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Rockford Common morning and Smugglers Road afternoon – chased by snow!

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

A lively day for weather – a very bright sunrise and stormy skies in the afternoon.

Rockford Common – early morning

The view from the tumulus on top of Rockford sandpit. A beautiful day.

The view from the tumulus on top of Rockford sandpit. A beautiful day.

Zooming in on a distant Cranborne Chase - lit by the morning sun but under an increasing blanket of cloud.

Zooming in on a distant Cranborne Chase – lit by the morning sun but under an increasing blanket of cloud.

One of my favourite birch trees. I call it Rob's tree because a good friend of mine came a cropper here when his horse took a shortcut under one of it's lower branches!

One of my favourite birch trees. I call it Rob’s tree because a good friend of mine came a cropper here when his horse took a shortcut under one of it’s lower branches!

More birch trees, their trunks lit by the rising sun

More birch trees, their trunks lit by the rising sun.

A beautifully delicate Cirrus cloud as I return to the car park

“A beautifully delicate Cirrus cloud as I return to the car park. Being a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society I am
duty bound to photograph, share and generally expound the beauty of clouds at every opportunity!

Back at the tumulus, the trees around the edge of the sandpit are suddenly lit by bright sunlight, a wonderful mixture of some of the best Forest trees

Back at the tumulus, the trees around the edge of the sandpit are suddenly lit by bright sunlight, a wonderful mixture of some of the best Forest trees.

Smugglers Road – Vales Moor – mid afternoon

Storm clouds gathering before the westering sun

Storm clouds gathering before the westering sun. An earlier than usual walk due to a car that needed collecting from the garage.

Another favourite tree - this birch always makes me think it's in a hurry

Another favourite tree – this birch always makes me think it’s in a hurry. My "Go Faster" birch.

Castle Hill from Smugglers Road

Having walked the valley below it in shade, on the Smugglers Road now. This was one of the routes leading from the coast
commonly used by Smugglers in the 18th and 19th centuries to carry contraband into the Forest and beyond. Nearby Ridley Wood was a commonly used
market place for smuggled goods. Read more about smuggling in the New Forest here.

Zooming in on Castle Hill, an Iron Age Hill Fort. Read more about it here

Vereley Hill. At the height of local smuggling activity the local Warne family lived close by at Knaves Ash. Amongst other smuggling
activities, the daughter of the house, Lovey Warne, was well known for wandering on this hill wearing a bright red cloak to warn approching smugglers of
the presence of the authorities.

As I start to descend off Smugglers Road a glance to my right showed an approaching band of rain or snow.

As I start to descend off Smugglers Road a glance to my right showed an approaching band of rain or snow.

A glance further behind showed that the storm extended round behind me and was a lot closer than I'd realised

A glance further behind showed that the storm extended round behind me and was a lot closer than I’d realised – and beautifully lit by the lowering sun.

Looking behind me a few moments later I realised it was time to run for the car!

Looking behind me a few moments later I realised it was time to run for the car! Driving home the setting sun was half obscured by this
storm after it had raced overhead creating spectacular effects. Sadly I could not stop to photograph more!


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