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.