This week I’m going to share some very special memories with you all. Some of you may have seen these photos appear on Facebook, but here I’ll say a bit more about our time in the New Forest rather than just a very large pile of photos. As an extra special treat, this is going to be a series of eight posts over the next week so be sure to check back every day after 11am to see the next installment! The first seven posts will be each of the days, mostly in order. The last post will be a species spotlight on the fabulous fungi we saw throughout the forest!
Spot The Deer…
Today’s post is split into two sections, because we did two different things on the fifth day of our honeymoon. We started off with a trip to Bolderwood Deer Sanctuary. The drive across was beautiful – across the heathlands and up the ornamental arboretum. The forest looks lovely with its mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees. It was wonderful to see it all at Autumn time. Such colours! We decided to follow one of the marked routes across to the deer viewing platform (where we saw no deer at all) and on a gentle walk through the forest. The birds were singing (mostly robins, but a few we didn’t know) and the sun was trying very hard to shine through the clouds! We stopped for lunch near a babbling stream about halfway round and continued on.
Nature liked us today. We had been walking quietly and were rewarded with the beautiful sight of two majestic fallow deer stags grazing contentedly under the trees. It was so beautiful. I’ve never seen a fallow deer in the wild before so I was delighted and naturally started snapping all the photos I could. Sadly the light meant that most of them turned out badly. I cannot even begin to describe the disappointment I felt when two excitable dogs came rocketing round the corner and close to the deer. The deer obviously bolted at this point. The dogs, to their credit, didn’t bark but they were excitable and clearly very happy at being allowed to run free. The owners sadly not in very good control of their dogs and we might have complained to them had it been clearer where the “dogs on leads” section ended. They ruined a special moment.
But nature, as ever, decided that we were not to blame and as we continued along our path, round the corner and started up the hill, for some reason, I felt compelled to look behind me. And there! The two stags were following us calmly up the hill, they crossed the path and disappeared into the undergrowth on the other side. It was even more special, because I was totally prepared with the camera and they came out into the light. I know they are more tolerant of humans than most deer are, but it was still so very very special! I could go on about the deer all day, but I’ll let my photos of this part of our day do the talking for me. Have a look at these photos, and I’ll meet you afterwards to tell you about some more cute animals!
On The Farm
After spending some time at Bolderwood, we headed across to Longdown Activity Farm. As you might guess, this was full of adorable animals waiting to be petted and admired. It’s like most other farms so I don’t really have much to tell you that the next set of photos won’t. The only exception was when the Shetland pony escaped! She was called Pearl and someone had left her gate open, or maybe she was clever and worked out how to escape. But either way, she escaped but didn’t go very far and was having a lovely time frolicking in the children’s play area! I didn’t get any photos but it was amusing to see the staff trying to catch her again!
I’ll leave you with a collection of photos from the farm, thanks again for reading and I look forward to seeing you for part 6 tomorrow – only 3 more parts to go!