Robin Visits Woodpeckers

The sunniest, coolest, part of another day of developing humidity was before we left this morning to visit Mum at Woodpeckers. Jackie took advantage of this to carry out an early spell of gardening.

I nipped out to photograph her Head Gardener’s Walk clearance, which she had completed yesterday evening, and she showed me the solid lump of hellebore root which had never produced flowers during our time here, that she had prised out of the soil and was too heavy for her to lift.

Mum was on very good form, conversing with wit and humour, especially when we commented on the haircut she had received just before we arrived;

and when she instructed Jackie to quarter a serviette offered because she had forgotten to bring her tissues. After each use the sections were neatly folded, possibly for further application later when they had dried out.

My mother can see very little now, but did struggle to catch sight of a fearless baby robin that darted overhead, paused in a small tree, perched temporarily on a rail in her eye-line, dived on an ants’ nest beneath, returned to the rail to digest its prey, then swooped across Mum’s shoulder, to repeat the process at will. Jean could see the flash of action. She could also hear the building work across the road and ask what was being erected.

More gardening was undertaken this afternoon. My contribution was extensive dead heading, and breaking up the hellebore roots pictured earlier. They were indeed too heavy to be carried in one dump bag, so I distributed them among several.

This evening we dined on roast beef, horseradish sauce, boiled potatoes, crisp Yorkshire pudding, crunchy carrots and broccoli, with meaty gravy. Jackie drank more of the Sauvignon Blanc, and I drank more of the Shiraz.

A Rapid Change Of Light.


Robin juvenile

Early this morning we had an avian visitor, in the form of a juvenile robin looking wistfully through the kitchen window, during intervals between frantic flapping. Jackie lifted it up and set it free, but didn’t wait for me to get in another shot.

Unbeknown to us, when we visited Lymington Quay a little later, we just missed Frances and her friends Dave and Kay who also spent some time there.

Young man on Mavis Robinson's memorial bench

Initially oblivious of the hydraulic load-lift behind him, a young man dozed on a bench

Ship Inn

against the backdrop of the Ship Inn,

Ship Inn rooftop

with its lichen painted roof.

The Boat House Café

Tourists gathered around The Boat House Café,

Waiting for a cruise

 waited for the cruises to begin,

Train and boats

or travelled on the ferry port train.

Boat detail 1


while more regular visitors prepared the rigging of their boats,


and a pair of kayakers set off between moored hulls.

As the quayside filled up and the hot sun rose in the sky, we set off for the cooler, less crowded, forest.

Boxer Dog

At East Boldre an imperious boxer dog occupied his own personal observation platform. (See comments from arlingwoman and 10000hoursleft below. The dog is an Old English Mastiff)


Cyclists enjoyed their track around the Ladycross Estate near Brockenhurst


where dappled sunlight played on the woodland trees,

Log rising from bog

and Jackie saw a dinosaur emerging from a dried up bog.

Ponies 1

In this weather, ponies tend to shelter under trees, utilising their fly whisks.

Ponies 2

It seems they have learned that those in white clothing need less shade.

Even before we arrived home, we could see mist rolling in from the sea. I didn’t need to suggest we went and had a look at it. My Driver just turned away from the house and made straight for the coast, where

Sea mist with invisible Isle of Wight

the Isle of Wight was invisible,

Beach scene in mist 1Beach scene in mist

and a light pall lay over those on the beach.

This afternoon we received a delightful surprise when the three people we hadn’t known had been at the quay arrived for a visit. We spent an enjoyable few hours together, naturally involving highly satisfying admiration of the garden.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s splendid chicken jalfrezi and savoury rice.

Not a bad day, really.

P.S. Barrie Haynes put the following additional information about the lifting device on my Facebook page:  ‘As an amendment to that, the heavy duty ones (as in this case) do use oil when going down. It is released through a small orifice, thus making the tail lift go down slowly and safely with a heavy load and taking the stain of up to a couple of tons off the operating mechanism. So you were right after all Derrick it’s Mechanical (two big chains) Electrical (separate battery on lorry) and Hydraulic (for safety). For anybody reading this, never use a tail lift on a hired vehicle unless you are happy you know exactly how to do it. They can remove fingers!’