A Plethora Of Snowdrops

Before Jackie discovered that, for the first time in 15 years, we can now view Test Matches live on free to air terrestrial television I listened to the first day of the England v India match on BBC sport. I watched the last couple of overs on Channel 4.

This morning I took advantage of a break between showers to wander round the garden with my camera.

The irises reticulata are all now in bloom, with tulips beside them pushing up.

Other irises and numerous hellebores still collect raindrops.

Camellias are quite prolific.

Honesty seed pods now have a skeletal presence and the metal plant Louisa gave us for Christmas will live on for a while.

Some winter flowering clematis cirrhosa Freckles have survived their recent heavy pruning.

Wherever we go we encounter a plethora of snowdrops.

This afternoon we paid a brief visit to Barry and Karen to deliver his prints.

Afterwards we took a brief drive along the lanes, like Coombe Lane largely waterlogged.

Sunlight streamed across the landscapes, lit the lichen coated hedges, and silhouetted the bones of an oak tree.

A small shaggy haired pony eyed me as I photographed its more delicate be-rugged cousin.

Jackie photographed a pair of rooks – or were they crows? – conducting a corvine conversation.

Several donkeys were installed on Wooden House Lane.

The stream running under Church Lane reflected the trees above.

This evening we dined on the varied flavours of Jackie’s piquant cauliflower cheese; creamy mashed potatoes; smoked haddock; with carrots and petits pois for splashes of bright colour. We both drank Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2020.

Those Who Persevered

While I photographed Jackie pruning Wedding Day, which, with her further endeavours elsewhere this morning, provided me with more clippings to chop and bag up this afternoon,

I spotted a shield bug riding a nearby hibiscus.

Later this afternoon we went in search of the surviving entries of the Hordle Scarecrow Trail.

These entries have already featured in earlier posts.

This one, in Stoneleigh Avenue, entitled ‘Key Workers and Caped Crusaders’, suffered badly in the recent storms.

In Sycamore Road, Pierre Latour celebrated a ‘Tour de France’ victory.

Dominic Cummings’s weak eyesight excuse for flouting lockdown restrictions was displayed in Sky End Lane.

Hordle Pharmacy in Ashley Lane, normally a regular entrant, did not register this year, although these two beauties feature in the shop window.

We were unable to view two others: one was destroyed in the storms, another is a hairdresser’s submission placed outside the shop when it is open – not on Saturday afternoons.

Those who persevered with this year’s fraught event are to be congratulated.

After the Hordle tour we continued into the forest, pausing at Coombe Lane where I photographed masked horses and inquisitive cattle atop a tumbling landscape where bonfire smoke resembled a spraying waterfall.

This evening we dined once more on Jackie’s splendidly succulent beef pie; very tasty gravy; boiled new potatoes; tender cabbage and crunchy carrots and cauliflower with which she drank Beck’s and I drank Gestos 2018, a sublimely smooth Malbec.