Dappled Shade

This rather warmer day remained overcast for the morning when Jackie drove us to Hockey’s Farm Shop for lunch, while the sun laid claim to the skies for our return.

A group of ponies and their growing foals occupied Wootton Common and both sides of Tiptoe Road near to The Rising Sun.

The warmer weather has brought out the flies, seen on the last pony in this first gallery, with more irritating the foal and its mother on the verge of the road through Ibsley. The dam has developed the tolerance to ignore them whilst the little bay still hoped to shift them with constant shakes of its head.

Maybe the cattle huddled together for protection.

Further along the road this Toyota driver struggled to pass a pony blocking the way.

In the Farm Shop café we each brunched on our usual choices – mine the Hungry One, and Jackie’s, Laura’s Favourite. Jackie photographed one of the crisp yellow roses in a bottle arrangements that decorated each table.

Abbotswell Road, down which we ambled behind a young rider in training until she was led off the trail, was now as dappled as all the other roads.

Many streams were already drying up, but the one crossing the ford at the bottom of the hill continued rippling under the bridge.

The tour bus we followed along Roger Penny Way kept to a steady 30 mph, until delayed by cyclists, ponies, pigs, and one very successful donkey; when freed the bus picked up a little speed, which had us speculating that there was a schedule to be kept. Indeed there was – more passengers waited at the next pick up point.

Ponies on the verge at Cadnam were already adopting the nose to tail technique for keeping flies at bay,

while heavily panting sheep streamed down the hill seeking shade from the trees beside the shallowing ford. These are the Torddu or black bellied variety of Badger Faced Welsh Mountain sheep.

For this evening’s dinner, Jackie added hot and spicy, and tempura prawn preparations to last night’s Chinese Take Away leftovers, which we all enjoyed and with which Jackie and I both drank La Vieille Ferme rosé 2022.