“Can We Come And Play”

After a Tesco shop later this afternoon, Jackie and I took a forest drive.

As I photographed a pony by Wootton stream, she moved away from a warning sign about keeping distance and not interfering with the animals.

I turned to photograph a system of roots just as a French gentleman entered the picture. He was very happy to have been included. This led to an opportunity for each us to practice our Franglais, although this became a little too much for his wife and two children, who, nevertheless did join in with some amusement – enough for me to have managed at least one intelligible bilingual pun. My acquaintance wanted to know all about the animals, their ownership, control, etc. In particular, I was able to speak about all aspects of the aforementioned warning sign. Explaining the evident ribs in the animals was interesting. Wolves, wild boar, and badgers were also subjects of interest.

We drove on to Bisterne Close where, while photographing a pony, I met a man who told me of a stallion who had gathered together a harem of 28 mares, where I should find some interesting photographs. I followed his clear directions until I found

the scene of the gathering, which had clearly moved on. Hoofprints had disappeared into a muddy reflecting pool.

I transferred my sights to the woodland, with its fallen trees, its shadows, moss, and catkins writhing on the ground or hanging from the trees.

Some way along the Burley Road towards the A35,

we spied a pony and foal in a distant field.

Further inspection revealed another horse and two small calves. As the bovine parents were at the far end of the field, we assumed their offspring had approached and asked “can we come and play”.

This evening we all dined on pork spare ribs in barbecue sauce and Jackie’s colourful savoury rice, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Campo Viejo Rioja 2021.

Cattle In The Woods

Early this morning Jackie drove me into the forest.

We aimed to take our normal route along Holmsley Passage which had been closed for four days from the 21st. The signs from the entrance beside the A35 had been lowered so we merrily sped down the winding, undulating, lane, only to find barriers at the halfway point. There were indications that some patching of the eroded edges of the tarmac had been begun, but nothing was happening today. This is not an unusual phenomenon but we had travelled hopefully. I photographed the woodland beside the carpark, beyond which we could not continue.

We backtracked and deviated over the newly repaired bridge on the A337.

Outside Burley we came across some curious cows

and their quizzical calves merging with woodland foliage and browning bracken.

The size of fallen oak leaves among the grass beneath the trees gives perspective to a string of very small, almost imperceptible, mushrooms

near larger fungi, some of which had provided breakfast on the hoof.

This afternoon I made further headway with Richardson’s “Clarissa”.

We dined this evening on a rack of pork spare ribs; hot and spicy and tempura prawn preparations; and Jackie’s flavoursome savoury rice, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden, I finished the ComtĂ© Tolosan Rouge, and Flo and Dillon drank fruit cordial.

We Ran Out Of Stickers

Owen signing as witness brought the first of Karen and Barry’s wedding albums to a close this morning. Jackie continues to apply stickers for the

start of the second album.

After lunch we continued until, on the last of the confetti pages, we ran out of stickers, one of which can be seen on the edge of a photograph reversed in the top left of this picture. Our process involved Jackie applying one to each corner of each image for me to place in position in the books.

We then drove to Wessex Photographic in Lymington to purchase another box of adhesive squares before continuing a short trip into the forest.

On Bull Hill a persistent calf attempted unsuccessfully to latch onto a somewhat reluctant cow. Every so often there was a kerfuffle which suggested to me that I may be witnessing a mistaken identity.

Outside the entrance to Beaulieu Abbey I conversed with a friendly family who had spent 90 minutes seeking a donkey and were now petting the only one they had seen.

A calf among a small herd seeking shelter under a spreading horse chestnut tree was enjoying more suckling success than the one seen earlier. Another was scratching its face, possibly in an attempt to dislodge flies.

On our return home we completed our wedding album project, leaving a few final pages blank. Myra and Barry brought our photo story to a close.

This evening we dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away’s excellent fare with which Flo drank Ribena while the rest of us drank TsingTao beer.

A Hanging Out Nest

Jackie spent a hot, sunny, cloudless morning continuing her planting while I dead-headed poppies and roses and pulled up a few weeds.

Flo joined us on a trip this afternoon beginning with a visit to Otter Nurseries for more plants, and continuing into the forest.

Foxgloves lined the verges along Warborne Lane where a burrow probably housed the rabbits which kept popping up along the way.

We visited the Hatchet Moor section of Hatchet Pond, where Flo and I both photographed each other photographing donkeys and foals. Individual authorship is, as usual, detailed in the galleries (mine don’t bear my name). This is also true of the next ones, including

cattle and calves;

water lilies, one bearing a damselfly;

mallards, swans and cygnets hanging out on a makeshift temporary nest.

Flo added foxgloves in the landscape;

also an oyster catcher while I pictured a black headed gull.

Finally, at East Boldre I focussed on a fly-tolerant pony with her sleeping offspring.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s savoury rice, with prawn preparations – tempura and hot and spicy – and gyoza, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec.

Across The Stream

On this overcast, somewhat warmer afternoon Jackie drove me to Puttles Bridge and back.

From the carpark I crunched among the dropped pine cones and dried autumn leaves; thudded along the beaten track; slalomed around fallen, decaying, branches and tree trunks; and gingerly stepped over exposed, sometimes mossy, interwoven roots, alongside the still, silent, reflecting Ober Water.

I enjoyed a pleasant conversation with a friendly couple across the stream. They had been visiting their son at Southampton University.

Now the cattle, having been overwintering in their shelters, are free to introduce their calves to the moorland. These occupied the environs of Sway Road.

Later, I booked my Spring booster Covid vaccination.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent sausages in red wine; creamy mashed potatoes with nutmeg; crunchy carrots; and tender broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, with which she finished the RosĂ© and I drank more of the Cabernet Sauvignon.

Setting Ducks Into Flight

This morning we began filling the new wardrobe, which meant bagging up for disposal many clothes we will never wear again.

Afterwards I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2021/11/06/a-knights-tale-59-about-the-children/

This afternoon we took a drive into the forest. Our first stops were at Pilley, where

the lake is beginning to recede once more, and

rippling water lines the edges with autumn leaves.

The crocheted letter collection box on Pilley Hill now prepares for Remembrance Day.

I called in at the Community Shop to find out who was the creator of these adornments changing with the seasons. Unfortunately the man on duty didn’t know, but advised me to call in during the week.

I settled for photographing cattle, calves, and walkers on the other side of the street.

Although one patch of blue sky separated clouds along the road to Hatchet Pond, louring billows, pierced by Jesus beams hung over the water, where pair of swans and their cygnets set a paddling of ducks into flight.

This evening we dined on oven fish and chips, peas, pickled onions, and chilli cornichons, with which we finished the Jurancon white wine.

From Lebanon To Dunedin

Unfortunately the expected overnight thunderstorm passed us by. The day, although cooler, remained overcast and humid.

This meant further watering – mostly done by Jackie, with me chipping in a bit. Nugget sent me back inside for my camera. I did oblige, but he was waiting with a companion who was more twitchy and they flew off. I had one shot at a joint portrait, but it was so out of focus that I deleted it.

As we left home this afternoon heading for Everton Post Office to send a parcel to Pauline in Dunedin we received a package from Lavinia of Salmon Brook Farms in Oregon.

On Old Christchurch Road we noticed further artistic tributes to the front line carers coping with Corvid-19. As usual the galleries can be accessed by clicking on any image which may be viewed full size by clicking the box beneath each picture. These can be further enlarged if required.

We continued on a drive into the forest,

On the hillside beside Braggers Lane caramel coloured cattle and their calves were their usual inquisitive selves; horses in the fields below simply continued grazing.

The clopping of hooves along the lane alerted me to a couple of equestriennes who gave cheery greetings as they passed me.

On our return home I unwrapped Lavinia’s CD which we both enjoyed. I imported it into my iMac and I already know that listening to the artist’s melodious voice and clear diction, occasionally accompanied by Rick, against the gentle guitar will make a perfect accompaniment to my daily uploading of photographs for publication on WordPress.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s authentic lamb Jalfrezi, mushroom rice, and paratha with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Alma da Vinha Douro Doc 2018.

Caramel Creams

Jackie spent much of the day completing her work on the Weeping Birch Bed where she has also repainted the Heligan Path sign. A couple of days ago she could not reach her seat, let alone sit on it.

Later this afternoon we took a drive into the forest.

We followed a cyclist and her trailing, rather wobbly, skateboarding companion much of the length of Everton Road.

In fields alongside Braggers Lane we noticed a herd of mostly caramel cream coloured cattle accompanied by calves

trekking with some intent down from their hillside and up another slope. So dry was the terrain that dust clouds were kicked up.

I followed them to find them jostling for position around a water trough. The poor calf just had to wait its turn.

It must have been something energising in the water that caused the cows to engage in the normal springtime humping practice on the way back up the hill. One young bull tagged along with the two active cows when they reached their field, but showed no interest in participating.

This evening we dined on succulent bangers, creamy mash, crunchy carrots, tender green beans and spring greens with which Jackie drank Becks and I drank more of the Douro.

Like The Pool, Reflecting

One of Aaron’s tasks this morning was to embed into the soil of the front garden this previously potted Hot Chocolate rose,

near which is a planter containing last autumn’s petunias, pansies, and pelargonium, alongside a euphorbia. Similar survivors of our mild winter are the clematis, nasturtiums, pansies, and solanum adorning the garage door trellis.

This afternoon we took a short drive into a rather crowded forest. We encountered far more cars, cyclists, and walkers than of late. By and large social distancing was being observed, but in the village of Burley, for example, this wasn’t really possible.

A bovine mother and babies group was meeting in what is normally an unoccupied field alongside Hordle Lane. As always with these creatures my presence engendered a certain amount of curiosity.

Soon after we entered Forest Road we saw two herons trying their luck in what is now a rather shallow pool. Jackie parked as soon as she could and I walked back to photograph them standing in the water. A cyclist shot round the corner and spooked them. They took flight. I panned them and hoped for the best; almost immediately I was left, like the pool, reflecting.

Further along the road

assorted foraging ponies were strewn across the landscape.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s well filled, flavoursome, beef and mushroom pie; boiled new potatoes, crunchy carrots and broccoli, with tasty, meaty, gravy. The Culinary Queen drank Becks and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2018.

Look. No Hands

This afternoon we both collected our new specs from Boots, then drove into the dreary, drizzly forest.

Along Undershore there stood an example of the broken trees on soggy terrain that currently proliferate in the woodlands.

There wasn’t much sign of life until we came across cattle wandering along Sowley Lane.

Owner’s tags, as always, adorned their ears as they stared us out.

Several calves were left to their own devices, although by and large they stuck to the verges. One chewed its tail;

tried on a new necklace;

and indulged in a bit of grooming.

One seated adult turned her clarty back on the proceedings;

another had dried her hide after a mud bath.

Crowds of crows took to the air overhead.

Ponies on the corner of St Leonards Road were equally mud-caked;

one somnolent group dozed beside

a weedy winding winterbourne stream swiftly swirling,

sweeping loose leaves and flexing fixeded grasses while surging to a tunnel under the road.

As may be imagined from its name, such a watercourse flows only during the winter months.

The terrain at this junction between St Leonards Road and that to East Boldre becomes a similar pool during very wet weather. Today a passing cyclist was reflected in it.

He clearly had no use for his steering bars as his hands were otherwise engaged. I hoped he was the only one going round the bend.

This evening we dined on belly of pork, roasted long and slow in order to drain away the fat; firm roast potatoes and parsnips; crunchy carrots and tender cabbage, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Carenina El Zumbido Garnacha Syrah 2018.