On Friday night we had heavy rain, but Saturday morning brought blue skies and sunshine. Enough to gently warm the soaking land. Up on the heath, our local herd of New Forest ponies, owned by Forest Commoners, were resting in the sun with their damp coats drying to a glossy shine.
The ponies look sleek and well after a summer when wet weather caused a good crop of grass to grow on the Forest. These mares did not have a foal this year, but a strawberry roan stallion visited in spring, so their swelling bellies may be a sign of foals to come next May.
If this young mare is in foal, it will be her first.
She dozed in the sunshine, just waking enough to pass the time of day as I came nearer.
Her muzzle shone like silver velvet.
Three mares, drying their backs and standing in the yellow-browns and greens of early autumn bracken.
The old black pony`s coat was gleaming.
Nearby her best friend, Snowy the white grey, is surely in foal.
She has been losing the black pigment in her skin in recent years.
Always the grumpiest in the herd, we call this mare Baggage, because she is one! Often she bites, kicks and bullies the other mares into submission and will never tolerate the touch of a human hand.
It was good to see her calm and contented today, enjoying the rare hours of sunshine.
Such a change from so many cloudy, grey, wet days.
There were mackerel clouds..........
.....and mares` tails.