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Late this afternoon, the dull skies cleared and we enjoyed a warm and sunny day. Naturally, we took a drive into the forest.
A young man and his dog walking along Holmsley Passage,
set off onto the moors;
a couple of cyclists, passing a group relaxing on a gate crossed the junction of the road with the disused railway line that is now a footpath;
and a group of hikers, relieved of their backpacks, took a rest on the grass.
I have featured Honey Lane in Burley a couple of times before, but had never covered the whole length until today. This is because the serpentine, steeply undulating, ancient road is so pitted with often water-filled holes that you really need a 4 x 4 to negotiate it.
Jackie parked the Modus beside this gateway to a field,
and waited for me to wander down the lane and back.
The age of this thoroughfare is indicated by the high bank of hedgerows mounted by gnarled old trees.
Todays photographs are reproduced in the order in which I made them, thus replicating the ramble. Soon a troop of ponies came into view.
The tree to the right of the above picture is beginning to be carpeted by autumn leaves
waiting for the leading grey to rest its hooves.
Another wandered along behind.
This chestnut seemed rather scarred.
Cattlegrids are meant to deter hoofed animals from crossing them. Not so these two ponies foraging in someone’s garden. They clattered across the bars as I passed.
Here are more gnarled roots atop the bank,
up which some home owners have set steps to reach their gardens.
Here comes another scarred pony,
soon to be passed by a happy cyclist towing a trailer.
This wooden kissing gate was rather intriguing.
The ponies had other things on their minds.
A couple of cyclists passed the next animal,
which continued on towards me.
This tree reminded me of Jabba the Hutt.
Sunlight pierced the foliage in parts.
How, I wondered, had this very tall tree taken this circuitous route before ascending to the light above.
A blaze of yellow leaves enlivened this garden.
Sunlight dappled the shed of Orchard Farm,
and pierced a deep stygian bank.
Here is another gate to a field.
Can you spot the squirrel?
Nearing the Burley Street end of the lane
I mounted the next rise, turned, and
retraced my steps, catching sight of cyclists in the distance.
They soon sped down towards me, the first two, with cheery greetings, too fast for my lens;
their companions paused for a pleasant chat.
I spotted a few more colourful leaves.
A friendly woman walking her dog commented on what a pleasant evening it was,
and, with sunlight spanning a nearby tree, I was soon beside the Modus once more, and we set off for home.
On Holmsley Road a splendid stag seemed confused about crossing.
It had seen the approaching vehicle, turned,
and was soon back on the verge and disappearing into the forest.
Those of a tender disposition may wish to skip what we had for dinner.
This was Jackie’s superb liver and bacon casserole, leek and cauliflower cheese, roast parsnips, new potatoes, cabbage, and carrots. I finished the malbec.