Away From Its Natural Environment


Rorschach shadows

It was a bit early in the morning to be presented with a Rorschach test, but that is what Jackie spotted in this morning’s sunlight.

Cosmoses in iron urn

The cosmos and lobelia planting in the iron urn obscures the gazebo path.

Ginger lily

Ginger lilies are now in bloom.

After the early burst of sunlight, the morning was dull, but the skies cleared this afternoon when we visited the last four stragglers in the Hordle Scarecrow Trail. All are individual entries.

Scarecrow 15

There are two more Rapunzels, being No.15 at 22 Stopples Lane,

Scarecrow 20

and 20 at 6, Heath Road.

Scarecrow 21

No. 21, The Pied Piper of Hamelin attracts the rats two doors away at number 10;

Scarecrow 19

Rodents, in the form of entry number 19, Cinderella’s mice, also appear to infest 43, Charnock Close.

River Avon at Christchurch

After this, Jackie drove us to Christchurch, on the banks of the River Stour.

Red arrows 1Red Arrows 3Red Arrows 2

The Red Arrows ( were performing various routines in the sky above,

Red arrows trail 1Red Arrows trail 2

leaving their trademark trails passing the mastheads.


Various activities included kayaking;

Couple in boat

more leisurely boating;

Feeding swans

feeding the birds,


like these swans vying for victuals;

Boy kicking pigeon

kicking pigeons;

Little girl swinging on rail

swinging on rails;

Toddler and balloon 2

or toddling along, balloon in tow.

Trio on benchSteps, bin, willow

Some, more sedentary, enjoyed the comforts of benches and deckchairs.

Groups on quay

Woman, boy, girl

Others stepped it out along the quayside.

Group with wheelchair

One young woman enjoyed a ride in a wheelchair.

Couple with ice creams

Jackie and I were not the only ones who enjoyed an ice cream.

Hippo and mallard

Some way from its natural environment, a hippopotamus canoodled with a mallard,

Beach huts and waterfowl

and, in the distance, waterfowl lined up in harmony with the beach huts of Mudeford. Thanks to my friend, Lisa, I now know that the woman on the right is paddle boarding.

This evening we dined on a highly spiced pizza and salad. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I drank Almocreve tinto reserva 2014.

Candid Camera

From mid-morning to mid-afternoon today was a bit of a struggle. I had taken on a project with my computer which had best be kept under wraps for the moment. It did my head in. For some reason each time I tried to send an e-mail with attachments my work disappeared from the screen and I was being informed there was no e-mail activity. The messages, complete with attachments were lodged in my outbox.
Eventually I telephoned my recipient who confirmed she had received the e-mail. We decided I should employ the classic IT Crowd device of turning the machine off and turning it on again. My Mac wouldn’t let me turn it off. This was because Mail was blocking that activity. Then I remembered Force Quit, so I forced Mail to be off and was then able to shut down my computer, wait a bit, and turn it on again. This whole business was repeated several times before, inexplicably, everything was back to normal and I was able to send my work off.
By this time I needed a draught of sea air. Jackie obligingly drove us to Mudeford. She sat in the car park with her puzzles and the waves in front of her, whilst I turned left and walked along Avon Beach for a while, then back to, and around, the quay.
Riptide and IOW
There is a strong riptide at this crabbing and yachting village, where the River Stour comes into contact with the English Channel. Riptide on sea wallThe collision sends shockwaves to thump against the sea wall and slide quickly back over the concrete and shingle.
Photographer and model on driftwood
Family on hillFamily in silhouetteAt first I walked in an Easterly direction. The sun was lowering in the Western sky, so that when I turned to face the way I had come, everything and everyone was backlit. Boy on beachThis made for some interesting silhouettes, but sometimes that large orb, dominating an almost clear sky, blinded even the camera.
Beach shell and shingleThere was a very clear view of the Isle of Wight and the needles. Shells, seaweed, and shingle blended beautiful pastel shades on the surface of the beach which was pretty densely populated on this most springlike Sunday.Group on beach It seemed that families and working people were taking advantage of the first splendid weekend day we have had for some time. Children, dogs, and beach balls were in evidence.Seagulls Crabbing being a favoured activity along this stretch of water, the seagulls showed great interest in groups that, like the mother and daughter hugging the sea wall, made their way along to the higher levels to dangle their lines into the water.
Outboard motorOcean Diver outboard
Pleasure and working craft were on the river and the sea.Rower Outboard motors, clear of the riptide current, sped into the harbour, and a rower made his way around the quayside.Motorboat Aquila The motorboat, Aquila, however, having come from the Island, struggled against the current.
Girl on roller skatesShadows, especially by the time I was wandering around the quay, were long, as shown by those cast by a little girl struggling along on roller skates, and her mother.
Quayside viewQuayside crab basketsQuayside reflectionsI was intrigued by another photographer who scoured the crab baskets area taking photographs very similar to those I had taken last September. When she turned up reflected in water on the quay, I couldn’t believe my luck. I showed her the result which pleased her, and she exclaimed: ‘Candid Camera’.  This is a classic TV show based on ordinary people being filmed in unusual situations. Only after the filming is completed are they told: ‘Smile. You’re on Candid Camera’.
We dined an hour or so after our return home. Some dishes, such as chilli con carne have enhanced flavours the second time around. We normally prepare enough for multiples of two, and either eat more the next day, or freeze it down for later consumption. Yesterday’s production was both enjoyed this evening and had a share added to the freezer. It was delicious. The rice was prepared in the same way as yesterday, but with the addition of glistening fried onions and yellow pepper. A side dish of green beans completed the first course, and bread pudding was to follow. I drank more of the Bergerac, while Jackie’s choice was Hoegaarden.