Mushroom point cloud

This image of some mushrooms near to Stonyford Pond on the heath at Hilltop is made up of individual dots in 3Dspace, each one coloured. So once placed inside a virtual world it would be possible to go and explore, pass beneath the mushrooms, explore the spaces between the pine needles. This is the direction I am going with the research I have been doing up on Hilltop.

On another planet

Sometimes out on the heath it does feel as if you are on another planet, in this case with hoof prints embedded in the surface mud.

Waterlogged beauty

Speaking of beauty, I saw the dark bottom of one pond sprinkled with white seeds like a delicate patterned tablecloth; and then there were these plants, rising through the peat-tinted waters of lapwing mire.

In the land of Lilliput

Out on the heath the action happens well below you, at ground level. The close-cropped growth of grasses; the slow bonsai-like growth of the woody plants; the sinking of the bogs – all the action is on a Lilliputian scale. So I’ve been keeping my nose close to the ground and imagining the small to be large. That’s where this micro-mountain with mushroom trees came in. There is a beauty in everything.

Horse tale

Yes, its a rather graining photo of the back end of a horse! But checkout the tail: it’s cut in a pattern that tells where that pony came from. Each Agister is responsible for a section of the Forest, and this one comes from Agister Robert Maton’s area.

Fuzz bunker

I’ve named this place the Fuzz Bunker. It’s a clump of gorse in the middle of the heath tall enough to walk inside. The ponies and cattle use it to shelter from bad weather, so all surfaces are rubbed smooth and the ground stamped flat. Calling gorse ‘fuzz’ I have heard elsewhere, but I can’t remember where. Today it came from the mouth of a Commoner. Welcome to my Fuzz Bunker!

Looking for the lapwings

Met up with Andy Page today, Forestry England’s Head of Wildlife in the New Forest, and wandered the heath as well as a wide range of wildlife topics. Whilst we were doing a little bog hopping he pointed out just how important Hilltop is to bird species, including the lapwing, redshank and curlew. I remember flocks of lapwing over farming land when I was growing up, but no more. In 2019 only six pairs nested in the Forest, and those were at Hilltop. So much to digest from my talk with Andy. In the meantime, I took this 3D portrait of him. [Many thanks Andy for opening my eyes to another side of the Forest.]