This Later Season


This morning I learned that my PSA result was clear – no action required. It is an interesting phenomenon that this is one situation in which no news is good news. The GP only contacts the patient if there is a problem. Otherwise the patient has to make the call.

This afternoon Jackie drove me to Sears Barbers for Peter to cut my hair. Afterwards we visited Tanners Lane,

where a few others were having fun. Two women, children, and a Labrador collected shells; a young man walked his dog; two people rowed a canoe.

A gull atop a post ignored the swirling eddies where currents clashed in the otherwise calm waters.

En route to this site we had noticed a glimpse of the view across to the Isle of Wight from Shotts Lane. The second picture reveals the Isle of Wight ferry and smoke from a fire on the island. The cattle in the third image conveniently wandered into shot.

In order to remove the five barred gate from the scene I needed to scale it a bit, then climb down again.

Pheasants in Sowley Lane, no longer dressed in their mating finery, reflected this later season by picking at stubble in a ploughed field. Others sought the shelter of the Becks Farm drive.

Brief Encounter


On a gloriously sunny morning that would have graced any day in Spring, Jackie drove me, via a network of of narrow, populated roads like

Platoff Road

Platoff Road

Normandy Lane

and Normandy Lane, to a footpath leading to Keyhaven and Lymington Nature Reserve.

Canada geese

As I used my long lens to bring the masts of Lymington Marina into this shot of Canada geese congregating in a field, beside which Jackie parked the car, little did I realise I would make closer acquaintance with the boatyard before my trek was over.

As I walked along the path I noticed first a woman walking along what I soon realised was a brick path around the bird sanctuary;

Cyclist silhouette

then a cyclist approaching from the opposite direction.

Walker and cyclist silhouette

Did they, I wondered, pass the time of day as they passed each other on their brief encounter.

A five-barred gate gave onto a sloping track that led to a large rectangular route around the water lands, around which others rambled.

Walker and gorse

This perambulator had obviously dressed to blend in with the gorse.

Waterfowl basked in their sanctuary.

Heron and mallards 1

I rely on my ornithologist friends to correct me if necessary, but I think this is a stationary heron being passed by paddling mallards;

whereas this is an egret admiring its reflection.

Ducks and pigeon

A slender pigeon-like like bird didn’t manage to merge into varieties of duck that I would need some help to identify.

Gulls undertook daredevil low-flying manoeuvres, running barbed wire gauntlets.

Brent geese preferred the high skies,

Approaching Lymington Marina

especially on the approach to Lymington Marina.

Woman on bench

The woman in the foreground of this picture, after I enjoyed a chat with her, had taken a rest on one of the suitably placed observation benches, but it didn’t take her long to overtake me again.

Bird watchers

Bird watchers availed themselves of another seat.

Lymington Marina from Nature reserve 1

About halfway round the rectangle, I realised that I had a choice between walking on to the marina to find my way back to the car from there, and retracing my steps. I’m not one for taking the latter option, but this has, on occasion, presented problems. I stopped  group of people and asked if I could return to Normandy Lane from there. I was told I could, and how to do it, with the observation that I couldn’t get lost. “Don’t you believe it,” I replied. “I can get lost anywhere”.

Ferry boat

The Wight Link ferry boat soon sailed past the marina.

Ducks in flight

Ducks took to the wing;

Dog walker and runner

a jogger and a dog walker took no advantage of their brief encounter;


and I found myself in the marina,

where boat maintenance was being undertaken.


A kettle was on hand;

Hull for repair

parts of hulls had been marked out for attention;

Devil on hull

and a devilish Chad peeped out.

As I left the marina and approached a path that would lead me to Normandy Lane, I met the group who had directed me earlier. “You are still on track” was the cheery greeting. I hadn’t the heart to let them know that I had been somewhat delayed by taking an incorrect, muddy, track.

Jackie was waiting for me, some two hours after my departure. A little more than intended.

This evening we dined on second helpings of yesterday’s curries, with which I consumed Chapel Vineyard cabernet sauvignon 2015.

A Re-opening

Blackberry blossomCherry blossomThis was a warm sunlit day. Not only were the last of the summer blackberries ripening in Downton Lane, but  fresh blossom was turning to fruit, and a Japanese kaiga painter had reproduced a pattern of pink cherry against the clear blue sky over Shorefield.Shadows of five-barred gateIsle of Wight, The Needles, lighthouse
Long shadows were cast, and the Isle of Wight, The Needles, and their lighthouse stood sharply alongside The silver Solent.
A Re-opening
I am optimistic about the re-opening of our neighbouring pub, The Royal Oak. The new tenants, Debbie and Carl Millward, are experienced publicans who should be able to resuscitate the necessary atmosphere of a country hostelry. This evening they opened for drinks. Food should be available in a day or two, but  this evening what was available was generous bar nibbles, so we all had an enjoyable couple of drinks and convivial conversation with the publicans and Debbie’s parents Jill and Ken. There was a good attendance of local people. .After this Jackie collected takeaway fish and chips from Old Milton and we enjoyed them at home with mushy peas and pickled onions.

A Plant Hunt

Stubble field
FlintDaisiesThis morning I walked up Hordle Lane taking a route on the right through what are now flint-strewn stubble fields sporting attractive daisies.Yeatton House
Yeatton House, now converted into flats, could be seen peering from the trees in the distance.
Feeling like a rat seeking egress from a maze, I took a diagonal tractor track across a Five barred gatefallow field and came to a barrier I recognised. This was the padlocked five-barred gate flanked by barbed wire that had deterred me when I had followed the path alongside Apple Court garden. This time I scaled it and walked back home.
This afternoon, armed with offer vouchers from their brochure, Jackie drove us to Otter CyclamensRoseRosebudNurseries where we bought hardy cyclamens, Murphy’s compost, tulips, and various other items. When Jackie said ‘We’ll get the Murphy’s first’, and walked towards sacks of potatoes, I momentarily thought I’d got the wrong end of the stick.
Afterwards we visited Braxton Gardens and nursery. It was rather late in the season fully to appreciate this establishment, which could do with a little more help with the plants, and for which the proprietors make no charge for entry.Teasels I did, however, find one or two roses in bloom, and the teasels looked attractive in the sunlight.
PansiesThen it was off to Ferndene Farm shop for pansies, violas, and ivies. We planted and watered in the cyclamens, leaving the rest, well soaked, for tomorrow.
ColchicumsWe had no need to hunt for colchicums, for they have risen to the surface in our garden.
Dinner this evening consisted of Jackie’s chicken curry and savoury rice, always even more tasty the second time. I finished the cabernet sauvignon and Jackie abstained.