Assessing Each Other

This was a mostly dismal, overcast, day which brightened up towards the end of our afternoon forest drive.

Wheatfields are maturing along Lodge Lane, near Beaulieu; blackberries are burgeoning in the hedgerows; wildflowers such as cream and yellow linaria vulgaris, young ferns, and creeping ivies, mingle with exposed tree roots; log piles line the drive into Ashenden; a dead tree clutches at the air.

An adolescent foal, its mother foraging nearby, crossed the lane into

Cripplegate Lane, where its dam soon followed.

Other ponies emerged from Church Lane, East Boldre.

Donkeys and foals congregated at the corner of Norleywood Road, where two of the youngsters were clearly assessing each other.

Note the reflective collar, rejected by a pony, hanging on the road sign.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy pasta arrabbiata with which she drank Mendoza Malbec 2020 and I drank more of the Shiraz.


Our afternoon drive into the forest took us through Bull Hill.

Although certainly not tortoises, groups of serious walkers we watched from

Furzey Lane leading to Furzey Lodge, carried their temporary homes on their backs. Some of these were passed by cyclists,

more groups of whom wheeled along Cripple Gate Lane, where,

bluebells, ferns, ivy, and other wild plants cluster around the roots of oaks now spreading parasols overhead.

It is best to try to ignore cans lobbed from passing cars and fly-tipped larger containers possibly decanted from small vans.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb savoury rice with a rack of pork ribs in barbecue sauce and small spring rolls. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden, while I drank Moravista Merlot Bonarda 2018.