“The Smell Of Autumn”

Today was pleasantly temperate. We took an early drive into the forest where the wider roads are often crossed by hoofed animals who make the own tracks into the woodland.

We stopped at the junction between Crow Hill and Charles’s Lane for me to photograph examples.

The track forks with one tine running alongside Charles’s Lane

and the other crossing it to

continue beside Crow Hill.

Serendipitously, as I was making this record, a young equestrienne left the hill, crossed the lane,

and continued on down the slope. The horseshoe in this picture will be leaving its own print in the dusty soil;

the cloven , heart-shaped, depression in this will have been left by one of the string of cattle who are the real sappers of this terrain.

A couple of keen, fit, cyclists who stopped at this junction struggled to find a cycle track with the aid of their modern device. I offered them an example of old technology in the the form of an Ordnance Survey map. The woman said she preferred old technology, perused and returned it once they had established that they would probably need to continue on the road for a while. The gentleman recently cycled from Land’s End to John O’ Groats with a companion who had received two knee replacements three years ago. I suppose this should have been somewhat encouraging.

The first of these samples of verge detritus was photographed on the edge of Crow Hill, the second at Ibsley,

perhaps stamped on by an angry cow.

Outside Burley a group gathered beside a pony being fed by a young girl. At one point the animal turned away from the hand that the young lady extended, but later thought better of it.

“The smell of autumn”, fondly uttered Jackie as the scent of oak smoke from burning branches drifted into our nostrils.

We followed a splendid veteran car through Ibsley. The driver indicated that we should pass him. We waited on ahead so I could photograph him from the front. He turned off into a side road. Perhaps there cannot be too many happy accidents in one day.

We enjoyed a late breakfast at Hockey’s Farm shop in South Gorley.

A pair of young donkeys, showing signs of moulting, stopped for a snack in the middle of the road outside.

This afternoon Ronan of Tom Sutton Heating visited to check on our central heating problem. He diagnosed a drop in pressure resulting from a hidden leak in the system. He applied two cans of stuff designed to seek out and seal it.

This afternoon, Jackie gave the lavender in the Rose Garden a good haircut. She was not alone. “Where’s Nugget?” (10)

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent beef in red wine; creamy mashed potato; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; and tender runner beans I picked earlier. The Culinary Queen drank Blue Moon and I drank Tesco’s finest Western Cape Malbec 2017.

Conwy Suspension Bridge

According to Wikipedia ‘The Conwy Suspension Bridge is a Grade I-listed structure and is one of the first road suspension bridges in the world. Located in the medieval town of Conwy in Conwy county boroughNorth Wales, it is now only passable on foot. The bridge is now in the care of the National Trust. It originally carried the A55(T) road from Chester to Bangor.

Built by Thomas Telford, the 99.5-metre-long (326 ft) suspension bridge[1] spans the River Conwy next to Conwy Castle, a World Heritage Site. The bridge was built in 1822–26 at a cost of £51,000 and replaced the ferry at the same point. It is in the same style as one of Telford’s other bridges, the Menai Suspension Bridge crossing the Menai Strait. The original wooden deck was replaced by an iron roadway in the late nineteenth century and it was strengthened by adding wire cables above the original iron chains in 1903. The following year a six-foot-wide (1.8 m) walkway was added for pedestrian traffic. The bridge was superseded by a new road bridge built alongside and closed on 13/12/1958 [2] when the Rt. Hon. Henry Brooke, MP performed the opening ceremony of the new bridge. [3]The suspension bridge is now only used as a footbridge and has been owned by the National Trust since 1965 who make a small charge for entry.[4]

Telford designed the bridge to match the adjacent Conwy Castle.[1] The bridge deck is suspended by four tiers of two chains each (a fifth tier was added later)[4] carried over castellated towers that have a central archway over the road with machicolation.[1] The chains are anchored on the east side of the river by a freestone and concrete plinth while those on the western side are anchored to the eastern barbican of the castle and bedrock. Part of the castle had to be demolished during construction to anchor the suspension cables.[4]

Standing on this bridge with the castle in the background is my maternal grandmother in about 1926. In the pushchair – they didn’t have buggies in those days – I imagine we have my mother and Uncle Roy. I think her companion in the second picture is the relative with whom they stayed. These were my two retouching efforts this morning.

Jackie has continued working on the stumpery, seen here in context at the corner of the Weeping Birch Bed.

From my vantage point on the Heligan Path bench I admired the planting of petunias and geraniums in this hanging basket beside the south fence.

Increasingly sleek and vociferous by the day, young Nugget is growing up convinced we are his family.

Darting around from stumps to gravel path and back, with an occasional foray into the ferns, at a speed which Usain Bolt would envy, he was ready with his observations and suggestions.

The afternoon was dull and humid, but cooler than the last two days. Jackie drove me to Waterstones in Lymington to spend a book token. We drove on to Lepe and back. The trip yielded no photographs.

This evening we dined on flavoursome fish pie; crisp cauliflower and carrots; and tender asparagus (left by Becky) and runner beans. Jackie drank Blue Moon and I drank Ian’s excellent El Zumbido Garnacha Syrah 2017.