Swollen Pools

Today’s brighter and dry morning greyed over during our afternoon forest drive, as the rain set in again.

Swans and gulls took advantage of the swollen pond on Hatchet Moor. The last two swans and the gull in this gallery are Jackie’s work.

Coots foraged on the bank.

Mallards occupied this reflecting pool at East Boldre. The last of this set is Jackie’s.

She also produced these images of the reflected lichen covered branch and last year’s blackberries, while I focussed on

ponies among burnt bracken.

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s penne Bolognaise sprinkled with Parmesan cheese; she drank more of the Malvasia and I finished the Shiraz.

Finding Their Feet

We began this morning’s forest drive by delivering loaned oil filled radiators to Elizabeth – we took three; she told us she had only lent us two and now was our own. That came back with us and was deposited in our garden shed at the end of our trip.

We were pleased to find that the post box on Pilley Hill was once more decorated with skilful yarn work.

The usual pair of swans glided along Hatchet Pond,

bringing their seven offspring into the mooring bay, in preparation for

a lesson in walking up a slippery slope. Father led the way with arguably the four fittest; followed by mother with three slower cygnets.

Parents periodically paused to preen,

as did this year’s progeny.

In any group there is always a straggler. So it was with this one.

Leaving Dad at the summit with siblings

Mum stepped back down to offer encouragement to the one who had had enough. We moved off before we learned whether or not she was successful,

looked at the waterlilies,

and continued to Ran’s Wood, where

the stream at the bottom of the slope is now drying up.

The roaring and lowing of cattle disappearing behind shrubbery along its path seemed in protest at the paucity of refreshment. Although I could not see them their sound shattered the sweet birdsong, the drone of an overhead aircraft, and the call of a cuckoo.

I settled for shots of ponies on the opposite hillside.

Along Furzey Lane a seated shaggy donkey and a couple of cows basked in the sunshine. In fact, apart from those on the move above, all the cattle we saw were lying down.

Another donkey still sporting winter wear enjoyed a good scratch at East Boldre until

joined by a friendly foal of the other equine kind.

This evening we all dined on tasty baked gammon; piquant cauliflower and broccoli cheese; boiled new potatoes; and crunchy carrots, with which Jackie finished the Viognier and I drank Trivento Mendoza Malbec 2021.

On The Spit

Anticipating that yesterday’s weather pattern would be reversed today, Jackie and I took an early drive to Saltgrass Lane, where visitors were already amassing, some clearly having slept, or still sleeping, in camper vans lining the road.

Silhouetted figures tracked along

gravelled Hurst spit;

eager crabbing was under way from the bridge;

reflecting swans preened in the rippling stream;

speedy swathes of turnstones skittered across the road.

This afternoon, in response to a question from a follower, I found no picture on this post, despite the message Attempt Block Recovery:

Although I am not sure which picture was there originally, I have added one with the text and another as a header.

This evening we dined on perfectly cooked Bangers, mash, cauliflower, carrots, green and red cabbage, and meaty gravy, with which I finished the Coonawarra red wine while no-one else imbibed.

Three Ponies For A Pound

After lunch today, with, as usual, SueW’s help, I recovered the pictures to the following posts:

This afternoon Jackie and I took a forest drive.

When I photographed these grasses in and the log teepee beside a section of Hatchet Pond that I had often photographed before I had not realised that I was about to learn that this was known as Little Hatchet.

Approaching a larger area of the lake I noticed sky borne evidence that a woman was tossing food for gulls

and a pair of swans who she told me were Norman and Nancy, who normally had their home in Little Hatchet, where Flo and I had photographed them with their cygnets on 27th May.

Each year they chased the other Cygnus family away from this section, where I had photographed them before Christmas, and took possession of the spot in case they would like to move home.

We drove on to Furzey Lane where Jackie noticed, and photographed, that the thatcher’s donkey on a rooftop had provided even more material for nesting birds.

She also focused on the landscape into which the avians had probably carried their stolen straw.

Nearby stands the Furzey Lodge Pound, which we have never before seen occupied.

Today there were three residents.

This evening we all dined on perfect pork chops with mustard sauce and almond topping; sautéed new potatoes and leeks; roast sweet potatoes and mushrooms; crunchy carrots, and tender green beans, with tasty gravy. I drank more of Gran Selone and no-one else did.

Elegant Cygnets

Early this morning we visited Elizabeth’s home to bid farewell to Louisa, Jessica, and Imogen as they set off back to their home in Mapperley. This was a brief stop, after which we took a forest drive.

Initially overcast and threatening rain, the skies brightened and the sun emerged to cast long shadows during the last hour before lunch.

As Louisa sped away with her two elegant cygnets, the pair of swans and their still dependent grown family fished and reflected in the rippling shallows of their adopted tidal river at Beaulieu.

Some preened;

some dived;

all dripped droplets as they surfaced and craned their sinuous necks.

On the verges of the of the road beside the water ponies grazed

and inconvenienced passing traffic.

Becky joined us this evening for dinner, which consisted of Mr Pink’s fish and chips with pickled onions and gherkins. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Piddle.

Our daughter is staying overnight and will drive Dillon to Heathrow tomorrow because he has business to attend to in America.

Natural Elegance Element

On the near bank of a narrow inlet in Beaulieu River during an afternoon forest drive we noticed a pair of swans with their well grown cygnets 


and preening in the warm sunshine.

Soon they rose awkwardly to their feet,

stretched their wings,

waddled to the edge,

slipped into the water, their natural elegance element,

and trailed across the river

where food and drink were to be found.

While I focussed on these birds, Jackie photographed a distant heron.

This evening we dined on baked gammon; smooth cheese and mustard sauce, creamy mashed potatoes; crunchy carrots; and tender cabbage, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Bordeaux.

Around The Quayside

After lunch today I posted https://derrickjknight.com/2022/06/21/a-knights-tale-139-i-hope-that-wasnt-too-patronising/

Later, Becky drove Jackie, Flo, and me to Lymington where our daughter and granddaughter browsed in the High Street while Jackie and I remained quayside – Jackie in The Ship Inn and me wandering about with my camera.

I will let my pictures speak for themselves.

Becky collected us at the end of the afternoon where we met and chatted with Richard from Kitchen Makers who was working in a quayside house.

This evening Becky produced fall-off-the-bone roast chicken; crisp chips; fresh salad; and garden peas, with which she drank Zesty, Jackie drank Hoegaarden, Flo drank water, Ian drank Perroni, and I drank Swartland Shiraz 2020.

Later, Becky sent me this photograph of a sparrow that had virtually snatched her food from her at lunchtime at The Beachcomber at Barton on Sea.

A Hanging Out Nest

Jackie spent a hot, sunny, cloudless morning continuing her planting while I dead-headed poppies and roses and pulled up a few weeds.

Flo joined us on a trip this afternoon beginning with a visit to Otter Nurseries for more plants, and continuing into the forest.

Foxgloves lined the verges along Warborne Lane where a burrow probably housed the rabbits which kept popping up along the way.

We visited the Hatchet Moor section of Hatchet Pond, where Flo and I both photographed each other photographing donkeys and foals. Individual authorship is, as usual, detailed in the galleries (mine don’t bear my name). This is also true of the next ones, including

cattle and calves;

water lilies, one bearing a damselfly;

mallards, swans and cygnets hanging out on a makeshift temporary nest.

Flo added foxgloves in the landscape;

also an oyster catcher while I pictured a black headed gull.

Finally, at East Boldre I focussed on a fly-tolerant pony with her sleeping offspring.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s savoury rice, with prawn preparations – tempura and hot and spicy – and gyoza, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec.

Venison, Chicken, Swans, Ducks, Geese

Jackie cut my hair after lunch. Then we enjoyed a late afternoon forest drive.

Swans, casting long shadows, with a group of mallards, which took to flight upon my arrival, wandered across the sward at Beaulieu River.

At East End a donkey and foal clipped a hedge, while a burnished pony watched the traffic passing by.

The lowering sun was reflected along with trees in a pool beside Exbury Road.

The tide was out. at Lepe where I focussed on the Isle of Wight and a container vessel on the horizon between Southampton and the island; while

Jackie photographed a chicken in a field.

We turned down Lower Pennington Lane in order to catch the sunset on the way home.

Here the Assistant Photographer photographed a deer and three geese.

I photographed a skein of geese over head, and others enhancing the sunset.

These shots are Jackie’s.

This evening we dined on more of the Culinary Queen’s wholesome cottage pie with fresh carrots, cabbage, and runner beans. Mrs Knight drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Douro.

Sunset Is For The Birds

This morning I emptied a small cabinet of drawers which stood beside my desk. Some of the contents needed shredding, some were binned, and some found homes in our new cupboards. I then tackled two public bodies who I can only reach on line. I won’t bore you with the details of these, save to say that after nearly an hour on the phone with BT I wound up learning that I must pay £7.50 a month to retain my e-mail address. VAT wasn’t mentioned, but I bet that will be added.

Jackie and I moved the empty cabinet to the garden shed, and I calmed myself down this afternoon by posting https://derrickjknight.com/2021/11/29/a-knights-tale-72-upstaged/

At the end of the afternoon we took a drive on which, over Beaulieu Road we noticed that

sunset was on its way.

Hatchet Pond rose up to meet it as we watched the gentle pink skies set ablaze reflecting on the surface among swans, gulls, and ducks, some of which each of us photographed

away from the the flaming areas. In mine gulls create ripples on the surface which Jackie’s sailing swans do not disturb. The Assistant Photographer has also captured reflecting gulls with wings raised and lowered in flight.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent sausages in red wine; creamy mashed potatoes; crunchy carrots; firm broccoli; and tender red cabbage, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Merlot.