Coastal Canine Capers

Lured into a clifftop car park at Milford on Sea by the prospect of watching choppy seas crashing against The Needles. We were on our way to the pharmacy to collect a repeat prescription.

The parking tarmac was liberally strewn with shingle thrown up from the shore below;

spray surged over the sea wall.

Dog owners tell me that their pets do not like taking a shower. I was about to learn how to encourage them to enjoy one.

Allow them to romp on a gravelly puddle,

and they soon develop a taste for the spray that brings it.

Afterwards, I thanked the owner for allowing me to share his photoshoot.

From Milford we continued to Streets in Brockenhurst where Jackie collected a couple of rubber tap swirls, Just giving me time to keep an appointment for an eye test in New Milton.

Across the road from Boots Opticians is situated Mallard Café. We brunched there, and very good it was too.

We then took a drive into the forest. The light, originally bright and clear, was to fluctuate throughout the day.

At Wootton Heath the sun lit the trees against a backdrop of darkening skies. One tree had fallen.

Jackie photographed Wootton Heath Cottage in its idyllic setting.

A solitary pony enhanced the scene.

This is an area of unmade private roads heavily pitted with potholes filled with rainwater that has also provided

lodgings for mallards

in the proliferation of temporary reflecting pools.

Even when riding a horse the mobile phone is an essential accessory.

A pair of deer darted across Bisterne close, melded into the woodland

turned tail,

and elegantly tripped away.

Later this afternoon I was torn away from drafting this post in order to catch the sun disappearing into Mudeford harbour.

As so often, the cotton-bud cloud clusters to the east bore pleasing pink and indigo pastel shades.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy pasta arrabbiata with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Squinzano Rosso Riserva 2014.

Keeping A Ball In The Air

Mat, Tess, and Poppy returned to their home early this afternoon.

The rest of us drove to Barton on Sea where Jackie, Becky, and Ian enjoyed coffee in the Beachcomber. I joined them for sparkling water after I had photographed the activities of visitors from the clifftop.

A pink streak divided the indigo bands of Solent and sky while a weak sunset attempted to make itself known.

Among groups gathering on the beach one young boy was intent on keeping a tennis ball in the air.

Pairs masqueraded as ships that pass in the night;

while engaged in an activity I couldn’t make out, one gentleman attempted to avoid entanglement in his dog’s lead;

a lone couple remained transfixed by the incoming waves.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s tender beef in red wine; sage and onion stuffing; bread sauce; Yorkshire pudding; and creamy mashed potato; Becky and I drank Calvet Fleurie 2016; Ian drank Chardonnay and Hoegaarden; Jackie also drank the Belgian beer.

The Reality

SINGLE IMAGES CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK THAT CAN BE REPEATED. CLICKING ON ANY OF THOSE IN A GROUP ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

This afternoon Jackie drove me out to Calshot and back.

Waiting in the queue at the Lymington level crossing gave me the opportunity to focus on one of the hanging baskets that adorn the lampposts of the town.

One of the cattle on the moor near Beaulieu Road Station suckled quite a large calf.

Ower Farm on Calshot Road is a splendid Georgian building.

 

On Calshot beach’s shingle, along which a gentleman led a colour coordinated little girl,

and beyond which yachts enhanced the seascape;

gulls basked, preened, and squawked and saw off a couple of crows. One of the sea birds homed in on an ice cream cone and hopped onto the wooded parapet.

The photograph above of Ower Farm is how an Estate Agent’s brochure may have presented it.

In reality it is hemmed in by Fawley Power station.

This evening the three of us dined on Jackie’s splendid lamb jalfrezi with savoury rice. Mrs Knight drank Hoegaarden, Elizabeth drank Becks Blue, and I finished the Saint-Chenian

 

 

A Rescue Operation

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT AS REQUIRED

This morning turned out to be rather longer than planned and required a little more energy than anticipated to be expended. We began with a trip to New Milton for shopping, including a new watch strap for me. We then returned home to collect two large bags of garden refuse for the dump.

It was to be quite fortuitous that we had the bags on board when we set off into the forest from the Efford Recycling Centre.

Lymington River with egret 1Lymington River with egret 2Lymington River with egret 3

Egrets were fishing on Lymington River,

Boats

where the usual boats were moored.

Hoarding mural 1Hoarding mural 3Hoarding mural 4Hoarding mural 5Hoarding mural 2

A long hoarding has been in situ around Threeways in Pilley for quite a number of years has at some time served as an art gallery. Paintings by a variety of artists remain in situ.

Pony 1Ponies 1Ponies 2

Ponies, in return for the freedom of the village, keep the grass in front of the houses cropped short.

Pony 2

There were many ponies in evidence at the road junction at St Leonard’s Road, East End. We weren’t going to get past them, so just watched this grey

Pony 3

leave its post on the centre line, turn,

Ponies 3

Ponies 4Ponies 5

and, passing a companion at the swampy corner, cross

Ponies 6

the road towards East Boldre, leaving another chestnut to take over traffic control duties.

Pony's legs

The pony standing in the pool

Pony eating and drinking

liked a drink with its grass, which took its mind of the fly on its nose.

Pony 4

Another grey advanced on me, no doubt seeking goodies, in which it was to be disappointed.

Ponies 7

Travelling on, we hadn’t covered many metres of St Leonard’s Road before our road was blocked again.

Pheasant cock

Pheasants, both male

Pheasant hen 2

and female, skittered backwards and forwards into the hedgerows,

Pheasants on road

except on Tanner’s Lane, where they gathered in a bouquet.

Tanner's Lane beach

Sunlight sparkled on the water between the mainland and

Isle of Wight and Needles from Tanner's Lane

the Isle of Wight.

Car on shingle 1

Hello. What was this on the shingle beach?

It was Emma’s car, a Twingo.

Watched by her mother, Paula, and two other young ladies attempting to offer advice, guidance, and assistance, the driver had, with her mother and dog, set out for a walk which had to be abandoned. It became immediately necessary to free the vehicle. But how?

The car’s wheels just span on the loose pebbles as Emma vainly tried to climb over them. I helped guide her onto a firmer section, but this involved first having to reverse further down towards the waterline, turning, driving at an angle to the foreground of this picture, then reversing as close to the corner post as possible. Despite her fears, the young lady kept her cool, and almost made it. Several times.

Car stuck on shingle 2

It was then that I remembered the orange bags. By this time Jackie had joined us, so she fetched them. We placed them on gravel behind the wheels. It was still difficult. We then roped Jackie’s hessian supermarket bags into service so we had all four wheels covered.

Car stuck on shingle and dog

Still no joy, until we were joined by another gentleman with rather more knowledge, especially about being very very gentle on the accelerator. Emma turned left at the point in the picture above, and reversed slowly towards the corner. With all hands on the bonnet; backs, thighs and knees straining, we tried again. We had lift off. Emma just avoided reversing into a hedge. We all gave each other hearty hugs, and Jackie and I drove home for a late lunch.

This evening we dined on Hordle Chinese Take Away fare. And very good it was too. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the malbec.

 

 

 

A Blustery Day

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. THOSE IN CLUSTERS GIVE ACCESS TO GALLERIES WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE.

On a day of winds fit to threaten lingering autumn leaves like those on our crab apples, Jackie drove us to our GP surgery at Milford on Sea for our flu jabs (influenza vaccines).

Down at the coast, vociferous waves crashed onto breakwaters and rolled onto the shore and over the sea wall.

Gulls

Even the gulls found huddling on the car park tarmac preferable to facing the buffeting elements.

Dramatic skies, seas, and lighting effects gave yet another perspective to the Isle of Wight and The Needles.

When I had my fill of being coated in salt water in the interests of my art, I rejoined Jackie  in the car, and did my best to clean the camera lenses.

Friars Cliff Beach

We then continued on to Friars Cliff beach where we brunched at the cafe.

Spray on brerakwater

Here the breakwaters also took a pounding,

Walkers and dogs

but four walkers and a couple of romping dogs ventured onto the beach.

The smaller of the two dogs had a debate with its owner about whether it was possible to take refuge in the cafe. This somewhat obstructed my entrance.

 This evening we dined on Jackie’s chicken marinaded in piri-piri and lemon; roasted vegetables, steamed cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, with mashed potato, I finished the madiran.

Hunt For A Owl

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED

Mat, Tess, and Poppy spent the morning with us before resuming their journey to the Far West that is Cornwall and Land’s End.

We spent much of the time in the garden.

Matthew and Poppy 1

Matthew initially tried to inculcate his daughter into hostility to being photographed,

Matthew and Poppy 2

however, he soon relented,

Matthew and Poppy 3

and she realised he was only joking.

Jackie and Poppy 2

Clutching her transitional peg

Jackie and Poppy 1

she shared the fun with her Grannie.

Poppy 1Poppy 2

The owls in the garden having caught her attention, she scoured every corner for one,

Poppy 3

Poppy 4

being quite exuberant at her successes.

Mat, Tess, and Poppy

The shingle inset in the patio was a good toy, too.

There was one joke I didn’t quite get. You see I am of the wrong generation to understand why Mat and Tess fell about laughing at the hunt for ‘A Owl’.

Jackie explained to me that was required was familiarity with the 2010/2013 TV comedy programme, PhoneShop.

This evening Jackie reprised our meal of yesterday, except that what I had called gammon steak was in fact baked ham. It was just as excellent. Jackie drank Bavaria and I drank Kumala Zenith 2014.

The Headbutt

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF REQUIRED

Lace cap hydrangea

Here is a lace cap hydrangea in our front garden.

This morning, Jackie drove us to Eyeworth Pond and back. This lies beyond the Royal Oak at Fritham.

Teenagers on bank 1Teenagers on bank 2

A group of friendly teenagers perched on a bank.

Water Lilies

Behind them was a carpet of waterlilies.

Teenagers on bank 3

The group were very happy to have their photograph taken. I gave them the blog details and said they were welcome to take copies. (I hope you enjoy them, folks.)

There was not as much avian activity here as there had been during nest-building time, but I did manage to catch

Blue tit 1Blue tit 2Blue tit 3

blue tits,

Chaffinch

a chaffinch,

Duck and chicks

and a duck steering her two ducklings around the pond.

Someone had left birdseed on a gatepost. This was quite handy for photography.

The chaffinch stepped so gingerly on the gravel that it reminded me of

Becky 8.72

Becky at Iwade in August 1972.

Ponies 1

As I concentrated on the ungainly chaffinch a clattering behind me alerted me to a fast-moving string of ponies passing along the path.

Ponies 2

After a while they returned. One, in the foreground here, laid claim to a clump of bracken.

Pony headbutt

Others who dared approach were given the evil eye, squeaked, and backed off. Just as I was about to focus on its gentle orb, the bravest was given a resounding headbutt by the creature with the mouthful of ferns. The assailant really batted the victim. There was a resounding crack, the hopeful horse staggered off, and I was relieved not to have been noticed.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s fish and chips, pickled gherkins and pickled onions. I finished the Côtes du Rhône.