“Are The Ponies Fat?”


This morning Jackie drove me to Sears Barbers in Milford on Sea, where the affable Peter cut my hair as well as usual. We then continued into the forest.

Woodland 1


Woodland 2

Strong overhead sunlight dappled the autumn leaves carpet of the forest floor,

Woodland 3fallen tree 1Fallen tree 3Fallen tree 2

giving a spectral air to fallen trees

Tree root

and their ripped out roots.

Woodland with can

Even here, on the outskirts of Brockenhurst, cans can be casually discarded.

Pony and foal 1

On the crossroads in the village itself two ponies and a foal deliberated which way to turn.

Pony and foal 2

I walked around them to obtain better light, and the little one sought comfort and succour from its mother.

Ponies and foal

A young North American visitor stopped to ask me the way to The New Forest. I informed him that he was in it. He wondered where he could go for a day’s hike. I gave him some suggestions, one of which was that he should buy a map in the main street to which I directed him. He then asked “Are the ponies fat? Or perhaps pregnant?”. I suggested that the one he was looking at was probably pregnant, but also explained that because we had experienced such a mild winter they had found plenty of forage and were not as thin as they often were when the weather had been severe.

Ponies, foals, and cattle 1Ponies and foals 2Ponies and foal 1

As we emerged from the village we saw a large group of ponies, foals,

Cattle 1Cattle 2

and cattle grazing, flopping, and vying for shelter under the spreading branches of a mature oak.

Pony and flies

Possibly in an effort to shake off the persistent flies

Ponies 1

some of the horses shook themselves and strode frantically across the grass.

Ponies on road

Other ponies disrupted the traffic as they sought shade by the roadside.

Concrete mixers

On Hordle Lane as we made our way home we had the pleasure of watching two concrete mixers negotiating a safe passage before we could continue on our own. I expect the drivers knew there was a ditch on the left-hand side.

Elizabeth came to lunch and Jackie plied us with a plentiful array of cold meats, cheeses, and salads, with which I drank more of the malbec and the ladies drank sparkling water.

Cake counterCream tea 1

After this, we visited Braxton Gardens and scoffed scone cream teas.

It should come as no surprise that further sustenance later on was surplus to requirements.

Whilst we were sitting in the garden we received a telephone call from Matthew to say that he, Tess, and Poppy would be arriving later tonight so that they can be with us on my 75th birthday tomorrow.

61 responses to ““Are The Ponies Fat?””

  1. Happy Birthday, Derrick. It is already the seventh day of the seventh month here. We do jam first here because they serve ‘Devonshire Tea’ with whipped cream.

  2. Well now – I think if that young American tourist had come across you after your copious lunch and afternoon tea he may well have asked you the same question! πŸ˜€ It’s your birthday here already Derrick – have a most enjoyable one! xoxo PS the opening photos today of the dappled forest are just lovely!!

  3. What a wonderful day you had with ample fare. Happy birthday Derrick, three quarters of a century and going well, haha, enjoy your birthday week.

  4. We call it Devonshire Tea here – and nothing else. Although Devonshire Tea seems to have largely disappeared due to the arrival in yesteryear of tasteless takeaways. However, you have given me an idea – we shall celebrate your 75th here with Devonshire Tea this afternoon – although our brand of tea itself is Yorkshire tea. Happy birthday! If I’d realised earlier I would’ve sent a present.

  5. Happiest of happy birthdays, Derrick! I hope it’s an exceedingly good one. The ponies look very sleek and well fed to me, and I imagine you will be well fed tomorrow and in good company with members of your own herd.

  6. Happy Birthday, Derrick! (I think it is now.) It sounds and looks like you had a most delightful birthday eve. Such beautiful photos of the woods and the ponies–and the food, too. πŸ™‚ I think the North American visitor was fortunate to have found the the right person to answer his questions.
    I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

  7. Oh, what ponies and young ones! Such magnetic, pastoral shots one feels as if carried there by special forces. Ah, that would be your pictures and words! How lovely to become 75, you are well deserving of the breadth and beauty of it, Derrick.

  8. The spectacle of ponies huddled about the oak tree reminds me of devotees around a peepal tree. The North American was lucky to have stumbled upon you as a guide. Wish you the best for the approaching Milestone!

  9. A very very happy birthday sir. Cream tea looks so scrumptious. What a wonderful day you had. May God bless you. The pictures are so comforting, if I may attempt to explain, its is kinda like the child in me wants to come out and go explore the woods in your pictures.

  10. Oh, happy, happy on your special day! Looking forward to seeing the pictures, especially of—no surprise!—little Poppy.

  11. It’s a wonder the CC&BW gets a chance to do any of the gardening after preparing that repast.
    Love all the animal pictures. Much prefer them to the flowers althougth the flower pictures are quite delightful theres nothing like animals to make my day.

  12. I love the ponies and horses. I enjoyed the dappled lighting and the shadows, too. Your photos are such high-quality I sometimes feel I repeat myself. I’m hoping that you see my playing catch up on your blog posts.
    I had pre-scheduled posts on the Boys of Summer but didn’t expect the fun and entertaining brewery soft opening which took a lot of my time which was sparse to begin with away from visits with .U Mom and helping Rich in the Kiwanis booth, scrubbing potatoes for literally hours, Derrick.
    Hope you had the best 75th birthday ever! πŸŽ‚πŸΎπŸ·

  13. Excellent post. I continually marvel at the casual movement of livestock . The closest we get to that are the bears & raccoons. We have had a young bear wandering about and regular visits from four raccoons. They a pretty casual, even when they found access into the screened veranda.
    Hate to think what it be like if the moose meandered through our town like those ponies. πŸ˜€

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