Rippling Reflections

Dark, brooding, precipitating skies were occasionally brightened today by suddenly, briefly, escaping sunshine. The opposite was also true, on the trip we took into a waterlogged forest after purchasing three bags of compost at Ferndene Farm Shop.

I left the car when Jackie parked on the verge of the Thorney Hill end of Burley Road. My intention was to take a shot from the top of the hill of the waterlogged landscape stretching out below. A pair of siren mallards called me from a winterbourne lake some way down. Before I reached them the ducks had disappeared; dark indigo clouds loured overhead; pattering raindrops washed my hair; my woollen jacket took on the aroma of wet sheep; and I craved automatic wipers for my blurry specs.

As Magnus Magnusson on TV’s ‘Mastermind’ would have said, I thought, “I’ve started so I’ll finish”. I was wet, anyway. I failed to photograph the downhill expanse, but

I did capture raindrops sending ripples over the surface of the downhill running streams and the reflective pools that had been created by the recent days’ and last night’s storms. The forest fauna, more sensible than I, kept well under cover somewhere.

This afternoon Jackie planted a vast number of seedlings into nursery pots in the greenhouse and together we carried the

rusted Ace Reclaim bench to the concrete patio where it will provide a platform for larger planters.

This evening we dined on tangy lemon chicken; moist chilli-spiced ratatouille; tender green beans; and boiled new potatoes, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Recital.

Why Did The Pony Cross The Road?


This morning, headed for Hatchet Pond, we drove out to the forest early enough to see the children trailing to Lymington’s schools.

The pond itself was now rivalled by waterlogged terrain

that had been settled by a group of mallards, already pairing up among the reflected trees.

Gulls, mallards, crows, and ponies 1

Various gulls, more mallards, crows, and ponies

Gulls 1


Gulls in flight 1

and flew around Hatchet Pond,


on the far side of which a couple of cormorants perched on posts in the water,

Swan and reeds

and a solitary swan drifted among last year’s plants.

Ponies and gorse 1

Dappled ponies grazed among the golden gorse,

Reflected tree and pony

and alongside additional pools.

These gentle creatures, ignoring the thorns of gorse and bramble, tore at the clumps of grass.

Pony crossing road

Now, why did this one cross the road?

Ponies and gorse 2

To join its foraging fellows.

The forest terrain was covered in clear rainwater bathing last autumn’s leaves,

and reflecting trees.

Waterlogged landscape 2

Balmer Lawn’s land alongside Highland Water was similarly awash.

That river runs under the A337 on the approach to Brockenhurst.

It provides reflections from the bridge over which we drive.

This evening we dined on our tried and tested choice of M3 from the set meals of The Family House Chinese restaurant in Totton. As so often the establishment was full of both Chinese and English family members with dual heritage children milling about. As I said to the assembled company on our departure, “one of the reasons we like this place is that it is a family house”.