A Sunny Interlude

I’m happy to say that James Peacock sorted out our internet problem this morning, in time for me to keep a dental checkup appointment, which was satisfactory.

We celebrated by buying a new washing machine to replace our older one which is becoming cantankerous.

This afternoon I was able to feature yesterday’s forest drive with photographs.

After three days and nights of gales it was refreshing that afternoon to experience gleaming sunlight glinting off

wet leaves and rivulets running down verges such as these in

Undershore, with its

wet leaves,

glistening branches,

and lichen covered trunks rising from high, soggy, verges.

Broken, lichen-green, branches dangled from wind blown trees.

High hedgerows lined one side of Bull Hill

while autumn leaves

and holly berries carpeted the other, more level, equally damp, terrain.

The wheels of most vehicles, like this bus at East Boldre, flung up showers of scintillating spray.

Outside East End the beautifully patterned hides of damp pasturing ponies sparkled in low relief.

One reflective verge revealed an image of a pedestrian gate beside a cattle grid at the Lymington end of Sowley Lane.

While I was making up my mind whether to focus on a flock of pheasants or a female deer in a field, the ruminant fled off into the distance.

This evening we dined on pork spare ribs marinaded in lime and ginger sauce and topped with satay sauce on a bed of Jackie’s colourful savoury rice, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Pierre Jaurant Merlot – Cabernet Sauvignon Bordeaux 2020.

Along St Leonard’s Road

Once more I spent time this afternoon in EE’s Lymington High Street store. Those who have followed the saga of the last few days will know that I have been unable to extract the all-important replacement PAC code from O2 to enable the change of mobile phone supplier to EE to take place.

I decided to ask EE to sort this out, and made an appointment with Caleb, the store manager. First I had to speak to O2’s Customer Services representative. My new helper made the call to negotiate the robot machines and arrive at the relevant department, then passed the phone to me. The procedure I had gone through yesterday was repeated until I requested that the two respective employees spoke directly to each other. They both obliged. The conclusion was reached that O2 could not renew the code because their system showed it had been activated, and would stay in force until November. EE has it stated as rejected, preventing them from proceeding. Definitely a question of left and right hands. Caleb passed the issue to his special projects team who will liaise with their counterparts in O2. This could take up to 48 hours.

Our later restorative forest drive took Jackie and me along St Leonard’s Road which runs from East End past St Leonard’s Grange.

The late afternoon light cast shadows and reflections across the recently accumulated pools along the verges and gateways.

One reflected post

was from a fence stretching towards the Isle of Wight.

An apple tree was producing ripening fruit.

Plentiful pheasants were in evidence, possibly from a breeding farm nearby.

Some romp freely among the fields;

others prefer the walls of the ruined medieval grange;

or loiter in the hedgerows.

The more suicidally inclined try to outrun the car like young squirrels, or deliberately play chicken by dashing across it. Maybe these options are preferable to waiting to be peppered with buckshot.

This evening we dined on three prawn preparations – hot and spicy, salt and pepper, and Tempranillo, served on Jackie’s colourful and wholesome savoury rice, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Puglia Primitivo. 

Late Afternoon In Ran’s Wood

Many hours of my life have been spent tramping the streets of London. These consequently appear on many of my blog posts, although one series has been particularly dedicated to them From 2004 to 2008 inclusive I made hundreds of photographs with the constraint that the road name must be included in the picture. They featured from Streets Of London posted 21st May 2015 to Tyburnia And Other Parts Of West London on 30th January 2021.

Having recently been alerted to the reader-friendly possibility of creating new categories, such as that of “A Knight’s Tale” I spent much of today converting the above-mentioned series from “Uncategorised” to “Streets of London”.

Towards the later part of this afternoon we took a forest drive.

Driving down Furzey Lane to Ran’s Wood Jackie was able to stop the car and photograph a plethora of pheasants through her window.

She parked up and I wandered the woodland, with its soggy terrain; its browsing ponies; its lichen covered trees; its burnished bracken; and just one pair of walkers.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy pork paprika and savoury vegetable rice. She drank Carlsberg and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2019.

An Agility

After an early lunch Jackie drove me to The Grove Pharmacy at Christchurch for my second Covid vaccination. My appointment was for 1.00 p.m. We arrived at 12.30. I was back in the car at 12.46.

We returned home via Avon where I photographed two landscapes. The water meadows in the first are now very dry.

I have paolsoren to thank for an agility being one collective noun for goats. Not far from these landscapes we stopped in a lay-by to photograph a field full of goats and

a multitude of young kids running around; practising head butting; squaring up like smiling assassins; climbing on logs and tables; and generally demonstrating agility – even the creature butted off the table landed safely. As Jackie pointed out, the mothers just left their offspring to get on with the fun.

Pheasants wandered about roads and fields, like these in Anna Lane.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy hot pasta arrabbiata with tender runner beans. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Malbec.

The Fox And Hare

On a sun-bright, but still chilly, breezy, morning we took a drive to the east of the forest.

Jackie parked the Modus on the verge of Sowley Lane and decanted me and my camera.

Ponies shared the broad verge pasturage with basking cattle, one of whom looked askance at me when I photographed her feet. The close-up of the sorrel pony demonstrates why they all sport wrinkled noses to enable them to nibble the short grass.

A cock pheasant canoodled with a spotlit hen beside a gated path leading to Sowley Lake until they and others disappeared with harsh squawks.

A wide-wing-spanned buzzard, taking care to keep naked branches between itself and my probing lens, glided smoothly overhead, until an eerie silence rent the air.

Meanwhile, Jackie photographed another pheasant hiding in the shrubbery on the opposite side of the road.

Similarly, the Assistant Photographer focussed on a camouflaged chaffinch I captured in plain sight.

A dead tree stretched over the animals on the verge; a brightly clad cyclist blended well with the myriads of brightly-hued daffodils lining the lanes,

which were rife with other groups of pedallers practicing defensive cycling. The first of these trios was happy to collect a convoy behind a delivery van on Lodge Lane; the second swept round a bend on South Baddersley Road carrying out a debate about where they were.

Pheasants usually scuttle off into the hedgerows when we arrive. This one, its feathers all puffed up remained motionless enough for me to become concerned enough to disembark for investigation. It was ambulant enough to walk slowly across the road. Another trick of these birds is to dash from the undergrowth in an apparent suicide attempt on vehicles’ wheels. We wondered whether this had been a survivor from such a game of chicken.

Having, through a five-barred gate, spotted another pheasant approaching a couple of horses on the far side of a field on Lodge Lane, I poked my camera over the gate in order to picture the impending encounter. In ample time, as the equines picked up speed, the bird veered off to avoid their thudding hooves.

Leather-lipped donkeys munched prickly gorse at East End, where, a few days ago, I had photographed a thatcher at work.

We now see he had crowned his roof with a fox chasing a hare which would never be caught.

As we passed Lymington harbour yachts we noticed a man descending rigging.

This evening for dinner we enjoyed our second sitting of Hordle Chinese Take Away fare, which keeps well for two days, and the same accompanying beverages.

The First Of October

My Under Gardener tasks this cooler, more cloudy, morning consisted of a little clearing to compost and a lot of rose decapitation.

Among the regular bloomers like the White Winchester Cathedral,

the prolific bright yellow Absolutely Fabulous, and the fulsome Lady Emma Hamilton a number of repeat performers are taking the stage.

Just Joey has risen from

the red carpet that continues to attract bustling bees.

The peachy velvet Schoolgirl graces the arbour

beneath which Gertrude Jekyll stretches from sleep, while

budding Deep Secret is currently keeping us in the dark.

This afternoon we drove to the less touristy east of the forest.

We had been promised a 30% chance of rain today. The nearest we got to that was a distant fall when driving along St Leonards Road.

The skies on the opposite side, across The Solent over the Isle of Wight, had no rain to drop.

The roof of the ancient St Leonard’s granary, which, as explained in https://derrickjknight.com/2016/08/04/salt-marshes/ once served Beaulieu Abbey, glows a rich rusty orange;

a pigeon surveys the scene from a ruined arch bearing similarly hued highlights.

Our mighty oaks do suffer in the heavy winds. Here, one huge limb has recently been wrenched off. The stump in the fourth picture has been a more distant casualty.

Further along a covey of juvenile pheasants were possibly discussing the approaching 1st of October when their shooting season starts.

This evening we dined on a rack of pork ribs in a rich barbecue sauce, mini spring rolls, Jackie’s tasty egg fried rice, and tender green beans, with which the Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank Trapiche Pure unoaked Argentinian Malbec 2019 – a birthday present from Helen and Bill.

Avian Pairs

Today was bright and sunny, if a little chilly.

Because this was the weekend, there was a little more humanity on the forest roads, mainly in the form of

family groups of walkers like these on St Leonards Road,

and cyclists in pairs or singly, like this one on Sowley Lane.

We had planned to visit the beach at the end of Tanners Lane, but thought better of it when we met a row of parked cars near the entrance. Clearly the shingle would be crowded. Jackie backed up a long way before reaching a turning space.

The narrow track leading solely to the beach beside the Solent is one of our ancient thoroughfares that is bordered by

high banks and deep ditches, centuries of erosion having exposed gnarled roots. This verge is on the side edged by fields;

the opposite side flanks gardens, like this one, the top of which is fenced against the road above, from which we can look down on the cottage below.

Blackthorn blossom blooms beneath the bank.

 

Donkeys dined in ditches,

along the verges,

and up the banks.

Sometimes, like the man with the red flag during the early years of motor traffic, they kept the speed down by leading from the front. The passenger in this car was doing what I do, and photographing the donkey.

Sowley Lane is flanked by fields, one of which bears the first coat of bright yellow pigment that will develop into oil seed rape.

A pheasant courtship was taking place in the next field.

I turned my attention to ponies on the verges, one of which animals bore uncomfortable looking red eyes.

A pair of mallards waddled past as I approached another along the dappled road.

A cyclist approached as the two ducks neared the original pony now being joined by another.

The drake and his mate crossed the road as I attempted to come a bit closer.

They slipped into the water-filled ditch. As I pointed my lens they took flight. I just about managed to catch one of them.

One pony crossed back across the road and left its companion to

have an energetic scratch.

We returned home via Lisle Court Road which featured a sun-spotted thatched cottage,

with a neighbouring iconic red telephone box having undergone a makeover.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s classic chicken jalfrezi; savoury rice, palak paneer, onion bahjis, and plain paratha, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the El Zumbido Garnacha, Syrah.

“The Only Fliers…..”

The sun smiled late and only fleetingly on us as we took a dull drive into the forest this morning.

On an unnamed path near South Baddesley Road we discovered

Two small crosses and a wreath adorn the autumnal acorn leaf carpet pattern beneath the board telling the story.

Biggifying the map gives the location of the still extant Blister hangar. Wikipedia tells us that ‘a blister hangar is a novel arched, portable aircraft hangar designed by notable British airport architect Graham R Dawbarn patented by Miskins and Sons in 1939. Originally made of wooden ribs clad with profiled steel sheets, steel lattice ribs and corrugated steel sheet cladding later became the norm.’

Beyond the tree line across a nearby field the hump back of the Isle of Wight can be seen.

When photographing the windsock and a murder of crows, Jackie observed that these were the only fliers taking off from this location today.

Beside Hundred Lane

and its neighbouring fields

bustling pheasants scrabbled among stiff cut grain stalks.

A friendly equestrienne led us along

 

Church Lane.

Sway Tower now nestles among autumnal trees.

Back at home, Jackie, under the supervision of her resident robin, planted a euphorbia.

“Where’s Nugget?” (47)

Elizabeth came to lunch before taking me off on a secret trip. I would have loved to have made photographs in the venue but could not do so because I did not want Jackie to know anything about it. Yet. Hopefully the time will come.

After a cup of tea my sister returned home and Jackie and I dined on smooth white pepper-flecked mashed potato; old gold piquant cauliflower cheese; and pale lemon smoked haddock; lifted by bright green beans and vibrant orange carrots. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cervine Elegance

Occasional sunny spells on a clouded morning developed into bright sunshine by the time we drove into the forest this afternoon.

Jackie spent some time collecting cuttings with which to populate the

greenhouse pots.

The orange poppies that last just a day don’t normally emerge from the soil until spring. We have several clumps now. These, incongruously beside more seasonal asters, are in the Cryptomeria Bed

which also houses hot lips

still attracting bees.

The cryptomeria itself can be seen beyond the cordeline Australis lending its name to the Palm Bed;

it stands beside the laurel on the far right of the Phantom Path.

The deep red climbing rose soaring over its arch spanning the Shady Path also doesn’t know it is autumn,

although the Weeping Birch clearly has an inkling.

Elizabeth’s Bed

and the patio planting continue to flourish.

Pelargoniums still hang in baskets.

Nugget, this morning patrolled his fences. This fellow, I think, is a rival displaying discretion. I did see our own robin dive-bomb another which immediately scarpered, but he was too quick for me.

These autumn colours brighten Sway Road;

others burnished the landscape beside the A35,

and glowed beneath

an unnamed lane off Cadnam Lane,

along which clusters of mushrooms burst from the moss coating of a fallen log,

and bracket fungus clutched a living tree.

Pheasants, both cocks and hens, dared anyone actually to drive at the 40 m.p.h. limit.

On one side of Tiptoe Road a pair of ponies cropped the verge outside The Old Bakery;

several more slaked their thirst on a winterbourne pool on the opposite side.

A mare led her foal along the road

to add to the chaos caused by a broken down car.

Returning home along Roger Penny Way we were treated to a display of cervine elegance as a young stag stepped on pointe across the road in front of us.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s tasty and wholesome liver and bacon casserole (for recipe see Jackie’s comment below); roast potatoes and butternut squash; crunchy orange carrots, and bright green firm Brussels sprouts, with she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Saint-Chinian 2017.

The Freedom Of Their Cousins

Early this morning we took a drive into the forest. 

From Lymington we entered the sun-dappled narrow, winding, Undershore towards Pilley,

finding glimpses of autumn foliage there and in Lodge Road, across which

a pair of female pheasants trotted.

A group of somnolent ponies occupied Bull Hill.

What. I often wonder, do the field horses make of the freedom of their equine cousins?

This afternoon I watched recordings of the Rugby World Cup matches between Argentina and Tonga; between Japan and Ireland; and between South Africa and Namibia.

Our dinner this evening consisted of Jackie’s wholesome cottage pie; crunchy carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli; tender cabbage and leeks, with sumptuous gravy. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Shiraz.