Wilverley and a Fox Hill Sunset
Saturday, November 23rd, 2013
A perfect day on the New Forest. Wilverley in the morning and then a sublime Fox Hill sunset.
Harry and I head off to Wilverley for a lovely autumn walk from Wilverley in the morning. We park by Wilverley Inclosure.
We wend our way through the edge of Wilverley Inclosure before heading out onto the plain. The sunlight slants through the trees and sets the Sweet Chestnut leaves alight.
As soon as we get out into the open, Harry is all ready to play ball.
We skirt round what is left of Markway Inclosure. Many of the trees have been taken down, opening up the view, here over to Clumber Inclosure.
The path from Markway leads down into Duck Hole Bog, this is the footbridge that crosses it.
A magpie settles on a branch of dead gorse, they really are beautiful birds.
Zooming in on the view again, somewhere in there is Puttles Bridge. The autumn colours are wonderful, but the hazy sunshine mutes them somewhat.
As we rise back up onto Wilverley Plain, the view opens wide across White Moor and the green plain of Whitefield Moor with the chimney stacks of Fawley Power Station in the far distance.
That’ll be the eleven thirty two out of Bournemouth going overhead.
A bunch of New Forest Ponies make the most of the morning sunshine.
Near the car park at the end of a gorgeous walk, a New Forest Pony has a kip accompanied by a Shetland chum, not much taller than the pony lying down.
The weather bodes well for a sunset this afternoon, so we drive over to Fox Hill in search of some stunning reflections. We weren’t disappointed.
Withybed Bottom lit by the late afternoon sun.
We pass some Scots Pines silhouetted against a beautiful sky.
The altocumulus clouds rendered dark against the lowering sunlight.
An oak tree makes a nice study in black.
At the edge of Stonard Wood, a birch tree against the fast changing sky.
We’ve skirted around Withybed Bottom to Stonard Wood and now reach the top of Murrays Passage which will lead us across the Bottom back up to Fox Hill and the spot where I’m hoping to be rewarded with a stunning sunset.
From the passage we look across at multiple pony tracks across the heather which is burnt orange by the setting sun.
Trees and heather now turning pink as the light changes from moment to moment.
A Passage in the New Forest is a safe path across a bog. Murrays Passage crosses Long Brook in Withybed Bottom and was constructed in memory of one Admiral Murray who died hunting in the area at the beginning of the 20th Century. This stone by the brook marks the event.
As the path rises back up to Fox Hill I look back to Stonard Wood.
At last, the point of this walk. We arrive at Fox Hill Pond and look across it to the west. This is shaping up to be a cracker of a sunset.
Zooming in a bit, the only thing that mars the perfection of this is the breeze that ruffles the water. But even that creates a diffused reflection of the riot of colour.
A glance across to the east of the pond. This is actually an artificially made pond for model boat sailing. I’ve only seen them in action once, you can see that here.
Ever obsessed with his ball, Harry doesn’t care about the cold breeze or the even colder water and chases it down with a splash.
Back across the pond, the sun is disappearing fast now.
A closer view, swirls of all the imaginable shades of orange.
Zooming back out, the sun is just a pinprick of light now.
After the sun has set, there is about 20 minutes before the twilight really sets in. Quite often, this is the best of the sunset sky. Leaving the main pond, there is a secondary pond, whether just an old gravel pit that floods I’m not sure, but it still renders a beautiful reflection of the fantastic colours.
Harry is still keen to play ball, but what this cross legged look is about I’m really not sure!
Twilight is approaching and it’s getting very cold. A last look at the last of the sunset fading into deeper blue and we’re off home.
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