Cadnam Common Canter

Early this morning I photographed garden views from above,

then wandered around at ground level photographing camellias, daffodils, comfrey, lamium, hyacinths and other views.

Afterwards Jackie and I took a drive into the forest.

As we entered Cadnam Common we noticed an equestrian crossing the road in front of us.

Jackie drove on and photographed what we think is a mule (the offspring of a male donkey and female horse) and its pony dam. Note the donkey head and long horse tail of the smaller animal.

Meanwhile, I focussed on ponies in the landscape, until

riding towards us approached the rider seen earlier. I told him that I was pleased he had come this way. “Why”, he asked and a pleasant conversation ensued between me and Christian, who also greeted Jackie in the car.

Christian takes part in the annual roundups known as The Drift, and has a mare at Boldre due to foal in May. I am invited to both events.

My new friend asked me to photograph his horse cantering towards me. I did so.

Upon studying the photos, as pictured by Jackie, he wasn’t happy with his tight grip on the reins,

so we did it all again.

It seems that for some, such as these Oxford Sandy and Black, and Saddleback pigs pannage has been extended. One of the spotted variety tolerated its attendant crow, while the other eagerly sploshed in the rather waterlogged verge.

At Brook, watched by an inquisitive rhea peeking through a hedge,

I focussed on a clamorous confusion of guinea fowl.

This evening Jackie produced tender roast lamb, crisp roast potatoes, crunchy carrots, cauliflower and broccoli, and brassica in the form of cauliflower leaves, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Nero di Troia.

“You Will Appear In Lots Of Photographs”

Early this morning I watched recordings of the Women’s Rugby World Cup matches between New Zealand and Scotland, and between Australia and Wales.

Before this balmy midday Jackie drove us to Tesco for shopping, and on to a forest drive.

The pannage pigs we encountered just outside Burley were Oxford Sandy and Blacks, silently rooting acorns from beneath heaps of fallen leaves.

Further on into the village a cyclist resting on a bench in Pound Lane became the accidental centre of attention for

groups of visitors focussing on wandering ponies.

He was very happy when I quipped “You will appear in lots of photographs”.

As so often, ponies and a foal wandered about the village car park.

This year, possibly, we thought, because of the long summer heat wave drying the soil to the consistency of rock, there has been a dearth of mushrooms in the woodlands, which are now receiving life-giving rainfall.

A cluster around a group of birch trunks in Beechwood Lane is the first such quantity we have seen.

This evening we dined on meaty roasted chicken thighs; crisp Yorkshire pudding; crunchy carrots; firm cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, with tasty onion gravy. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Shiraz.

How Many Centuries?

Jackie drove me to Lymington where I spent the morning in the EE showroom. I had been two days without a service on O2. There is no other supplier’s showroom within several miles of us, and I could not telephone O2.

Cutting a long story short, I decided to transfer to EE, where it is possible to speak to a real person in an accessible building. My old Samsung, a good 10 years old, is now obsolete, so I also upgraded to the current model.

Miraculously, my O2 account worked this afternoon.

Late this afternoon, we took a short forest drive.

I stepped out on Holmsley Passage

and photographed autumn bracken in surrounding woodland

and undulating landscape.

Voices of the two young women on the winding road had carried way up the hill behind me.

Further on, I wondered for how many centuries had shafts of sunlight outlined the mossy mounds of the ancient hedgerow banks along Bisterne Close, or

the backs of generations of smiling young pigs, 

gleefully guzzling

acorns on the steep slopes leading out of Burley.

This evening we dined on second helpings of last night’s takeaway with the same beverages.

Somewhat Disconcerting

Excessive rain interspersed with splendid sunlight spells was the order of the day.

In the early gloom gluttonous sparrows from across the road commandeered the seed feeder.

A later downpour dropped puddles on our paths.

Bright sunshine left sparkling garden views

sporting long shadows.

After lunch we took a drive into the forest via Lyndurst Road,

still displaying autumnal burnished gold,

and mushroom omelettes on the verges.

Blending well with their environment a pair of Oxford Sandy and Black pigs snorted, snuffled, and slurped their sodden way

about the soggy terrain on which floated leaves fallen from reflected trees above.

I have to say that having my knees butted by snotty snouts smearing mucus on contact was somewhat disconcerting.

Pools like this one are spreading across the forest.

A wide one flanks the entrance to Honey Lane, Burley. Even in dry weather our Modus would not survive a trip slaloming the potholes in the lane itself.

A solitary rook stood sentinel at its usual post along the Burley Road.

Constantly changing light produced dramatic skies and landscapes.

A rainbow outside Burley suggested that arboreal gold does lie at its end.

A fast flowing stream bubbled across the ford on Holmsley Passage.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s hot and spicy paprika pork, boiled potatoes and carrots, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Cabernet Franc.