Parasitic Birds

CLICKING ON ANY IMAGE IN THE GROUP WILL ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT. THE SINGLE IMAGES CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK OR TWO

This afternoon Jackie and I drove into the forest.

Deep in the shade of trees bordering the parched yellow ochre grounds of Burley Manor rippled the wavelets of what must surely be a mirage on one of the hottest days of the year. Upon closer inspection they metamorphosed into the constantly flickering ears of a family of deer. The animals themselves were not as active as their aural appendages attempting to deter the pestilential flies. I could not clearly identify the parasitic birds picking off morsels from the heads and backs of their cervine hosts, one of which appeared to swing from the branch it was bent on stripping of foliage.

Ponies

Ponies also sought shade where they could,

Cattle in landscape

although cattle seemed content in the direct sunshine at Frogham.

This evening the three of us dined on Jackie’s sublime sausage casserole, mashed and new potatoes, crisp carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while Elizabeth and I drank Le Malbec de Balthazar 2017, given to me by Shelly and Ron for my birthday.

 

Where To Find A Drink

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN A GROUP TO ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT.

This afternoon we drove into the forest in search of water. We hoped to find at least some areas where the animals could drink.

The bed of the stretch of Highland Water just outside Brockenhurst was unusually dry, yet provided enough water for cattle to drink and to paddle, and for dogs to play. Other photographers recorded the scene while I focussed on them.

From there we proceeded to Hatchet Pond where the levels were high, and, again, cattle stood in, or along, the far side of the lake.

The tide was high at Tanner’s Lane. This little boy couldn’t drink the water, but he could certainly play in it. Just after I took these photographs he was stripped off and paddling.

As we left the lane a Muscovy duck made its slow, ungainly, way across the road, practising the heel and toe technique that would please my physiotherapists.

Back home we had no trouble finding a drink. Ours were taken on the grass patch from where we could enjoy views across the garden; and hanging baskets and planters in and around the area. Jackie couldn’t resist making a few adjustments. Bees, like the one in the convolvulus in the last picture, were still very busy.

This evening we dined on a Margarita pizza embellished by Jackie with salami and cheese; and fresh salad.

 

Water, Water…… Hardly A Drop To Drink

SINGLE IMAGES CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK OR TWO. CLICKING ON ANY OF THOSE IN A GROUP ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

The best part of the day was taken up with body maintenance. We began with a drive to New Hall Hospital and a post-operative examination by Mr. Kask, the surgeon, who pronounced progress satisfactory. We did not take a diversion on the way back home because I had a G.P. appointment after lunch.

There was one complication during the knee replacement that I have felt indelicate to mention before. The insertion of a catheter is routine there. They couldn’t get mine in. A urologist was summoned to do the deed. An enlarged prostate was considered to be the problem. This was news to me. Rather unpleasant symptoms continued for the next three weeks. Given that my other knee replacement is due in about four months, it seemed a good idea to deal with the prostate post haste. That is why I saw G.P. Doctor Jansen this afternoon. She prescribed antibiotics, asked for a urine sample, and made a referral to Mr. Guy, the urologist at New Hall.

After this, Jackie drove us into the drier and drier forest. On the road to Exbury a very small grey pony tagged along with his bigger cousins, foraging for what fresh greenery could be found.

Squirrel in dried up pond

Not far on a squirrel squatted on the bed of a pool that normally contains paddling mallards and larger ponies up to their knees in the water they drink.

Couple in water

There was, however, no shortage of seawater at Lepe beach, where synchronised swimming

and solitary sailboarding was under way.

Back on the Exbury road, a group of small cattle found some potable water, slaked their thirsts, and pestered the traffic.

The rice Jackie produced this evening – so packed with chopped omelette, chestnut mushrooms, peppers, onions and peas – was a meal in itself. It was, however, accompanied by pork spare ribs in barbecue sauce. Neither of us imbibed.

“Ursula Andress, Eat Your Heart Out”

THE SINGLE IMAGES CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK. CLICKING ON ANY OF THOSE IN GROUPS WILL ACCESS GALLERIES, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

Late this gloriously hot and sunny afternoon Jackie drove us to Eyeworth Pond in search of ducklings.

Cattle

Cattle chewed the cud on the verges of Canterton Lane.

Ponies on road

We made good time to the pond, but an equine trio delayed us taking the last right turn.

A delightfully friendly couple enjoying a picnic in the shade pointed out several paddles of ducks and ducklings. Strong pigments splashed over the surface of the water and the shallow bed.

Jackie alerted me to the arrival of a couple of ponies and a foal. If only I could have made the constantly twitching youngster aware that the flies he was desperately trying to escape were taking off from the flanks of the mare to which he clung.

The young lady by this time had entered the water attempting to catch tadpoles. As I took a couple of these shots I exclaimed “Ursula Andress, eat your heart out”.

This evening we dined on a thick crust pizza to which the Culinary Queen added more cheese and salami, served with plentiful fresh salad.

As If There Were Not Enough Foals

SINGLE IMAGES CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK OR TWO. CLICKING ON ANY OF THOSE IN A GROUP WILL ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT.

This afternoon Jackie drove me to New Hall Hospital for a session with Claire, the physiotherapist who was very pleased with my progress. The flexion in my left knee has been increased by 20 degrees in the last two weeks. She adjusted the height ofd my crutch handle because she noticed that I lurch sideways on it because it was a bit too low.

As usual we took a cross-country route back home.

Thatched cottage, pony

We passed a picturesque thatched cottage with roses round the door. It faced a green with strangely uneven terrain that was carpeted with

ponies and cattle

Black Baldy cattle

including Black Baldies.

Cow investigating garden

Further along the lane a cow investigated someone’s garden while the next door neighbour had difficulty driving into hers because another blocked her access.

The Fighting Cocks at Godshill was surrounded by even more donkeys and foals than usual. Some of the youngsters clung to their mothers’ flanks, others flopped on the grass. As if there were not enough foals littering the verges, one eager asinine gentleman attempted to participate in the creation of another. He was rebuffed, and brayed his displeasure.

Donkey and foal

When these two set off to cross back over Roger Penny Way, we were a little disconcerted. We needn’t have worried. Having slalomed around numerous equine cousins, all vehicles at this point progressed at a snail’s pace.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid chicken jalfrezi served with boiled basmati rice.

 

 

Playing Cat And Mouse

CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN A GROUP TO ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

Until late afternoon I rather dozed the time away today. Jackie then drove me to the north of the forest and back. I was able to swing my left leg into the car without falling foul of the bottom of the passenger door.

As we approached Ibsley we were held up by ponies blocking the road. The first of these photographs was taken through the windscreen. Jackie wasn’t really able to manoeuvre the car into a position for me to use my passenger seat window, so I nipped onto the verge to take the second shot.

Knowing that these animals were likely to cross the now dry ford, we decided to position ourselves ahead for them and wait for their arrival. The first of these images was made while standing beside the car; the second, after I had settled back inside, through the driver’s window.

We crossed the ford ahead of the ponies, and waited. And waited. And waited some more. The creatures remained beside the bank of the stream. Once more I disembarked and advanced on the horses with the aid of my crutch. Giving me just time enough to reach the other bank, the beasts, en masse, rounded the corner, crossed the ford, and  surrounded the car. By the time I reached it they were wandering into the shade. They may not have known that we were playing cat and mouse, but they won anyway.

A little further along the road a pale ochre cow, as if in a rugby ruck, picked its way over a heap of prone players before settling down to chew the cud. Jackie had positioned the car suitable for me to take these through my own window.

Donkeys on the road at Hyde were unusually frisky. I took the first of these pictures  through the windscreen, the other two through Jackie’s open window.

The pond at Abbots Well is looking quite dry, but it still attracted cattle for a drink. Two calves, like any other pair of playful infants, bounded round to the far side of the water before slaking their thirst on their own.

We dined this evening on beef burgers, fried onions, creamy mashed potato, crunchy carrots, and cabbage, with tasty gravy.

 

Our First Cygnets

INDIVIDUAL IMAGES CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK OR TWO. CLICKING ON ANY OF THOSE IN GROUPS ACCESSES THEIR GALLERY, MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

Félicité Perpétue

Squeezing my left leg into the car, for a drive into the forest on this very dull day, was less painful again today. As I did so I admired the Félicité Perpétue rose facing me. This, and all the rest of today’s photographs were taken through the passenger seat window.

Garden opposite All Saints Church

The planting in the lane opposite All Saints Church Milford on Sea was at its best.

 

Thinking that we might be rewarded with a sight of our first cygnets of the season, Jackie headed for Hatchet Pond, where this proved to be the case.

Black-headed gull

A rather high and mighty black-headed gull took exception to our presence.

Motley cattle roamed the woodland along Brockenhurst Road,

where foxglove flowers flourished.

This evening we dined on second helpings of the Forest Tandoori takeaway meal from two days ago.