A busy Sunday outside with animals and the garden, in sunshine and a blustery south west wind. In the late afternoon, the wind dropped, so we drove along to Burbush Hill car park to walk the dogs in the last of the soft light. The old railway line stretched away to the south. There were so many walkers and cyclists out, so we dropped down the embankment to find a peaceful way along a stream that drains the moor. Aged trees bent across the running water while the stream banks grew rich with fungi and bright moss.
Up the sandy track, across the old railway line and then down through goat willow and silver birch beside a stream.
We walked beside the stream and followed tracks across the edge of the rust brown heather moor.
A pony grazes amongst heather and marsh.
Along the stream.
An ancient holly shows the browsing line where ponies, deer and cattle reach upwards to feed.
Over the moor and up the hill.
Birch bracket fungi and lichen on a streamside silver birch.
Trees and track as we walked back along the disused railway line towards Burbush Hill car park.
The sun dipping down behind clumps of trees. A roe deer leapt out across the bracken but the camera was too slow to catch her image as she sped into cover again. Flocks of finches swirled over goat willow and drying reeds in the marshy valley. Three riders turned their ponies homewards up a heather track towards the village. Our two black and white collies rode home in the back of the car. Tired but happy and covered in heather twigs and bracken.
This railway track was part of the Brockenhurst to Poole line that was opened in 1847. Because of the many twists and turns along much of this line, it was named the Castleman`s Corkscrew. Castleman was a solicitor who practised in Ringwood and Wimborne and who had promoted the building of this stretch of line. The line was closed in 1964 as one of Dr Beeching`s infamous branch line closures, but much of it still serves as a route across the countryside for walkers, cyclists and riders.
Living in the beautiful New Forest, I am a married late-fifties woman, a recently retired teacher and the mother of grown up boys who have flown the nest. I share my days with cats, dogs, ponies and the wildlife all around us. Starting this blog is a chance to explore woods, fields, lanes and heath with my camera. A chance to share the simple pleasures of my country life.