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It was time to go to The Newt again, this time not focussing on the Roman Villa (3’37” video), as I had on my four previous visits, last year. On Sunday morning I walked mainly in the deer park and woodland. I took over 100 photos. Here are too many of them, especially of deer and moss.

I went upwards, away from the central hub, courtyard and parabola.

As I went along the sinuous raised walkway, known as The Viper, I hoped to see some deer. At first I saw nothing, and then a white patch became clearer. Zooming in with my camera, I realised that there were brown and pale fallow deer there.

There were no leaves on the trees yet, other than those of ivy clinging to their trunks, but there was green moss everywhere. When the sun was out (‘sunny spells’ had been forecast for the morning) it was almost dazzling.

My guess is that some creature, not the bird for which it was intended, made the hole of the higher nesting box too big, so the woodstone box has been put there to foil such vandalism.

Back in the autumn the red deer had been herded into a large field, off limits to the public, presumably because it was the rutting season. Today they had not been there as I passed it, and I wondered where they were. As I walked through the wood, I saw these few, also out of reach of the public, and wondered where the rest of the herd was.

Very zoomed
The Viper’s supports always seem to be hanging in the air. In fact they are firmly bolted into the ground.

I had gone off the footpath to get a little nearer to these deer, (though the pictures are heavily zoomed) and as I made my way back to it, I saw that there were many more ahead of me.

They blend in so well to their surroundings.
Counting ears and legs proves that there are 2.5 deer here.
Deer-proof gate with warning to them. I was able to go through it.
Homage to the Sweet Track. You may walk across it but, unlike some children around, I decided that discretion was the better part of valour.
Aeration? (More fun with sound on)

Lunchtime was approaching. I could have bought a small something at the Cyder Barn.

I could have bought a hot waffle with apple caramel sauce.

I had other plans. With a few minutes to spare, I made for the cottage garden.

Through the gap in the wall on the way, I saw that I could have had an ice cream. I was surprised the selling point was open. I was less surprised, given the temperature, that there was no trade.

No entry, but it’s a lovely gate
I had never noticed this plaque on the wall here before. As I was alone, I read it – quietly – out loud, and was moved.

My reservation time approached and I approach the Garden Café via the Parabola, and its hundreds of apple trees awaiting spring.

This was the view from my table as I enjoyed my meal.