Godwits Galore

This morning we drove to Ferndene Farm Shop for three bags of all Purpose compost.

Jackie explored the rows of plants on sale as she also bought some trailing lobelias, and

found time to encourage one of the resident pigs, which was labouring somewhat, to step up to the trough for a drink.

On our way home we took a short diversion through the forest. Like the New Forest itself it has been some time since the title ‘new’ was applicable to the first of these lanes; the second avoids the problem of nomenclature by not having any.

Ponies dotted around the moors en route to Burley.

As in the lanes above the foliage of Holmsley Passage bore an almost luminescent glow.

Late this afternoon Giles picked me up at home and drove me to the bird hide at Milford on Sea where we spent a pleasant hour in a very crowded cabin watching the birds.

One black headed gull was fascinated by his reflection in the shallow water;

others shared Hurst Pond with shelducks and swans.

For serious birders the highlight was 31 black tailed godwits, their long legs beneath the surface.

We think this might be a snipe, but it had its back to us so we could not discern the length of its beak.

A pied wagtail trotted along much nearer the hide.

Giles stayed on for dinner which consisted of roast lamb; mashed potato and swede; Yorkshire pudding; crunchy carrots; firm cauliflower; and tender runner beans, with rich gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and our friend and I chose Mora Vista Merlot Bonarda 2018.

‘Last One To The Chimney Pot’s A Sissy’

Brick radial path intermediate stageJackie has, on and off all week, been working at clearing the longest radial brick path. We determined today to finish it together. I began at the far end and Jackie continued working away from the house.Brick path original being cleared

The radial paths, we think, were laid down in the 1980s. This one joins a much older one, contemporary with The Heligan Path, and probably dating from the 1930s. It is made of brick and was revealed to be beautifully undulating with a pattern somewhat like herringbone.

My totally uncompetitive lady jocularly cried, as we began: ‘Last one to the chimney pot’s a sissy’. The marker in question can be seen at the far end of the paths in the first two pictures. It will be apparent that, by lunchtime, when the shots were taken, there wasn’t much likelihood that I would be able, at the completion, to have any pretensions to machismo.

Finally, in the true spirit of Chris Brasher’s 1981 London Marathon, there was no single winner. Dick-Beardsley-and-Inge-S-001When American Dick Beardsley and Norwegian Inge Simonsen crossed the finish line, they did so together, holding hands, in an inspirational gesture which fired many previous non-runners, including me, to enter the event the following year.

Jackie and I each arrived at the chimney pot at the same time. Brick radial path clearedBrick path original clearedThese photographs of the completed task are taken from the marker itself.

The green hosepipe seen snaking along beside the older path is part of an irrigation system rigged up by the previous owner. We have yet to test its operation and efficacy.

Dianthuses and aquilegiasDianthus

Along with aquilegias and many other attractive plants, dianthuses of various colours crop up all over the garden, as here alongside Jackie’s path. There is even a white one.

A number of different evergreen trees that we cannot identify are sprouting new needles. Here is one of them:Evergreen unidentified

Jackie had, yesterday, made off with enough food from the Hordle Chinese Take Away to suffice for today as well. So that was our dinner taken care of. With it, I finished the Bordeaux.

Afterwards we drove down to the beach at Milford and watched the gulls and the waves.