Rain then some sunshine

Sunday 10th September to Saturday 16th September 2017

Yes, we went over to Upton Heath for our walk on Sunday and we got wet again! Although it wasn’t as bad as yesterday my walking boots decided enough was enough and let water, so I came home with wet feet. Teddy wasn’t particularly happy about the state of affairs either.

Wet again! Teddy's not very happy

Monday was a good day – we didn’t get wet! And on Tuesday we actually had sunshine for our walk on Canford Heath. Here is Teddy, backlit by the sun.

Backlit on Canford Heath

And letting me know that all this photo-taking malarkey can get a bit boring.

Well this is boring!

When we do get sunshine a lot of Red Admiral butterflies are taking advantage, and we saw this lovely one as we headed down towards Knighton Heath.

Red Admiral Butterfly

I also spotted quite a large fungi and was trying to get a photo of it, but Teddy thought he’d take a leaf our of Max’s book and photobomb the shot.

Teddy takes a leaf out of Max's book and learns to photobomb

We continued on round and Teddy met a young Cocker Spaniel for the second time and they had a really good play. After which, of course, Teddy had to find the nearest puddle in which to cool down.

Teddy poses for Tongue out Tuesday

I particularly like this photo of him.

Time to cool down in a puddle

Needless to say he got out covered in mud!

Tuesday would have been Jezebel’s 10th birthday, so the day was tinged with sadness. But she loved cake, so in her honour I made a chocolate marble cake in the afternoon which Chris and I have been enjoying. This photo of Jez was taken on her birthday last year.

Jez on her 9th Birthday

On Wednesday I went to Dad’s in the morning as usual. I am pleased to say he has suffered no ill effects as a result of his fall last week, other than a very sore thumb where he cut it. In the afternoon I took Teddy over to Canford Heath, although I didn’t take any photos as once again it looked as though it could tip down with rain at any minute. After our walk we dropped round to Pat’s to take her her birthday presents: she will be 97 on Thursday.

On Thursday Teddy and I headed out to Badbury Rings for our walk. We didn’t get that far, though, as Teddy decided to whine and bark in the back of the car. Instead I called into Kingston Lacy which was closer.

Unfortunately the main part of the Woodland Walk is closed.

No Woodland Walk for us today

We did manage to do one small loop in the woods though, and then headed back past the house to the gardens. This view of the house was taken as we were walking back from the Woodland Walk.

Kingston Lacy House

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but in the woods in one part of the gardens they are using pigs to clear the undergrowth. They’ve always been too far away for me to get a photo before, but today they were by the fence. Here is the big one (I think it might be a Gloucester Old Spot, but I can’t actually see any spots so I might be wrong).

Clearing the undergrowth in the gardens the natural way

And here is one of the Kunekunes.

This Kunekune is hoping to be fed a few apples

He came over to the fence as there is a shoot there. You can buy apples and feed the pigs. Sadly I didn’t have 50p on me for the apples, so he had to go hungry.

Over in the Kitchen Garden the dahlias are looking lovely.

Dahlia

There was supposed to be an orchid flowering there somewhere but I couldn’t find it. I did find the little autumnal scene in one of the outhouses though.

Autumn's harvest in the Kitchen Garden

And one final shot of the house as we walked back to the car.

Kingston Lacy House

On Friday we walked over Upton Heath again and although I took the camera we spent time walking round with a dog walker so I didn’t take any photos. I did take the camera when we went on Saturday though, despite the forecast of rain. There was a very misty and moody view over Poole Harbour, looking towards Arne.

A misty view across the heath

And yes, we got wet, but not very. Just a couple of fairly light showers. So I’ll leave you with a panorma of the heath and hope that the forecast is right and we will not have a few days without rain.

Panorma across Upton Heath

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In which I get very excited

Sunday 3rd September to Saturday 9th September 2017

But before I get to the reason for my excitement I will start with a walk on Canford Heath on Wednesday 6th September (note the gap in photos due to more poor weather – although sadly that doesn’t mean a gap in Teddy’s walks!). The weather was still threatening on Wednesday, but I took the camera and for a change decided to park in Asda and walk Teddy up the Redbrick Path. This was the first time Teddy had experienced the Redbrick Path (I haven’t been for a couple of years) and he loved it. He especially loved chasing the squirrels that he found there!

Once we turned onto the heath we met our Labradoodle friend Milo.

Our friend Milo

Isn’t he a cutie? I love his little white beard. I say he’s a Labradoodle, but I normally refer to him as a Labradoodleoodle, as one parent was a Labardoodle and the other a Poodle. Sadly he was on the lead at the end of his walk today, so he and Teddy didn’t get to play.

We walked on round the heath and I was really surprised to come across a caterpillar.

Late caterpillar

It must be very late for them, although I found another a couple of days later in the garden.

And finally for today, one of my favourite trees that I haven’t photographed in a while.

One of my favourite trees

I’m pleased to say we actually managed our walk without getting wet!

And so onto the reason I was so excited. On Thursday morning I had to go over to my Dad’s again as he had had a fall. Fortunately he wasn’t too badly hurt and after getting him checked over by my cousin’s husband, who is an A&E nurse, I was able to come home and take Teddy to Wareham Forest in the afternoon.

We had just met a lady and her dogs when I walked on a spotted a young Smooth Snake in the path.

Young Smooth Snake

It may not seem like much but it is the UK’s rarest snake and I was so excited to find it. I managed to keep Teddy out of the way while I took a couple of photos.

Young Smooth Snake

Young Smooth Snake

After which it slithered off into the undergrowth.

And so onto Saturday. Showers were forecast for our walk on Saturday afternoon. We went over to Upton Heath as usual and walked up the Roman Road. As we came down the hill there were a few spits and spots but nothing to worry about. When we got to the pits, though, the heavens opened. I headed for a tree in the old pits and tried to shelter there, but it was pretty hopeless.

This bit of video gives you a clue as to what it was like. Those ‘streams’ weren’t there a couple of minutes beforehand. Oh, and the shouting is the lads who were riding their bikes around the pits at the time the rain started – you can see one going to join his friends under another tree.

I’m getting tired of all this wet weather.

A walk on Upton Heath

Saturday 26th August 2017

Saturday was a lovely, hot, sunny day (unusual for an August Bank Holiday weekend) and in the afternoon Teddy and I went for our walk over Upton Heath.

We started off by walking up the Roman Road, in the shade.

Looking through the old railway bridge

Next to the entrance we often take onto the heath I found this buddleia growing wild. I loved the colour, and realised there was a hover fly on it too.

Hover fly on buddleia

By the time we had got half-way down the hill across the heath Teddy was hot, especially as he had been playing with a dog while we were on the Roman Road, so guess who had to cool down in the very muddy gully.

Never mind the mud - Teddy needs to cool down

And guess who was somewhat less than clean when he got out.

Two-tone dog has a shake

After he had cooled down I took Teddy away from the path and into the valley that runs between the main path and the Roman Road. I hadn’t walked him there before. This was the view looking back up the hill.

Looking across Upton Heath

He enjoyed the change of scenery, especially as this area boasts lots of rabbits (which fortunately were all tucked up in their beds).

And so onto the pond, where I was able to wash Teddy off. As you can see from the photo, he seems to have found something interesting in there again.

Teddy's found something interesting in the pond again

My plan didn’t work that well though, as you can see from the final photo, taken on the lower heath of Teddy playing with a stick (something I’ve not seen him do before).

Teddy's found himself a stick

Shower time when we got home!

In the Garden

Friday 25th August 2017

Oops – sorry! I’m further behind than I thought. As you can see from the title, today is mainly about photos taken in the garden, although Teddy and I did go for a walk over Upton Heath and I took this photo at Creekmoor Ponds on the way home.

A blacck headed gull

So, back to the garden and in the afternoon I attached my 100m lens to the camera and tried a few photos of bees. I have three I really like.

Coming in to land.

Coming in to land

A bit of a stretch.

A bit of a strech

And close up.

Collecting pollen

I also took a few photos of Teddy – just because I could.

Teddy

Cheecky chappie

Slumped

I love the middle one. I think It shows his charachter.

And that’s it for Friday.

Ospreys!

Thursday 24th August 2017

On Thursday morning I took Teddy to Upton Country Park for his walk, but I did not take a camera as I planned to go out to RSPB Arne in the afternoon.

The reason for me going to Arne is that I am trying to see one of the Ospreys there. For those of you who don’t know an Osprey is a large, fish-eating bird of prey. In the UK they are on the Amber list of endangered birds, with only around 200-250 breeding pairs, mainly in Scotland. We normally only get Ospreys passing through on migration, but this year there is an attempt to persuade 5 young Ospreys that Poole Harbour is their home. The 5 have been bought from nests in Scotland and have been provided with a home at Arne. The idea is that they will imprint on the area and will return here to breed after their first migration.

It was a pretty overcast afternoon. Rather that head to the top of Combe Heath as I did last time I followed the Raptor Trail to the hide just off Middlebere Lake.

View from the hide on the Raptor Trail

I was chatting to a man down there who’d been there a while and hadn’t seen anything. But then another group of people came along and spotted a young osprey in a dead tree some distance away. It was shortly joined by another. I’m sorry this is not a good photo. It’s a very heavy crop, even with the 300mm lens on the camera, the light was poor and I didn’t have a tripod. But I did want to prove I’d seen them.

Ospreys! (Yes, I know - they were a little bit far away, but I saw Ospreys!)

And this is an even heavier crop of the same photo.

You can almost see that they were Ospreys

I was so happy, especially as the man I was talking thought let me look through his scope at them. After hanging around there for some time, feeling pleased that I’d bought some new binoculars that meant I got a half decent view of the birds, I headed back along the trail and out onto Combe Heath. Across Middlebere Lake a herd of Sika deer were grazing.

Sika Deer in the landscape

Here is a view over Middlebere Lake.

View over Middlebere Lake

As you can see it was pretty overcast. I got another view of the Osprey’s from here, who had left their tree and moved a short distance. Again, another kind man let me look through his scope. And one last photo for today – a panorama of Middlebere Lake.

Panorma over Middlebere Lake

The ospreys were off to the far left of this photo.

I came home feeling very happy, and had to do a little Osprey Happy Dance.

We go out to Badbury Rings

Tuesday 22nd August 2017

On Tuesday I took Teddy out to Badbury Rings. The reason for this walk was that I wanted to call in at the vet surgery in Wimborne on the way home so that I could weigh Teddy.

Once again it was an overcast day.

Harvest time

Autumn is starting to show it’s hand now. It’s not only the ploughed fields, but the Traveller’s Joy is now living up to it’s name of Old Man’s Beard.

Traveller's Joy

There is an abundance of crab apples just waiting to fall from the trees.

Bumper harvest of crab apples

And berries are looking very colourful on the Wayfaring Tree…

Wayfaring Tree berries

… and on the Hawthorn bushes.

Hawthorn Berries

In the barn on King Down farm the hay is being baled and stacked.

Hay Bales

Hay Bale Detritus by the Barn

This Dandelion head still has the early morning dew on it.

Dew-covered Dandelion

So yes, Autumn is approaching. But that didn’t seem to bother this Bloody-nosed Beetle who scurried across our path as we walked back around Badbury Rings to the car.

Bloody-nosed beetle

And as for Teddy, he has finally put on some weight, but then I think he’s grown. I had a chat with one of the nurses and after giving a good feel over she said he was an excellent weight, so we’ll just have to make sure he doesn’t put on too much more.

A walk on Canford Heath

Sunday 20th August 2017

I have lots of photos this week, so I thought I’d split them up into individual posts again.

On Sunday afternoon Teddy and I went for a walk over Canford Heath. It was a bit overcast but not particularly cold.

Looking down the hill

The heather is beautiful this year.

Heather and Gorse

We walked from Gravel Hill and cut across to the end of the Redbrick Path, and then headed up the hill to South Walk, where I took this photo of Teddy.

Teddy

Trees on the top of the heath.

Trees

And looking back along South Walk.

South Walk

This was the view looking out across Poole.

Overlooking Poole

We looped back around to the stream where I liked this log, used as a stepping stone, against the dark sky reflected in the water.

Log in the stream

And then we headed back to the car. I’d walked further than I’d intended, but it was a very pleasant walk.