Ponies On The Move

This morning, while on a daffodil dead-heading session.

I also pulled up swathes of Sticky Willies along the Back Drive. These sinuous weeds climb everywhere and if not deracinated will reach the tops of the highest shrubs, bearing clusters of white flowers.

Afterwards I wandered back with the camera on this overcast morning.

The daffodils have been late to bloom and struggled to linger this year, but there were still quite a few to dead head.

The forget-me-nots sharing that first daffodil picture, like those accompanying the Spanish bluebells in the first of the next trio of images, proliferate in the garden; as do the English/Spanish hybrids.

Honesty is cropping up everywhere, as in the Patio Bed and behind the mossy stumpery with its yellow cowslips.

Lichen blooming on the bench beneath the pieris on the lawn, and bleeding hearts on the West Bed managed to add splashes of colour.

This afternoon the sun did put in fairly regular appearances, so Jackie and I took a forest drive,

where it set the gorse glowing on the moorland flanking Wilverley Road, up which

a group of energetic ponies trotted at an unusual pace for them.

I had hoped that they would pause for a drink in the pool, but they were more interested in slowing the traffic.

Further down the hill another pony did slake its thirst, while

others continued trotting through the undergrowth.

This afternoon we all dined on well cooked pork chops coated with almonds and mustard; with creamy mashed potato; crunchy carrots, and succulent peppers, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Shiraz.

Frustrated

WordPress has tested my good nature to the limit today. I have struggled to like other posts or my followers comments; I have failed intermittently to comment on others’ posts; I have been unable until now (mid-afternoon) even to begin a new post.

We began the day with a trip to the pharmacy at Milford on Sea for our flu vaccinations – at least these weren’t problematic – and continued to Ferndene Farm shop for provisions, and on to the forest.

Along Wilverley Road the landscape still looked rather parched,

apart from the banks of trees ahead;

the burnished bracken on the moors flanking Holmsley Passage remained many shades of green and gold.

Jackie speculated that the tree trimming on the road outside Burley was to ensure that visitors on our open-topped tourist routes would not be clouted on this section of their journey.

The post box decoration on Tiptoe Road raised a smile from me when I noticed the spider crawling over the seasonal pumpkin.

After two hours during which I had only reached the second picture above, I gave up and made one more attempt before dinner, and polished off the rest like a dream.

The said dinner consisted of Jackie’s delicious lamb and apricot cobbler: the filling was tender, and the cheese and thyme scone topping, firm; the vegetables were boiled potatoes, firm broccoli and cauliflower, and crunchy carrots. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden, I drank Ch√Ęteau La Mauberte Bordeaux 2020, and the young parents ate later.

The last two lines, omitted by WP yesterday, were added with much difficulty on 4th.

Keen To Chew Oak Cud

This afternoon I e-mailed a full set of yesterday’s dinner photographs to Becky. These included two more,

not posted yesterday, of herself and Flo taken by Jackie; and of her daughter with her grandparents taken by our daughter.

Later Jackie visited Ferndene Farm Shop, then took me on a short forest drive.

The preponderance of black foals outside Holmsley Campsite prompted speculation from a young woman to whom I spoke about how many had been sired by the same stallion. I mentioned that I had been told that the offspring of grey ponies never begin with their mother’s colouring although they may grow into it later.

Around the corner in Forest Road a cow, keen to chew oak cud, craned her neck to pull down a suitable branch.

Along Wilverley Road a posse of ponies played disrupt the traffic, while others grazed on greening grass. There a foal bore its mother’s colouring.

Later Jackie photographed a group of caterpillars sawing their way through the leaves of her variegated poplar in order to ask readers if anyone can identify them.

Yesterday evening Jackie’s Sampan dish was too hot for her so we ordered a Pasanda instead, and brought the hotter meal home for me this evening. I enjoyed it, served with Jackie’s omelette-topped savoury rice and a paratha. That, in football parlance, was a result. The others tucked into two types of prawn preparation instead. The Culinary Queen drank more of the French white wine; I drank more of the Shiraz; Dillon, Magner’s Cider, and Flo, a fruit drink.