Journey To The Sun

Today’s weather followed a somewhat similar pattern to that of yesterday. After a morning’s pottering Jackie drove us in mid-afternoon to the North of the forest where we wandered around our old haunts between Ringwood and Fordingbridge.

Stream overflowinf fordAlready, pools began to to gather on the heathlands and the forest floors, and streams, like this one near North Gorley, overflowed their fords.

This particular area, although well populated by ponies, has quite a number of donkeys Donkeyroaming. A family of four, quite oblivious of the traffic, occupied the road at Hythe, and at DonkeysHungerford a pair indulged in a passionate necking session before one was prevailed upon to suckle her foal. These animals do, of course, have right of way in The New Forest, where car drivers must just be patient.

Cloudscape 1Cloudscape 2Cloudscape 3Cloudscape 4Cloudscape 5Cloudscape 6Cloudscape reflectedSunset through birch leavesSunsetSunset through shrubsAs the sun gradually sank to the horizon, the initially pastel shades of the cloudscapes had, by the time we stopped at the Godshill carpark and Jackie released me with my camera, deepened into a dark indigo pierced by strident reds and yellows and the white heat of the flaming planet .

Pony at sunsetWith the glow of the sun at its lowest point, the already red-brown New Forest ponies took on a brighter shade of russet, thus blending with the autumn leaves and pink clouds of its surroundings.

Soon after our return, we dined on pork spare ribs marinaded in barbecue sauce, superb savoury rice, and green beans, followed by blackberry and apple crumble and clotted cream. I drank more of the rioja, and Jackie enjoyed her customary Hoegaarden.

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