Cawing For His Mum

I delayed my walk around the garden until later this afternoon, hoping to take advantage of the light.

Almost as soon as I had photographed this budding heuchera

and this camellia bloom toning into graceful age,

the skies closed the curtains, silhouetting the Weeping birch branches.

I continued photographing a range of daffodils;

another somewhat droopy camellia retaining its youthful bloom;

one of our varieties of euphorbia;

 

a species tulip, Lilac Wonder;

a steadily developing Japanese maple;

and one of our sundry clusters of forget-me-nots.

The West Bed border contains primroses, primulas, hellebores, snakes head fritillaries, and lamium.

I even just about managed to catch a wren.

Russell the lone crow imprinted on Jackie made 

quite a row cawing for his Mum.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome Hunter’s chicken; roast potatoes, parsnips, and mushrooms; crisp carrots and cauliflower; tender cabbage and green beans; followed, with custard, by what, given its dried fruit base, the Culinary Queen calls her amber crumble, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the El Zumbido.

 

 

 

Their Hay Day

Today was dull and dry.

This morning Jackie photographed a great tit in the garden.

After lunch she drove us to Helen and Bill’s home in Fordingbridge. My sister-in-law was returning two grandchildren to their parents; we stayed chatting with Bill for a while and drank his coffee. We left birthday presents for Helen, then took a leisurely route home through the forest.

Three deer had wandered into a garden on Frogham Hill.

Jackie braved the shuddering potholes at Abbots Well in order to enjoy the landscape

which despite the sun’s feeble attempts to penetrate the cloud canopy remained rather murky.

A crow conversing with a bay pony

delayed its descent down the sloping woodland.

Another pony following the first passed one of the many

worrying signs that seem to proliferate in this area. Just after I photographed this example a young man having difficulty instructing his bouncing dog to sit effectually settled it enough for him to remove its lead and set it bounding off, quite close to this

grazing pony.

 

On Cadnam Lane a farmer squelched across the boggy green to leave a heap of hay for the waiting assortment of ponies. He wore wellies. I didn’t, so my walking shoes collected a coating of claggy clay as

I approached

the diners.

Mutual grooming was undertaken by some of the Shetlands carrying caked mud.

On our way home a couple of deer sped across Roger Penny Way in the glare of a car’s headlights.

This evening we dined at The Wheel Inn. We both enjoyed tempera prawn starters; my main meal was a succulent steak speared with a stick of prawns; crisp chips; and fresh salad. Jackie’s choice was equally good mushroom stroganoff and salad. She drank Becks and I drank Ringwood’s Best.

A Quarrel Of Sparrows

Stealth bombers dominate our front garden feeders.

Silently they crowd the seed provider, with a

considerable amount of spillage

cleared up by robin Ron for whom this particular container was provided,

and larger birds like blackbirds

and woodpigeons.

The voracious field sparrows dart onto any vacant perch. They engage in fearsome face-offs. Spreading or violently flapping their wings and viciously pecking they dive-bomb their rivals to take their places at the trough.

It is hardly surprising that a collective noun for sparrows is a quarrel.

This afternoon Jackie went into the garden in search of Nugget, who she photographed as he cocked his head awry.

“Where’s Nugget?” (60)

She thinks the solitary crow on our rooftop is Russell, who latched onto her in its infancy in June 2018.

She also photographed

an iris,

the Weeping Birch,

a vinca,

an owl on the stumpery,

an osteospermum,

campanula,

heuchera leaves,

and emerging snowdrops.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent beef and mushroom pie; creamy potato and swede mash; firm carrots and Brussels sprouts; tender cabbage; and thick, tasty, gravy. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Garnacha Syrah.

 

Have I Found A Redshank?

We enjoyed another very hot temperature with clear, pale blue, skies today.

In the garden bees laboured on rudbeckia;

Small White butterflies were ubiquitous;

sun produced X-ray images of such as hollyhocks and pelargoniums;

and cart wheels spoke to the low bark of the eucalyptus.

I wandered around for a while. As usual, titles may be found in the galleries.

Nugget flew at the closed utility room window while expressing his dissatisfaction with Jackie because she spent her time watering plants instead of digging up his breakfast. Bouncing onto the paving below he appeared to have recovered

enough to continue on his own chirpy way.

This afternoon we visited Shelly and Ron with birthday presents, just after Helen and Bill had arrived. We spent pleasant hour together, assisted with the crossword and accepted that we couldn’t put the world to rights.

Giles collected me early this evening for a birding session at the Milford on Sea hide.

As we left by the kitchen door, Nugget, perched on the patio rocker waved us on our way.

Such a hazy mist hung over Sturt Pond that visibility was somewhat shrouded. The Isle of Wight was quite invisible;

walkers on the spit and the bridge were given a nebulous quality.

A crow surveyed the scene from a wooden wire fence post.

We were joined in the hide by 8 year old Will Ryan and his parents.

I managed to identify the spread wings of a cormorant, but

I was at a loss to be sure about the redshank to which this engaging young man did his best to guide me. I may have one or two in this collection. Ornithologists among my readership may be kind enough to let me know. Bigification can be obtained from the gallery.

This evening Jackie and I dined on spicy pepperoni pizza and plentiful fresh salad.

Clustered Together

The rain having subsided this morning, Nugget emerged from his wet-day quarters to assist Jackie in thinning out the Oval Bed. As the Head Gardener clipped away at spent stems and leaves her little friend entomophagous friend, eyes everywhere, pounced with deadly aim on disturbed insects.

After lunch, I retouched the last three of my mother’s early holiday photographs. The first picture above shows Mum with Grandma Hunter and Uncles Ben and Roy at Conwy, c1926;

the other two feature Mum with Uncle Roy, Joan Heald, and another, and finally with Roy, at the Manchester Whit Walk, probably in 1927.

This afternoon Jackie drove us into the forest.

Opposite The Rising Sun in Bashley this small car caused consternation among a riding group as it drew up alongside them indicating its intention to turn left through the string. Even had it intended to wait it was far too close to these animals.

It was an afternoon for young riding groups.

Ponies and cattle enhanced the landscape across Mill Lawn alongside Mill Lane, Burley.

Our destination was the undulating Forest Road along which I took my thirty minute walk.

There a string of long-suffering ponies, attracting some drivers and passengers, annoying others, spilling onto the road sheltered under spreading tree branches.

clustered together, often head to tail, as a protection against irritating flies. Parked alongside this mass of alluring equine flesh, Jackie herself was forced to move on for her own protection from the irksome insects.

She drew level with me soon after I photographed this crow. I was grateful to return to the Modus.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla where two new waiters served us with the customary friendly and efficient service. My choice of main meal was king prawn Ceylon; Jackie’s was the house special mixed meats; we shared a paratha and mushroom rice, and both drank Kingfisher.

Round The Bend

This morning Dale from Crestwood visited and measured up for the new flooring in the sitting room. This friendly, personable, gentleman received knee replacements shortly before me and is back to carpet fitting, which is encouraging. When we discussed dates and I mentioned that we were very flexible, a snort-guffaw ensued from Ian.

Mr and Mrs Steele returned home to Emsworth after lunch when I continued grappling with

retouching this further image from the 1926 Conwy holiday of my mother, her parents, and siblings. Here Uncle Roy determinedly clings to a toy train; Uncle Ben clutches a boat; and I am not sure what Mum is holding. Grandma photobombs from behind her daughter. Elasticated socks don’t seem to have been invented then.

This badly scratched and spotted single image represents two hours work. I didn’t fancy tackling another today.

Jackie had spent much of this hot and humid day watering plants in containers. Later I took over on the final stint.

Early this evening we took a drive into the forest, buying fish and chips from Mr Pink’s on the way home. We ate these with pickled onions and, in my case Calvet Cru du Beaujolais 2016 to drink, before I uploaded the photographs and finished the post.

Ponies largely grazed in the shade alongside Pilley Street.

Ponies at East End surrounded vehicles outside a row of houses.

Further along the road quite big calves tried to latch on to their mother’s udders whilst on the move. The cattle seemed oblivious to the flies crawling over their faces.

Vociferous crows ran about seeking pickings.

How on earth this pony guarding over her foal can tolerate her dreadful flies is beyond me.

On the road from Beaulieu to Brockenhurst a bunch of cattle blocked the road. As Jackie steered us round the black calf in the centre, the creature paused for a scratch.

Rounding a couple of bends we stopped and waited for the arrival of this moving herd.

Soon they came into view, rounded the bend, and continued down the hill.

Beach Photography

Yesterday our blogging friend Jill Weatherholt posted about EtchASketch. She asked what toys from our childhoods gave us nostalgic memories. Responding to my comment she prompted me to feature the birthday present I gave Jackie on 1st June this year. She happened to mention her father’s Christmas Santa gifts which were designed

something like this kaleidoscope. Twisting the lens would produce different rose windows viewed from the opposite end of the telescopic device. I, too, cherished childhood memories of such objects. This prompted me, with help from Elizabeth, to research the internet for a genuine antique, as opposed to retro, example.

By turning the tiny handle the lucky children of 1870 were able to produce their own variations.

My short walk on this hot and humid afternoon was

along the clifftop at Barton on Sea, where it looks very much as if there has been more soil erosion since I last tramped there. This pair of readers kept a sensible distance.

Another couple carried their dripping ice creams

to the nearest bench where

taking a large bite was in order.

A number of people brought their own seats. Perhaps the lone woman’s companion had gone in search of ice creams,

perhaps from Marshfield Farm on sale at the Beachcomber café. Someone has lost their bobble hat; the child through the fence has retained his cap.

As always, a number of mobile phones were being put to use.

Mallow and grasses border the footpath;

Photographers shared a crow’s eye view of the Isle of Wight.

Various groups gathered on the beach or in the water; paddling, building sand castles, launching balls for dogs, carrying equipment, or swimming.

Others indulged in photoshoots.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy and aromatic chicken jalfrezi; her turmeric pilau rice, fresh onion salad; and paratha from the little shop in New Milton. The Culinary Queen drank Blue Moon, while I drank more of the New Zealand Merlot.