Bedraggled That is what 50 m.p.h. winds have turned our wet and warm days into.  (Mr WordPress took my joke one stage further. I didn’t type http:// and he won’t let me erase it)

We went out for a drive this morning; first down to the clifftop over Hordle beach at Milford on Sea; then through the forest via Burley, Fritham, Lyndhurst, and Brockenhurst.

In the early part of the afternoon I watched the second televised Rugby League match between England and New Zealand. This reminded me why I had given up on it years ago.

Afterwards, I worked on the morning’s photos. Normally, I do very little in the processing, but today I wanted the results to reflect the mood of the day, so I converted most into black and white, and toned down the colour a little in the three that were not made into monochrome. This subduing was because the camera had produced slightly brighter colour than was available to the eye.


Jackie parked the car at Paddy’s Gap, so we could watch the mountainous seas pounding beneath us. I had a very difficult job prising the car door open against the gale, and when I emerged, the driving rain blurred my vision and, as can be seen, left its mark on the camera lens.


Car on roadRoadCars on roadA pair of lone joggers performed the involuntary dance of falling leaves, as they battled along the path. I swear the lighter one was lifted aloft.

Interestingly, the more we drove into the forest, the less the wind blew, but the rain was just as heavy and pools were beginning to develop on the grass and heathers. All cars had their headlights in operation, even at 11 a.m.

Perhaps we should not have been surprised than there was scarcely a pony in sight. Areas where we would expect to see many of them cropping the grass or molesting tourists in the car parks, bore no sign of life except the wind sending reluctant leaves, not yet ready for hibernation, spinning on the more slender twigs before spiralling downwards.

Most equines had no doubt repaired to the middle of the forest in search of shelter.

Birch and Heathland

Heathland 1Heathland 3

The outskirts of Fritham are normally well populated by shetland ponies.

Pony in landscape

Pony 1Pony 2

Today, just one, bedraggled, muddied, munched alone.

For dinner this evening, The Cook produced a tasty lasagna with a melange of fried Mediterranean vegetables, followed by Tesco’s chocolate eclairs. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Madiran.

53 responses to “Bedraggled”

  1. We are sodden this week-end in Oregon. No ponies in the city–although I did see a horse tired up outside a bar close-in my city and I thought, I’m not in the Midwest anymore….what am I in for? And my neighborhood has the very old iron rings still attached to curbs outside large houses–and often toy ponies and horses are tethered to them. What can I say? Our unofficial motto is: “Keep Portland Weird”!

  2. We’ve had a lot of rain and more to come, It seems. Still I won’t complain (I want to) because we are expected a long, hot and dry summer.

    A pony’s got to eat and I reckon your friend’s smart to have the grounds to himself. All the clever ones come out in bad weather – look at the two of you! 🙂

  3. When I lived in California, I was walking back from lunch with a co-worker during the Santa Ana winds — and I swear, this slight, older lady was airborne at one point. For a second, I wondered how I would keep her here on Earth if she did become a kite, so I was prepared to grab her legs and feet… just in case. 🙂

    If you don’t want the http in the address, you can type it out like this: weather dot com. (Do we really need the “www” anymore?)

  4. The poor pony. His little legs look very short and sturdy, but he looks quite forlorn. I had the feeling he had been ostracized. But perhaps his companions are standing somewhere in the woods muttering about him not having sense to come in out of the rain. Beautiful pictures. I always love your seas…

  5. Of course, you know I love these shots in black and wine … Particularly that shimmering empty road … And yes, that beautifully bedraggled pony.

    Thank you for sharing them. They made me smile. 🙂

  6. I would have had to take off my coat or sweater to dry poor, wet and “bedraggled” Shetland pony. It almost made me cry, Derrick. Horses have minds and this lonely guy really got to me. 🙁 Nice photos and really good descriptions. 🙂

  7. Wonderful, wonderful photos Derrick! They really capture the atmosphere of the New Forest and its shores during this type of weather. Glad you included cars on roads as this is a more honest scene than just bridle paths. Those ponies are so hardy aren’t they? Even in the snow. Great stuff

  8. Quite a dismal blog I see, weather playing havoc with the winds and seas, the little Shetland summed it up eloquently, a dismal day all round he thinks.

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