Spotted Speckled Wood

Today we begin with this gallery of Jackie’s photographs of me photographing yesterday’s ponies and Ogdens North.

When leaving Brockenhurst on a forest drive we normally pass a small area of woodland.

This morning I spied a pony through the trees, so Jackie parked and I followed the wildlife.

Birds sang in the taller trees; distant dogs barked;

fresh acorns gently thudded onto the forest floor joining last year’s crop,

ageing autumn leaves, this year’s fungus, and moss-covered fallen trunks.

The area is interlaced with dry streams, the beds still soft enough to cross without twisting an ankle, yet not muddy enough to suck off a shoe. Lichen covered tree stumps and russet leaves remain crisp.

A gravelled path links the wood with Rhinefield Road and a stretch of open land. Pedestrians take the path

or, like cyclists, runners, dog owners, cars, and motorcycles, pass on by.

Appropriately enough, I spotted a speckled wood butterfly.

Rudbeckia was the floral decoration to Jackie’s tasty beef pie for this evening’s dinner served with boiled new potatoes; crunchy carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli; tender runner beans, and thick, meaty gravy, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Bordeaux.