Many Sightings Of Roe Deer

After lunch today Jackie drove us all to Hockey’s Farm Shop where we left the young family to explore while we took a short drive in the near vicinity.

A veritable herd of donkeys in the road outside the shop were engaged in their favourite leisurely game of disruption of the traffic. One attempted to join me in the passenger seat when I returned to the car. The greens at Ibsley, although the waters had receded somewhat, continued to offer

waterlogged reflections of trees above,

and a paddling pool for ponies,

one of whom was in sight of cousins casting shadows on the other side of the road.

Two gentlemen sat atop Rockford Sandpit;

their voices reached me at the bottom, whence I photographed the scene

and its surrounding woodland.

From Ellingham Drove, where we spotted one of our many sightings of roe deer in the shade, we drove to the main road where we filled up with petrol and returned to Hockey’s to collect the others.

Later, following the advice of SueW, I recovered the pictures from the following posts:

This evening we all dined on more of Jackie’s tasty pasta Bolognese, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Valle Central Reserva Privada Syrah, 2021.

Tail End Charlie

When my struggles to pay a couple of bills on line, although ultimately successful, this afternoon had reduced me to a state of apoplexy, Jackie suggested a forest drive. This seemed a good idea.

We had driven up to and beyond Penn Common without finding anything of photographic interest until we found fauna galore down

Newbridge Road, where Jackie parked the Modus and I wandered

among the cattle in the woodland where winter- shaggy curious cows and calves roamed, scratched, canoodled and occasionally disrupted traffic.

Further down the hill was the domain of ponies, also sporting their extra thick coats brought on by our recent cold spell.

A few of these had crossed the road to converse with field horses at their gate.

As we approached Bramshaw a string of Saddleback piglets escaping from a pen somewhere streamed across the road in front of us. Jackie wound down her window for me to catch them rushing by on the muddy verge. I almost missed Tail End Charlie who had put on a spurt in an attempt not to be left behind. He had even missed out on the complete colouring carried by his porcine cousins.

Later this afternoon, with the usual help from SueW, I recovered pictures to the following posts:

This evening we all dined on tasty roast gammon, piquant cauliflower cheese, creamy mashed potato, crunchy carrots, tender runner beans, cabbage, and leeks , with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Coonawarra Shiraz 2021.

Who Needs A Rug

With help and encouragement from SueW, I have today replaced the missing photographs from the following posts dated from 23rd to 28th October 2022. New followers from before mid-December may not have seen them.

Flo, Dillon, and Ellie were collected by Ian at mid-day to take them for a few days to Southbourne.

After lunch we took a forest drive.

On Forest Road a grazing pony blended with the bracken.

We looked down on the landscape below Braggers Lane,

Where a paddock was entered through a fence that lay between a decaying stump and a gnarled tree trunk;

a New Forest pony accompanied a field horse protected against the cold temperatures by a rug, of which the hardy little equine has no need. Throughout the day we noticed field horses wrapped up and ponies uncovered.

During their safe season, pheasants abound in certain areas of the forest. Most scurry through a hedge when poked at by a camera lens. Not this fellow on parade on Ringwood Road who happily strutted about showing his best side.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome shepherd’s pie with fried potato topping, crunchy carrots, firm cauliflower and tender cabbage with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Shiraz.

To Catch A Worm

I spent much of the morning recovering pictures for

Immediately after lunch we took drive into the forest where

a weak sun photographed over Charles’s Lane

and through trees at Ogden North feebly attempted to pierce cold cloud cover.

Earlier, Martin had been stymied in his work on the patio by the frozen cementing material. He left after

cutting and carrying from the Back Drive the paving slabs he had oped to fix in place.

The knitted robin decorating the Tiptoe post-box on Wootton Road, knowing where he would land, having risen early enough to catch a juicy worm, donned a breast bib to compete with the Royal Mail red,

A string of ponies gathered outside The Rising Sun at Bashley.

Looking across the valley beneath the aforementioned Ogdens North frost still lay on the roofs, while a pillar of bonfire smoke made its way to merge with the clouds.

A pair of field horses sported rugs to put their unfashionable companion to shame,

while others simply blended with their golden hay.

This evening we all dined on oven fish and chips, sliced pickled gherkins, pickled onions, onion rings, and mushy peas, with which Jackie and I both drank Trentino Pinot Grigio 2021.

Jigsaw Pieces

No doubt because of the lack of cloud cover, albeit much colder, Martin was able once more to tackle the patio paving project in bright sunshine this morning.

Having mixed his cement on the back drive he wheeled each load

down to the patio, smoothed it, and laid the slabs on it.

His pattern was soon beginning to shape up.

In the meantime Jackie and I took a short forest drive after shopping at Tesco.

Ponies were once more in evidence on the moorland at East Boldre.

This one was practicing their technique of flattening unwanted bracken in order to reach the grass beneath.

A sharp shower put a temporary stop to Martin’s work this afternoon, but at least we were able to see its colour when wet.

Contrary to appearances, our friend does not spend time texting friends. His pattern is worked out on his home computer.

He has transferred it to his phone to which he refers while placing the jigsaw parts because his printer doesn’t work. If he sends me an e-mail of the pattern I will be able to print it – mine currently produces incorrect colours, but for his purposes that won’t matter.

This evening we dined on smoked haddock cheese-centred fish cakes, Jackie’s piquant cauliflower cheese, and peas, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Valle Central Reserva Privado Syrah 2021.

A Windblown Neck Scarf

After a morning shop in Tesco we took a brief forest drive.

The dryer day fanned by a gentler breeze was illuminated by, albeit short, sunny spells.

For about three months, along a stretch of Christchurch Road where it is impossible to stop the car without causing chaos, we have hoped to photograph two lengths of corrugated iron. Today Jackie parked on the drive beside a closed farm gate and I was able to look back to a

long piece wrapped round the branch of a tree like a neck scarf blown by one of our gale force winds; the other is buried in a hedge and out of sight from this viewpoint.

The rippling, reflective, and effervescent stream at Wootton Bridge now flows fast

and laps the bases of mossy-rooted trees.

Ponies, like these at Bisterne Close, have ventured out into the woodland since the recent deluge.

This evening we dined on tender roast lamb; boiled new potatoes; cheese vegetable bake; firm Brussels sprouts and carrots, and meaty gravy, with which I drank more of the Shiraz and Jackie drank Montes Reserva Chardonnay 2020.

33 Hours From Dawn To Sunset

The gales were back in force today, with 50 m.p.h. winds and driving rain – so much so that it was hard to remember

yesterday’s dawn

when we set off for a forest drive in headlights-gloom at 3 p.m.

Some 30 minutes later brief glimpses of blue sky and white cloud ripped indigo canopies above

the rippling reflections of waterlogged roadside verges along St Leonards Road.

where damp ponies

listlessly trudged

past the ruins of the 13th century granary barn that once served Beaulieu Abbey.

Sunset was visible at East Boldre just after 4 p.m. Later the rains hammered down once more.

This evening we all dined on chicken pieces marinaded in mango piri-piri sauce and Jackie’s savoury vegetable rice, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Côtes du Rhône. Everyone else abstained.

Veritable Lakes

This being New Year’s Day there were very few vehicles on the road when we set off into the forest. The temperature was cooler, but the gloom was at least dry, which is more than can be said for the moorland and woodland, such as that alongside

Holmsley Road, which had become a veritable lake reflecting now naked trees, where, despite the stillness of the air, ripples quivered spasmodically into a life of their own.

Gorseacre’s Private Driveway sign now functioned as a water level gauge, while posts placed to deter parking floated away.

Groups of competitors pushed their trolleys across the somewhat drier Burley golf course.

Damp ponies

were reflected in scooped out basins alongside Burley Road.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent cottage pie; firm carrots, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts; and tasty grav, with which I finished the Kruger Elements.

Hung Out To Dry

Early this morning Jackie stocked up with provisions at Ferndene Farm Shop while I sat in the car, then continued into the forest via

Beckley Common Road, which, like all lanes on this decidedly damp, drear, day bore reflecting pools along the verges,

and soggy autumn leaves there

and in the bordering woodland, where someone had hung

a pair of toys out to dry.

Equally damp were the ponies foraging alongside Forest Road.

Distant landscapes, as, for example, visible from Wilverley Road, were distinctly hazy.

Martin and his younger son, Arlo, visited briefly at lunchtime to deliver a Christmas card with a warm message, and beverages for Jackie and for me selected from information gleaned on this blog.

This evening we dined on more of Hordle Chinese Take Away’s excellent fare with which I drank Gran Selone Italian red wine.

Shadow-Streaked Woodland

Although still cold, today was brighter and sunnier, casting long shadows early this afternoon, so we took a short forest drive after lunch.

Tempting me out of the car, a trio of ponies grazed or snoozed on the moorland outside Sway.

I then tramped over the shadow-streaked woodland floor featuring meandering fingers of mossy roots carpeted with golden, glinting, leaves on the approach to Bisterne Close.

This area has its share of decaying trees gradually returning to the soil;

and of scooped out bowls of winterbourne pools reflecting now skeletal trees on their surface on which float fallen leaves slowly descending like rocking canoes onto their clear beds.

Although the anonymous knitter of Pilley Street appears to have stopped decorating her letter box with the death of Queen Elizabeth, the group in Tiptoe Road are continuing their work.

This Christmas offering was rather windswept when I photographed it on our way home.

This evening we dined on tender roast lamb; crisp Yorkshire pudding and roast potatoes, some softer ones being sweet; crunchy carrots; firm broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower, and meaty gravy with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden, I drank more of the Gran Selone, and Flo and Dillon drank fruit juice cordial.