Heathers And Asphodel

Early this morning we filled up with petrol and shopped at Tesco before going for a forest drive.

The recently re-thatched Pine Tree Cottage at the corner of Ringwood Road, Bransgore now has a squirrel on its roof.

off to the right a short distance down the road lies Betsy Lane with its

Post Office and postbox now bearing a somewhat wonky yarn roundabout.

A hundred metres or so beyond the post office the lane bears left with a sharp right angled bend lined with

verges sporting an array of hollyhocks, poppies, moon daisies, thistles, and other now rather spent wild flowers.

A rider in training was helped to negotiate oncoming traffic.

This thatched cottage is of quite ancient construction; its adjacent shed face with attractive wood;

alongside this is a further building bearing a weather vane fashioned into skeins of geese.

On the outskirts of Burley I tramped among the moorland varieties of heather and asphodel.

Ponies and foals were beginning to flop and to shelter from the high temperatures and humidity we were expecting.

We are now into the season when food and drink containers add their own brands of contributions to the forest ecology,

and around every bend in the road you are likely to encounter bunches of cycling club members. This group was less than half the size of the one which went before, and their leader did acknowledge that we had stopped – actually in deference to the oncoming car.

Along Beechwood Lane the first pair of cyclists dismounted rather than attempt to weave among a pair of ponies and a foal.

The foal and its Dam made for the sheltered corner of Burley Lawn;

a loud neighing emanated from a field horse decked out with full PPE against flies.

The knitted crown atop the postbox outside the cottage in Wootton Road has been replaced by a peacock and a little card inviting smiles.

This evening we dined on tender roast lamb; crisp Yorkshire pudding; boiled new potatoes; crunchy carrots; firm Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli, with really tasty gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden; Flo drank raspberry, rhubarb, and orange blossom cordial; and I finished the Chianti.