basked in the sunshine at Bramshaw, where

another wandered up a lane towards the green occupied by

 

 

 

red brown and black Highland and other cattle.

In the vicinity of Nomansland we drove down a lane in Deazle Woods, up and down which a pair of walkers walked several times. Our paths continued to cross as we continued towards Newbridge. Each time I left the car with a camera they were there.

Here are some scenes of the woodland I wandered through.

Returning to the road from Nomansland we encountered a couple of sows with two piglets snuffling among the mud in search of mast.

One little piggy let out a fearful squeal as its mother butted it out of reach of one tasty morsel she wanted for herself.

Another donkey foal sat in the road as we approached Newbridge.

Sheep and cattle shared pasturage here.

One mother suckled her hungry calf. There was a certain amount of avid spillage.

A young lady speeding astride a sturdy steed seemed amused to scatter the sheep.

Just outside the village a small Shetland pony kindly enhanced my view of a backlit autumnal tree,

while a larger animal gave a demonstration of how to cross a dry ditch.

Back at home I watched the rugby quarter final match between New Zealand and Ireland, while Jackie planted more pansies and snakehead fritillaries and cleared more beds.

She photographed fuchsias Army Nurse and Display, heuchera leaves, phlox, and a  Japanese anemone.

Nugget was, of course, in attendance,

and wishes it known that he does feature in this garden image, perched above the central hanging basket. We considered that this was too difficult an example for the “Where’s Nugget?” game,

and made him settle for this “Where’s Nugget?” (38).

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome cottage pie, the mash topped with fried potatoes; piquant cauliflower cheese; and crunchy broccoli and carrots with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Parra Alta Malbec 2018.

 

Round The Bend

This morning Dale from Crestwood visited and measured up for the new flooring in the sitting room. This friendly, personable, gentleman received knee replacements shortly before me and is back to carpet fitting, which is encouraging. When we discussed dates and I mentioned that we were very flexible, a snort-guffaw ensued from Ian.

Mr and Mrs Steele returned home to Emsworth after lunch when I continued grappling with

retouching this further image from the 1926 Conwy holiday of my mother, her parents, and siblings. Here Uncle Roy determinedly clings to a toy train; Uncle Ben clutches a boat; and I am not sure what Mum is holding. Grandma photobombs from behind her daughter. Elasticated socks don’t seem to have been invented then.

This badly scratched and spotted single image represents two hours work. I didn’t fancy tackling another today.

Jackie had spent much of this hot and humid day watering plants in containers. Later I took over on the final stint.

Early this evening we took a drive into the forest, buying fish and chips from Mr Pink’s on the way home. We ate these with pickled onions and, in my case Calvet Cru du Beaujolais 2016 to drink, before I uploaded the photographs and finished the post.

Ponies largely grazed in the shade alongside Pilley Street.

Ponies at East End surrounded vehicles outside a row of houses.

Further along the road quite big calves tried to latch on to their mother’s udders whilst on the move. The cattle seemed oblivious to the flies crawling over their faces.

Vociferous crows ran about seeking pickings.

How on earth this pony guarding over her foal can tolerate her dreadful flies is beyond me.

On the road from Beaulieu to Brockenhurst a bunch of cattle blocked the road. As Jackie steered us round the black calf in the centre, the creature paused for a scratch.

Rounding a couple of bends we stopped and waited for the arrival of this moving herd.

Soon they came into view, rounded the bend, and continued down the hill.

Beechwood Fauna

This being the second day of 50+ m.p.h. winds it seemed one to have a look at the waves on The Solent.

The sun lit the cliffs of the island and the waves on the skyline.

When I photographed the sea,

rocks, and spume on the sand

I was not alone;

one young woman, exhibiting enviable knee flexion, took a bird’s eye view.

When I grew tired of bracing myself against the gusts, we drove through Shirley Holms into the forest,

where, on Beachwood Lane, our new foal, still keeping close to her mother, and needing to suckle, looked more as if her legs belonged to her and could, to some extent, risk making our acquaintance.

Other ponies wandered about

and a group of cattle were accompanied by a young calf.

They soon wandered off down the lane in order to trim residents’ hedges.

Perhaps we were downwind of the deer which occasionally peered out from the distant undergrowth before gradually moving off under cover.

One of the fallen trees appeared to have been uprooted quite recently.

Our return journey took us along Bickley Common Road with its bluebells and cow parsley on the verges.

This evening we dined on roast chicken breasts; potatoes roasted with onions and mushrooms; and crisp carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli; followed by strawberries and cream. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Dragon Hills Pinot Noir 2017.