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Spring around Linford and Shobley

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

The weather is beautiful and, although we desperately need rain, the hole in my petrol tank means that being without a car and having to walk from home is less of a trial than it might be. So, photos from around the farm, Shobley and Linford.

Sunny stile

First, three from last night. Walking home to the farm from Linford takes me on a footpath that passes through various fields, this stile looked so pretty with the late sun shining through the beech leaves.

Oak, ash and beech leaves

Above the stile there is a mixture of oak, ash and beech leaves.

Light through the beech leaves

The fresh green of the beech leaves is lit up from behind.

So to our morning walk…

Linbrook farm fields edged with bluebells

On the road down to Linford we pass by the fields of Linbrook Farm, separated by hedgerows and edged with bluebells, so much nicer than fences!

Cloud and sun rays behind a tree

I see this so often, clouds passing behind trees and echoing their shape. The morning sun throws rays up into a clear blue sky.

Rays intensify

As the clouds move along, the rays intensify.

Little Linford stream

The stream running through Little Linford Inclosure, logs making little weirs, I suppose to stop the water washing everything down when it’s in spate.

Yellow azalea

Out of the inclosure and walking along the Shobley road I find this unusual yellow azalea. We get a lot of purple rhododendron on the Forest, but I’d not seen one of these growing wild before.

Goat

Back on the footpaths through the back of the farm and I find one of the goats in a neighbouring field sunning him (or her) self in the still morning.

For our afternoon walk, we do a much larger walk in the same area, just the other way round. From home we walk up to the A31, follow it for a few hundred yards and then head down into Shobley, but instead of walking the roads, we turn right and head off across the open heath. Considering we follow the A31 for a good half mile, it’s quiet and peaceful with the road above us and you could be right out in the wilder and lonelier parts of the Forest.

Just Forest and sky

See what I mean? Across Shobley Bottom. Just Forest and sky. Wonderful!

Roe deer

A good way ahead of us, a roe deer browses amongst the dead bracken. I catch a quick photo before making her aware of our presence so that she can make herself unobtrusive and carry on in peace.

The path undulates and snakes over the heathland

The path undulates and snakes over the heathland as we head towards Picket Post Pitch, one of the places that the Ringwood and Ellingham Rugby Club play. It has to have one of the finest views of any rugby or cricket pitch, looking out over Picket Plain.

Running ponies

The New Forest Pony stallions are only turned out for a short time each spring, to aid in the control of the population. It becomes apparent from the running ponies ahead, that the Picket Plain stallion has just been turned out and is rounding up his mares.

There's part of the view, Picket Plain

There’s part of the view, Picket Plain.

The first New Forest Pony foal I've seen this year

The first New Forest Pony foal I’ve seen this year. A friendly little thing that was all for coming to say hello, but mum soon put a stop to that.

Little Linford Inclosure

After a lovely walk over Picket Plain, we’re back at the top end of Little Linford Inclosure. Looking back down the slope we’ve just climbed which is bathed in late afternoon sun.

Mares Tails

Just inside the gate, Mares Tails are growing.

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A drainage ditch in Little Linford Inclosure.

A little further on in the Inclosure, a profusion of green

A little further on in the Inclosure, a profusion of green.

Bluebells

Bluebells. Nuff said.

Linford Brook from the bridge

And finally, a very clear, blue Linford Brook in the evening sunshine.


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