Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A day out

Although the sun was shining yesterday, there was a very chilly wind. We started the day at the old favourite for a good hearty breakfast. We sat in the sun in the garden just inside the gate. It was beautifully sheltered from the wind and a wonderful sun trap.

Across the road a magnificent wisteria is in full bloom.

We took off to Dorset into some of our favourite walking countryside but did little walking. The roads are lined with Hawthorn in full bloom and the country lanes are lined with Queen Anne's lace. The drive was just stunning.

There was a sweet calf in amongst the buttercups.

As we came over the hills near the Hardy Monument, the view to the coast is spectacular. You can see that there is lots of moisture in the air.

The sheep are lambing and they are out in the fields now.

Life is just too exhausting for some...

We drove passed this stunning tree in full bloom hanging onto its blossoms for dear life in the wind.

We went on to the swannery to see the swans. The birds are nesting at the moment.

One precious egg...

I love it when they swim like this.

This is a sanctuary for all kinds of water and reed birds and the best bit was that there was wheel chair access all the way around. I did manage to walk a bit too:)

We finished up with coffee and carrot cake in the coffee shop before heading back home. As we drove back over the hills, we found a bluebell field that we missed on the way down. I am always surprised to see them in fields.

Coming up over the hills, the land is scattered with rape seed fields. The colour just lightens the spirit and lifts the heart.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

New Forest and Exbury Gardens.

Once Borneo had shaken the sleep from his eyes yesterday morn, we headed to our favourite place for breakfast in the forest, The Old Farmhouse in Burley. Borneo says I like to go there because it is supposedly ' the witches' capital. I wonder what he means by that...

Peter, the owner, was not there so we could behave like dignified adults. (Please notice the double specs to read the menu.) We sat out in the garden in the gorgeous sunshine.

Along the way the roads are lined in glorious yellow as the gorse is out in full bloom. The harsh winter has certainly lead to a very verdant spring here.

We headed off into the forest after the feast. The sun was streaming through the trees, highlighting the new grow, mostly fresh beech leaves.

We drove along Rhinefield Drive to visit the big trees. I call them the Sentinels. They are the reason I want to go to the Redwoods. These ones are mere babes, about 200 years old. They tower over the trees. It takes three people holding hands to get around the circumference of their trunks.

On the moors the ponies are out feeding on the new grass and grooming each other. There are few foals this year so it looks like the stallions were separated from the herds early for number control purposes. They do this every couple of years. I do miss the foals in all their awkwardness.

The donkeys seem to have escaped this and there was a sweet little one. It is unusual to see a baby because most of these are rescue animals that are fixed before they roam the forest.

After a beautiful drive through the forest, we arrived at Exbury where we acquired a wheel chair and set off into the gardens. They are stunning this year.

A pretty blossom of another kind.

We spent most of the day surrounded by scenes like this...

The grass is full of primulas and violets.

The acers are magnificent.

We came across the Domesday Yew which makes this a pretty old tree...

There are areas to sit and contemplate beauty...

All of this explored before the healthy option for lunch. I needed to build up my stamina for the afternoon.

After the refreshing visit to the tea room, we took off for the river side of the gardens. It was even more stunning, with azalea and camellia walks. This was the first view of the river. The white speck is a yacht.

Then we found the ponds.

I loved the blue bells refected in the water against the red leaves.

We arrived at the view point. It is the furtherest point in the garden and right on the Beaulieu River which is tidal.


Borneo had to push me all the way back up the hill. I had a good day and did manage to walk quite a bit but we would never have managed to explore the full beauty of the gardens without the blessing of the wheel chair. 

On the way back we discovered some other ponds.

We walked along azalea hedged paths up to Exbury house

and across grassy treed lawns.

A small critter was oblivious to our movements.

As we moved back to the exit, a line of fruit trees in blossom greeted us.

It was a gorgeous day spent in awe at the beauty that nature has to offer.