Today has been so bitterly cold again. This has been a week of east winds, snow and ice. Last Tuesday was such a different day. A false spring arrived to fool us that winter had almost gone.
In the valley bottom, local New Forest ponies dozed in a bright, warm, mid morning sun. In their pair bonds and family groups, one pony will always stay on her feet, on guard, while her friend lies down to sleep. Baggage, the grumpy old pony, relaxed beside her dark bay companion.
Snowy was bleached pure white by the sunlight and overlooked her black friend, who slept on a bed of dry grass and bracken.
One of the Three Little Maids stretched in the sun as she became more alert at our approach.
An older silver birch tree.
Bare branches and lichen shining green in the light.
The oldest ash tree in the valley.
Gorse was in flower again, after the dull green of mid winter.........
....and a few early honey bees buzzed and fed on the nectar of yellow blooms.
An old, misshapen oak shone at the edge of the woods.
Beautiful birches, filigreed against the sky.......
....and sharp green moss around the ash tree`s roots.
We circled the hill and came back along the valley bottom. Old Baggage got to her feet and wandered down to see us.
The wilding crab apple, festooned now with lichen, will soon be a mass of pink blossom again.
Almost home, and our Grey One`s half sister came across the green to follow us along the muddy lane.
Later that morning, I saw my first yellow Brimstone butterfly of the year.
Thank you, as ever, to all of you who visit and leave comments on my blog.