Pausing to admire one of the freshly flowering cherries in the front garden, we took an early morning drive through forest to Eyeworth Pond and back.
Sometimes the heathland, after the burning of the gorse, can appear like a Paul Nash landscape. So it was today. As we approached Burley, I spotted a pony appearing to be boxed in behind the stalk stubble.
The Driver obligingly turned round and drove into a carpark we had just passed, so I could walk back and take the photograph.
In the carpark stood a horse box. Peering through its barred window was a far more elegant relative of the pony. It was clearly his portrait on the side of the transport vehicle.
This was Fynn, representing the first piece of synchronicity afforded by this pit stop. He was also involved in the second, which follows:
An exchange between Bruce, Paul, and me, following my ‘Down The Lane’ post, concerning why a gentleman might have changed his trousers, reminded me of the story of the catch, another occurrence in a cricket match which I featured in ‘Six Leg Byes’. What happened was that Keith Boyce, a phenomenal West Indian Test player, hit a skier (a ball going straight up in the air) off my bowling. Everyone stood in anticipation, watching the poor man standing underneath it, as the ball began its rapid descent. The fielder safely took the catch, then turned in my direction and cried ‘can I change my trousers now?’. Neither of us could have imagined that I would recycle that joke fifty years later.
Now, what has this to do with Fynn?
Well, this superbly turned out thoroughbred animal had a plaited tail of which Judy Garland would have been proud.
His companion mare’s appendage sported an attractive binding.
One of the two very friendly women about to ride out across the moor explained the plait. This was in order that her steed did not discolour his tail if he pooped in the van. I can only assume that the mare’s different precaution was either because she was more genteel, or because she possessed a less contrasting colour.
Before taking their farewell of us, the ladies removed the constraints so the horses’ fly whisks could still be employed.
The undulating slopes on the road up to Fritham present typically idyllic New Forest landscapes, seen at their best on such a spring morning.
Eyeworth Pond lies at the top of the hill, past The Royal Oak pub.
Never before had we had it to ourselves, but here, we were alone with the stillness and the birds, whose continuous sweet song and occasional less musical honks and quacks, filled the air.
Small birds, such as chaffinches,
and nuthatches flitted to and fro, occasionally perching long enough for me to photograph them.
No British stretch of water is now without its Canada geese;
I have, however, never seen Muscovy duck before, yet here was one, gliding about in stately fashion.
Mallards, on the other hand, are ubiquitous. It was Jackie who noticed that only the drakes were abroad, and wondered where all the ladies were.
Suddenly a pair appeared, and, it seemed, every drake on the lake set off in pursuit, until the quarry escaped sharpish.
On our way home we called at Mole Country Supplies where we purchased three more bags of Landscape Bark, some rat bait and a tube in which to place it. We have always known there were rats in the abandoned garden, but it was not until last night that we watched a gang of them scampering in staccato mood past our kitchen window.
This afternoon we set the application.
Jackie’s super sausage casserole, new potatoes, runner beans, carrots and cauliflower, followed by lemon meringue pie constituted our dinner this evening. The Cook drank water, and I drank La Croix des Celestins fleurie 2014.