This morning Jackie drove me to the bank at Lymington to order more Antipodean currency. Since it was such a bright, crisp, day we continued on to the forest.

The moors on the approach to Brockenhurst were alive with strings of ponies basking, snoozing, ambling, grazing among the browned bracken and the now naked trees.

Ponies in landscape 4

We have an expression, ‘stir your stumps’, indicating ‘get your feet moving’. If you have ever seen one of these cumbersome creatures, forelegs first, dragging hind-quarters, heaving itself to its feet, you may understand what this involves.

Cigarette end and packet on verge

Maybe a cigarette smoker had stood watching this bucolic scene; maybe just lobbed the detritus from his or her car.

Whilst the occasional equine ambled towards me, most continued their silent dining, casting shadows, and collecting bracken clinging to their mud-caked hides.

Although one turned its sleepy head in my direction, donkeys dozing by the roadside on the outskirts of the village itself, seemed oblivious of the passing traffic.

From Brockenhurst we travelled to the Rhinefield Ornamental Drive.

Most of the trees there are giant redwoods or Sequoias planted many years ago.

Impressive as are these mighty evergreens,

at this time of the year their beauty lies far below their lofty summits, among the curling bracken, the fallen leaves, and their stark shadows.

All of a sudden, the peaceful silence of the forest was shattered by a distant raucous bark. I peered through the trees, seeking an uncouth canine. I then realised that the bark spelled out “C’m’ere”. I glimpsed a woman giving chase, but no dog. I do believe a profanity was uttered. Eventually a little white pooch was clutched, harnessed, and led off without a protest.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s praiseworthy lamb jalfrezi and perfect onion rice. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank Chonch y Toro Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2016.

51 responses to ““C’m’ere””

  1. Masterly writing … i was so hypnotised by your description of the mighty sequoias standing sentinel casting their dark shadow that I actually jumped when the lady bellowed c’mon (and something more langage verte) … utterly brilliant, Derrick. Truly.

  2. I do love that part of the world, happy memories of trips there years ago and an all-too short visit more recently. As you keep mentioning food and drink, I feel I should mention I’m shortly off to the pub, where I shall no doubt consume an intemperate amount of ale. πŸ™‚

  3. Majestic! I especially like the dark shadows on the ground. But, when I was away in Canberra I missed a few posts – What’s the story about Antipodean currency?

  4. A fascinating gallery of photos as usual, Derrick. Perhaps, sometime, you can weave into one of your travelogues some more general information about the ponies/horses/donkeys. Are they owned by specific individuals? Do they find night-time shelter for themselves? Are there specific places where they can shelter ?

  5. Mine is less of a bark and more of a cry “Nooooooooo!” when young Sidd decides to take off after a potential new best friend……… Sometimes he listens to me, sometimes he doesn’t. It just depends on how enticing the potential new best friend is.

  6. Sleepy countryside and brooding forest. We have captured them well, at times with your pen, at times with your camera. The story turned dramatic towards the end. What was the lady doing among the sequoias?

  7. The light in your photos is just fabulous Derrick. Captures the very best of the woodland. Reminds me I must get out more. Too tied to my desk at the moment πŸ™

  8. What a relaxing post. Just looking at those beautiful animals, even if only in your photographs has that effect on me, just love them, and those donkeys, I ‘d love to give them a big hug; they’d probably kick the bejeezus out of me πŸ˜€

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