Close Encounter Of The Canine Kind

Despite the bright sunny morning there was a distinct chill in the air as we set off for a drive into the forest.

Field horses at South Sway Lane, in view of Sway Tower, demonstrated contradictory protective needs now that flies are beginning to appear in the daytime, yet the nights remain cold. The bay wears a rug whereas the other two sport masks to protect eyes and ears from winged irritants.

Recumbent forest ponies sprawled over the moorland outside Brockenhurst; a mare stood guard over her recently born foal. I thought it politic not to come too close.

Long-horned cattle lounged on the other side of the road.

From the Boundway Car Park I walked down a gentle slope to photograph

the distant landscape.

As I returned to the car I stood aside for a young lady and her frisky dog to have free passage and to keep my knees out of their way. I was a little nonplussed when the owner cried “keep off, Derek”. Derek turned out to be the name of the six month old canine kick boxer who launched himself at me, muddy paws to the fore. You may be surprised at the impact such a creature can have.

I was. I was even more surprised that I stood firm and did not end up on the ground. That way it was only

the front of my trousers that would need washing.

Soon after this encounter we drove through Rhinefield Ornamental Drive where long shadows crisscrossed the forest floor with its carpet of fir cones; and this year’s ferns rose from the mulch of last year’s natural compost.

This evening we dined at Lal Quilla where we were treated as well as ever with friendly service and excellent food. Jackie’s choice of main meal was prawn sally; mine was king prawn vindaloo. We shared special fried rice and an egg paratha and both drank Kingfisher.

“Where’s It Gone?”

We took an early drive to the east of the forest this morning.

Having left Lymington we traversed Snooks Lane. The nature of this narrow, winding, road suggests that it is madness to reach the 40 m.p.h. limit marked on these lanes.

Despite the idyllic location and the recently completed cleaning of the Burrard Monument someone has tossed a coke can over the low wooden rail bordering the grounds.

The tide was out at Tanners Lane where a black headed gull foraged among the silt.

The Isle of Wight, The Needles, Hurst Castle, and the two lighthouses could be viewed through a certain amount of haze.

Our next stop was at Sowley Lane, where a pony grazed, a friendly gentleman trotted with his dog, a cyclist approached; and alongside which oilseed rape blazed through a field.

It was a sleeping baby on the opposite side of the road from his mother that had caused me to disembark. After a while he woke, awkwardly found his feet and wobbled across to the pony mare who, continuing to fuel herself, offered no assistance to her offspring who eventually, unaided, latched on to his source of nutriment.

Just as we were about to continue on our way, the Modus experienced a thudding sound and a gentle rocking. The foal was using it as a scratching post. While Jackie made these portraits our little friend even allowed her to stroke his nose.

We felt a bit stuck in place while the pony seemed stuck on us.

After a last lingering caress, he turned his head and bent it in the direction of his mother. This enabled us to take off, albeit slowly. Turning back in our direction he looked somewhat nonplussed as his image in my wing mirror gradually diminished. I swear he was thinking “where’s it gone?”.

For dinner this evening Jackie produced tandoori chicken; savoury and pilau rice; and fresh salad, with which I drank The Long Way Round reserve Carmenere 2018, another excellent selection from Ian’s Christmas case.

Wait For Us

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED.

This morning Jackie and I kept our appointment with Neils Dagless of Dagless and Whitlock. He witnessed our signatures on the mortgage documents. There was no charge for his service, but we were asked for a donation to the Oakhaven Hospice. We were happy to do this.

Becky and Ian, who had stayed the night, returned home after lunch. Matthew, Tess, and Poppy will remain with us until tomorrow.

Later this afternoon we posted the papers to O’Neill Patient in Stockport, then drove into a dank and dismal forest.

Hinchelsea Moor 1Hinchelsea Moor 2

Drizzling rain mist lay over Hinchelsea Moor,

Ponies in mist 1Ponies in mist 2Ponies in mist 3

and Wilverley Plain where we could just discern a few ponies,

Cow crossing car park

a damp cow crossing the soggy carpark,

Calves following mother

and its calves, passing a browsing pony,

Calves following mother

and lowing “wait for us”, as they followed.

Pony at Wilverley Pit

At Wilverley Pit I photographed one pony standing silhouetted,

Woman photographing pony

remaining stationary whilst another photographer followed suit.

Man petting pony

A young man patted a pony showing considerable interest in the snack he was eating.

Pony encounter

Having been satisfied, the creature reported prospects to another,

Man feeding pony

which was then equally successful.

Cars and pony

Cars kept their headlights on;

Man, dog, pony

and a few intrepid dog walkers ventured across the vanishing moor.

This evening the five of us dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away fare. All except Matthew and Poppy drank Tsingtao beer.

 

The Three Graces

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. THOSE IN GROUPS ACCESS GALLERIES THAT CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE.

It is not often one can be grateful for a traffic diversion, especially those in The New Forest which tend to send you miles out of your way. So it was this morning as Jackie drove us out there.

New Milton in mist

Had we not been sent all the way back to New Milton we would not have seen the sun mooning through the mist over Station Road.

The drip, drip, dripping of the melting frost was all there was to be heard in misty Gorley,

where the glassine stream stood still;

Sheep in mist 1

shaggy sheep cropped the grass;

arboreal forms emerged from the gloom;

Dog walker

a woman walked her carefully blended dog,

Cyclist

and a lime-green clad cyclist took his chances on the road to Linwood. In the foreground of this shot stands one of the many posts measuring water levels; in this instance of the stream pictured above.

Trees bedecked with flowers usually mark a spot where someone has died in a road accident. Maybe that is why this oak at the crossroads by the ford has been decorated with fleeting frost, with flowers past their best, with diced mushrooms, and with a clump of once potted bulbs.

Ponies in a field at Mockbeggar were so obscured as to be impossible to tell whether or not they were domesticated. One definitely wore a rug, as their winter garments are termed. This would not be a wild forest creature. Can you spot it?

Misty Ibsley

It would have been equally difficult for the driver coming through Ibsley to have discerned the pony to the left of this picture, had it decided to turn and cross the  road.

It was as the mist was beginning to clear on the approach to Frogham that we encountered a living modern sculpture based on Antonio Canova’s “The Three Graces”.

A chestnut gatecrashed the hay party those finely marbled greys were enjoying.

Stag and family

At Frogham the appearance of a stately stag was somewhat marred by the tangled encumbrance attached to his antlers. Perhaps he was aiming to snaffle the magnificent sloughed set protruding from the field ahead of him.

He was leading his family towards the herd sharing the land with a solitary pony.

As the mist began to clear on either side of Roger Penny Way on our return home, the warming sun caused another to rise from the moors,

House in forest

and exposed a mid-distant group of houses.

This evening we dined on chicken Kiev; peppers stuffed with Jackie’s savoury rice; green beans, and spinach; followed by bread and Benecol pudding with evap. I finished the Madiran.

Making The Most Of Milford Seafront

This morning I accompanied Jackie to the GP surgery where she was prescribed antibiotics for what is now a chest infection. Afterwards, she drove us to the car park alongside the

Needles Eye Cafe

 Needles Eye cafe where she sat with a coffee whilst

Upper promenade 1

I ambled along the upper and lower promenades.

Hazy sea

The fog warning sounded as I took this hazy picture of the Isle of Wight and The Needles, after which the cafe has been wittily named.

Man and dog

This gentleman was perhaps searching for a sight of the island whilst his bored best friend was suggesting it was a waste of time.

Walkers

A group of energetic retirees strode out, past the barriers that border the lower promenade where concrete huts once stood.

Public Convenience

Dog walker

Should they be taken short, a state of the art Public Convenience ushers in the prospective

Making the most of Milford seafront

rebuilding of the, now removed, damaged beach huts.

Throughout the day, Paul and I continued exchanging material for the forthcoming The First Gallery exhibition and flyer.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s, fish, chips, and pea fritters. Nothing was imbibed.

Storm Imogen

The winds of Storm Imogen, that reached 96 m.p.h. off The Needles, howled all night and continued at 55-65 m.p.h. throughout the day. Carol had the good sense to suggest I might need to postpone our lunch date. This was very wise as the trains I would need to catch were severely disrupted, and trees were reported down on roads such as the A35.

We were warned against venturing out unless our journey was urgent. I trust you will agree that investigating the views across Christchurch Bay to the Island fitted that bill.

Isle of Wight and The Needles

We began on Hordle Cliff Top where it was impossible to see what I was doing, as I was forced backwards by the gusts. Consequently I needed to straighten this one up in my Mac. The computer that is, not the one I was wearing.

Enticed by the prospect of spray on the rocks at Barton on Sea, that is where I took the rest of the photographs.

Man descending steps

Descending the car park steps was easier than the battle that was the return.

Shoreline and Isle of WightShorelineSpray 1Spray 2Spray 3Spray 5Spray 6

Shoreline 3Clouds and sprayClouds and Sea

Close examination of the images will reveal the effects of the flying spray spattered on my lens.

Clifftop buildings

The buildings on the clifftop clung to their perches,

Dog walker

beneath which one of the very few dog walkers in evidence clung to her hood.

Barton on the news

Back home, the BBC 1 p.m. News, featured Barton on Sea. Actually, the scene looked more like Milford to me, but never mind. I’m probably wrong.

It being Elizabeth’s birthday, we further braved the storms to meet her, Danni, and Andy for dinner at The White Hart at Cadnam. We shared, olives, stuffed peppers, and bread in a balsamic vinegar dip. My main course was rabbit, ham and lentil broth with parsley dumpling. I shared a cheese board with Danni; and good Chilean red wine with her and Elizabeth.

Off The Leash

The morning was spent in Lymington Hospital, to and from which Jackie drove me. First off was a physiotherapy appointment for my hand. This is apparently doing well. I need not see the therapist again, but will continue finger straightening exercises and massage myself for another six weeks. We then had a wait for an orthopedic appointment to discuss the knee x-ray results. I have no cartilage either behind the kneecap or on the left side, but there is some left on the right. The pain relief is working, and with careful management of that, I am encouraged to walk on the flat. On our return, the wind having desisted, we toured the garden replacing hanging baskets which, Jackie having taken them down before the gales, suffered minimal damage. Flies on peach rose

On the peach roses A fly was supervising its infant on its first outing into the world. Can you see the baby?

Alliums

Another attractive variety of allium has flourished.

After lunch, Jackie drove me to the pharmacy at Milford on Sea to collect co-codomol which had been omitted from the medication collected yesterday. The fact that twice the normal amount of tablets had been left for me was rather ironic, since I had agreed with the physiotherapist that I would ween myself off them and turn to paracetamol. I now have a telephone appointment to discuss this with G.P. Dr. Moody-Jones. Footpath with walkers on horizon On the strength of all this, Jackie left me at the green at Milford and I walked up Park Lane, joining the cliff top path at The Beach House, turning into West Road and home through Shorefield. OK, it was a little more than the recommended half an hour, and not totally flat, but I managed it with just a few aching muscles that had not really been put to use for six months. Gardener tending roses

I had a long talk with a gentleman tending his roses in his small plot opposite the bus shelter in Milford.

Seascape with Isle of Wight

The wind coming off The Solent was still strong

Windsurfer and yachtYacht and Isle of Wight

enough for a windsurfer and a few small yachts to relish its power, and,

Bench and yachtDog walker and yacht

passing an empty bench, a woman, already being propelled along by the gusts, strained to contain one of her dogs.

Warning

A new set of warning signs has been posted along the cliff top since I was last here.

Honeysuckle and caterpillar

Attracted by honeysuckle in the hedgerow leading to West Road, I thus avoided missing

Caterpillar

the rather splendid caterpillar lurking in the shadows. I rather like its red warning lights. Can you see it in hiding?

I definitely felt that Cheryl, the physiotherapist, had let me off the leash.

This evening we dined on smoked haddock fish cakes with cheese centres and topping; parsley sauce from our own crop; piquant cauliflower cheese; firm young peas and creamy mashed potato; followed by Lymington-grown tangy strawberries and vanilla ice-cream.

Smoked haddock fishcakes meal

Pretty as was the presentation of the meal,

Smoked haddock fishcakes meal on a plate

it tastes better off the plate.