For brunch, Jackie drove me to Hockey’s Farm Shop café, where we enjoyed our usual favourites, well cooked as always, and efficiently served in friendly manner.

As we left Burley ponies caused a traffic tailback as, oblivious of the vehicles, they settled in for a day of seeking what shade they could beneath trees, and such protection from flies as could be afforded by their nose to tail technique.

A couple of walkers found the prospect of stepping over droppings somewhat unpleasant.

When we returned this afternoon the animals had not moved much.

Others, already beset by flies, hugged a fence that seemed to have been reserved for them.

We needed to make way for an oncoming tractor on a narrow, dappled, section of Gorley Road.

Two ponies sought shade beneath tree alongside the Ibsley ford, from the stream under which another slaked its thirst.

Calves competed for space on a drinking trough beside Hyde Lane.

Jackie parked the Modus at Gorley Lynch while I disembarked to

photograph a distant stag with his roe deer harem.

At Poulner we encountered a steam traction engine.

Heather coloured the moorland either side of Holmsley Passage,

where I commended a pair of cyclists who had made it all the way up.

An apple tree grew on the moor beside Holmsley Road.

Along Tiptoe Road a pair of ponies drooped on the tarmac, opposite

a foal learning the reality of life with flies.

This evening we all dined on meaty pork bangers and fried onions; creamy mashed potato; crunchy carrots; firm broccoli stems; and piquant cauliflower cheese, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Côtes du Rhône Villages Plan de Dieu 2021.

Lingering Scarecrows

This afternoon Flo, Dillon, and Ellie needed to return to the hospital for a final check. Becky and Ian drove them there.

Before they departed I photographed our grandson-in-law with his 25 hour old daughter Ellie. Despite having slept very little over the last 36 hours Dillon was setting off back to the Princess Anne’s Hospital.

Jackie and I went for a forest drive.

Log piles alongside the road just outside Ripley

were earmarked presumably for buyers.

As we approached Bisterne on the Ringwood Road we fell behind a steam traction engine. Eventually Jackie managed to pass it and drive further up the road

in order for me to disembark and lie in wait for the slow moving vehicle. A white jet plane’s trail crossed the steam clouds emanating from the chimney from an earlier age.

For reasons of various more pressing priorities we had missed the annual Bisterne Scarecrow tour this year, but further along the road we enjoyed two of the lingering competitors:

the Very Hungry Caterpillar,

and Ham Sweet Ham.

Tess visited with Poppy to meet Ellie and her parents, bringing a splendid bouquet of flowers and various other presents.

They were unable to stay for this evening’s Ashley’s fish and chips and Garner’s pickled onions, with which I drank more of the Bordeaux; Ian drank Morreti beer; Dillon, cider; and Flo Fruit cordial.