Despite the still stiff breeze on this warm and generally overcast afternoon I was able to rake up leaves and clippings from the Shady Path and, with the contents of two trugfuls in the Rose Garden, add another used compost bag to the stack awaiting the next dump trip.
Afterwards Jackie and I took a forest drive.
According to the Royal Horticultural Society “Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) [introduced to UK in 1839] is a relative of the busy Lizzie, but reaches well over head height, and is a major weed problem, especially on riverbanks and waste land, but can also invade gardens. It grows rapidly and spreads quickly, smothering other vegetation as it goes.”
There is a fine crop of this, blending with spears of our native willow herb, swaying on the banks of a dried up stream normally running under Bockhampton Road.
While we drove along Braggers Lane later, a group of field horses on a hill attracted my attention. By the time I had changed my lens and disembarked once more, I had also attracted theirs.
The first two had thundered down towards me before I lifted my camera.
As the others joined in the welcoming committee I became aware of the muzzles and fly masks offering all round protection. The covering for eyes and ears were clearly to keep the flies at bay; maybe the muzzles were worn to prevent biting. The animal craning its neck in the last picture was scratching on a fencepost. Flies were perhaps not the only source of discomfort.
A long tailback on Holmsley Road was brought about by ponies and a foal three shades of grey and one of brown clustering together for protection from the traffic.
The wind having picked up considerably by the time we returned home, we found patio chairs and parasol downed; as we stubbornly took our drinks seated on two of the chairs we watched trees, shrubs, and plants bending sharply this way and that until we went back inside for our dinner which, with the addition of parathas and vegetable samosas, consisted of a second sitting of last night’s chicken jalfrezi meal. Jackie drank Zesty and I drank more of the Gran Selone.