Stretching For Holly

Ronan of Tom Sutton Heating spent the morning fixing the boiler problem which turned out to be water in the oil; it seems it was not the drop in temperature which had stopped it working, but the very heavy rain which has got in somewhere. To be more sure Jackie has ordered a tank drier bag from Amazon.

The rain having desisted, much of the floodwater has receded and the icicles melted, although , on this still chilly but dry day ice not reached by the low, weak, sun remains, as we discovered on a forest drive.

Boldre Bridge overlooked a rippling stream, still bearing ice, and reflecting trees and fenceposts.

Nearby, Rodlease Lane still bore arboreal images in pools disturbed by passing vehicles.

Long shadows of a woman and a donkey stretched across the banks of Hatchet Pond and the potholed drive to it;

gulls admired their reflections in the remnants of its ice, while a paddling coot looked on.

The drift paddock on Furzey Lane reflected on the icy pool surrounding it, where

patterns remained unthawed.

A pony reaching up for holly in Ran’s Wood was lit by the lowering sun, which had

set by the time we arrived at Milford on Sea..

Later we dined on Cook’s very tasty vegetarian lasagna brought by Elizabeth last week, and Jackie’s equally flavoursome Chicken and vegetable stewp with delicious garlic bread brought by our sister from the same source. I drank more of the Shiraz and no-one else did.

Enigmas Of Sunlight

Please note that this is a new self hosted site that is having TEMPORARY teething problems including posts not appearing on our Readers. Logging in once to https://derrickjknight.com will hopefully help.

As I sat contemplating on the en suite loo this morning I noticed that the sunlight on the room curtain cast a reflection on the shower door.

The closed door from the bedroom gave an alternative view.

This set me in search of similar plays of light, such as

its games with the window sill and door to our first floor sitting room;

shadows and reflections of the kitchen captain’s chair;

reflections of the Christmas tree, the curtain, and the patio water fountain seen through the glass behind the decorations;

the tree and its shadows on the carpet and

Jackie’s hanging knitted jacket and the arm of her chair.

Ian returned home after lunch and the rest of us later dined on roast chicken pieces; pasta vegetable bake; and spicy pizza, with which I drank Medoza Malbec 2020.

First Frost Of The Year

After the overnight frost we scraped ice of the the car windows soon after 11 a.m. and ventured out into the cold forest’s sunlit chill.

A five barred gate cast its shadows among golden brown autumn leaves, some of which brushed my head on their descent to the verge of

South Sway Road.

Wootton moorland’s milk-white mantle was streaked with silver

coating leaves, ferns, and grasses.

A pointillist’s brush had stippled the still lingering leaves.

Although traces of ice still continued to cloud the surfaces of neighbouring potholes the rippling stream at Wootton Bridge freely flowed.

This evening we enjoyed second helpings of yesterday’s Red Chilli takeaway.

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.

A Tale Of Wasps

Eleanor is a good-tempered child who doesn’t normally make a fuss. It therefore came as a big surprise when, some time after the above picture was taken at yesterday’s barbecue, she let out a piercing yell and continued to cry.

Jackie soon grasped what was wrong and provided the wherewithal to reduce the distress.

For most of this week she has been set on the destruction of two nests –

one underground on the footpath across the Palm Bed

and the other in the stumpery which is after all an insect hotel.

The evening before the party the Terminator discovered, from ankle to upper thigh, beneath her jeans, upwards of 20 rapidly swelling stings and two halves of a wasp. She used up all her creams and a couple of Ibuprofen tablets overnight and bought a new supply in the morning.

She was therefore well equipped to administer anti histamine creams and to prevent vinegar being applied to the child’s sting.

Jackie’s leg was much better this morning, as was mine. Although she seems to have destroyed the nests, she has noticed that wasps are still drinking from the water fountain in the Rose Garden.

I therefore lay in wait for the thirsty visitors and photographed a few.

After lunch we took a brief forest drive.

Alongside the lane into Portmore

Jackie noticed sheep sheltering in the barren landscape, and stepped out of the car to photograph them.

She also pictured cow parsley seeds, as did I;

Additionally, I focussed on burnished bracken on the verge, and a developing sweetcorn crop.

Determined donkeys advanced steadily along the tarmac at East Boldre,

where a few ponies, having left the parched terrain opposite, tried to shelter in clusters beside the village shop, too drained of energy to care where they were putting their feet. The Janus-headed one in Matthew’s Lane did summon up the enthusiasm to make a bee-line for me in a vain search for succour.

Jackie, keen to demonstrate to our concerned readers that I am no longer confined to the passenger seat, photographed me attempting to convince my equine friend that I had nothing for her.

Normally I try to keep my shadow out of a picture, but this seemed to warrant making an exception, since the pony was too close to be kept in focus.

I stepped out of the car again opposite No 1, Sowley Lane to photograph two donkeys, one moulting, on the bend in the road. As I did so, I saw one car with a boat on a trailer approaching from the animals’ side of the road while another vehicle was about to pass them on my side. Neither could have seen or heard the other, and the first would not know he was aiming straight for two animals he could only avoid by slamming on brakes or chancing a head-on collision. I pointed and gesticulated in each direction, hoping they would get the message. Fortunately this alerted them to approach the bend especially slowly. The asses did not move.

This evening we dined on Red Chilli takeaway fare. Main course choices included Lamb Rogan Josh, Chicken Korma, Chicken Tikka Shaslick, and Naga Lamb; we shared Pilau Rice, Peshwari Naan, Plain Paratha, and Saag Bhaji, all of which was as good as ever. Jackie drank Hoegaarden; I drank more of the Bordeaux which involved opening another bottle; and Flo and Dillon drank Ribena.

A Better Perspective

Just before lunch I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2022/04/29/a-knights-tale-129-waiting-on-barbados-part-two/

After lunch we took the Barnes Lane route to Milford on Sea pharmacy where ferns unfurled by the roadside.

Afterwards we continued into the forest

On Lymore Lane Jackie parked beside this field of golden oilseed rape flanked by dandelions and cow parsley. Once I had produced my images, in search of a better perspective, she climbed onto a concrete post designed to prevent infiltrating vehicles, and produced the final entry into this gallery, with its strip of housing, trees, and telegraph wires.

Many of our centuries old lanes have high banked verges gouged out over many years. Those beside Lower Sandy Down are no exceptions. Here ferns and bluebells scale the slopes and settle in fields and woodland beyond.

Just outside Brockenhurst a bovine trio basked in the warming sunshine casting long shadows.

For dinner this evening Becky produced another sitting of Jackie’s sausages in red wine, with her own creamy mashed potato, and fresh firm broccoli. This was followed by apple pie and cream. My wife drank Hoegaarden, I drank more of the Cabernet Sauvignon, and our daughter drank Diet Coke. Our granddaughter abstained.

A Kerfuffle

On this bright, yet cool, morning Jackie and I took a short drive into the forest.

Celandines, nettles, and other wild flowers lined the verges of Warborne Lane, Portmore, alongside which goats and their climbing kids occupy a field beside horses in a fenced garden.

On Pilley Street a friendly young girl opened the gate by the cattle grid to enable the driver of a horse and carriage to pass through and continue along the road.

The vitreous lake bore reflections and shadows of the limbs and trunks of trees coated with lichen and a dog with its walker on the far side.

Ponies basked and grazed among the gorse and along the verges at East Boldre;

further along the road a dappled grey crossed to the other side seeking second helpings. Nearby a selfish sorrel created a sparky kerfuffle as it butted another pony with whom it was not prepared to share pickings.

A trio of donkeys maintained their occupation of the Norleywood Road junction.

Beside the rowing boat shells beneath the cone-laden pine overlooking Lymington River an oyster catcher sought breakfast.

This evening we dined on slow roasted breast of lamb; crispy roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding; crunchy carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, with which Jackie drank Carlsberg, I drank Azinhaga de Ouro Reserva 2019, and Flo drank exotic fruit juices diluted.

A Knight’s Tale (122: The Thames In South Oxfordshire)

Here the row continues along the River Thames in South Oxfordshire

This was still near enough to normal civilisation for elderly couples to be out walking along the banks.

If there were any footpaths on this stretch, they lay beneath the ripeness of, summer requiring negotiation, in the form of wild flowers attracting bees; grasses in seed; plantains tripping over; broad backlit leaves bearing shadows of other floral forms; and convovulous carrying tiny beetles.

One of the latter plants trailed over the river, reflecting on the murky water.

Derelict hut 7.03

An avian trio perched on the coping stones of a derelict shed in need of replacement tiles;

a peacock and hen entered into head to head negotiations;

Mallard and ducklings

a mallard paddled along ahead of her imprinted offspring;

Swans and cygnets

and a pair of swans introduced their cygnets to further reaches of the Thames.

Sheep and farm buildings 7.03

A flock of sheep grazed alongside what I took to be farm buildings of some sort.

The sun-baked natural world disregarded the two young men taking a leisurely row along the sleepy waters, passing a dangerous-looking weir, and negotiating a narrow lock.

Robins In The Hedgerows

Ian returned to Southbourne for work this morning. After lunch Jackie and I drove to Tesco for some shopping, and continued into the forest.

As we turned into Hordle Lane yellow-brown ochre clouds flung a hatful of

every kind of precipitation at our windscreen as photographed by Jackie. Sleet and snow were lashed by brisk gusts of north wind making the 6C degree dropped temperature feel much colder.

During an apparent cessation I left the car to photograph an eponymous sculpture on Woodcock Lane, and was soon beset by further soft white flakes and ice-hard pellets which spared the ubiquitous laurel blossoms.

I wandered around the rippling Wootton stream alongside which a pair of discarded wellies aroused speculation. Lengthy striate arboreal shadows criss-crossed water surfaces and cropped banks alike. The last picture in this gallery is by Jackie.

Fluffy cotton clouds soon replaced the earlier heavily laden ones as cerulean skies returned.

The widening of the A35 bridge at Holmsley, scheduled to be completed next week will not now be finished before June. The causeway leading to it is not normally a road on which it is sensible to stop. Now it is closed we were able to sneak along it and I could nip out and photograph the woodland and its denizens below.

The landscape of Longslade Heath was dotted with grazing and reclining ponies.

South Sway Lane’s verges were enhanced by robins and primroses.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s beef pie meal and/or chicken and vegetable stewp with which I drank Patrick Chodot Fleurie 2019.

Chill Sunshine

After a morning of more reminiscing with Becky and Flo, Jackie and I took a forest drive early this afternoon. On this sun-bright-cool day we followed the easterly route via Lymington, Undershore, Pilley, Norley Wood and East End.

A woman walked her dog along the lane approaching Portmore, where a chirpy chaffinch contributed to the trill of flitting songbirds, and still shaggy donkeys foraged on the verges.

Basking cattle chewed the cud while ponies chomped the grass on Bull Hill.

At Norley Wood Ponies cast shadows across greens, while trees cast theirs across somnolent cattle,

and a pair of donkeys soaked up the sun at Norleywood Road junction.

This evening we all dined on more of Jackie’s spicy arrabbiata followed by gooseberry and apple crumble and custard according to choice. Becky and I finished the Monastrell; Ian drank Hoegarden; Flo drank Elderflower cordial; and The Culinary Queen drank Carlsberg.