Cold and wet for the end of December

26th to 30th December 2017

The Christmas period was miserable and wet, although not particularly cold. By Thursday, though, the skies and cleared and the temperature dropped. So when Teddy and I went for our walk on Canford Heath on Thursday mornings there were large, frozen puddles everywhere.

Teddy on a cold Canford Heath

Frozen puddles on Canford Heath

At least all the muddy bits were frozen for me to walk on though, so neither me nor Teddy got too dirty.

The same could not be said of Teddy on Saturday, however. We had had more wet weather and so it was muddy for our walk on Upton Heath. I was really surprised at how clean he stayed as we walked round. Until we got to the silver birch grove on the lower heath, that is, at which point we met Lexi, a 6 month old Rotweiller/Mastiff cross. They had a good play. Unfortunately they played in the muddiest, wettest part of the heath! I dread to think how long it took Lexi’s owner to get her clean: she was rolling and sliding in the mud as Teddy chased her. Teddy stayed upright, but just look at the state of him at the end of it.

Someone's been playing in the mud

He did not appreciate being hosed off when we got home.

And so another year ends. Happy New Year to everyone.

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Christmas

24th & 25th December 2017

On Christmas Eve we had my Dad to dinner and I cooked our Christmas lunch: a very large roast chicken with all the usual trimmings, followed by Christmas pudding. Rather than making an iced Christmas cake this year I thought I would try Mary Berry’s recipe for Tunis Cake: a lemon and almond sponge topped with a chocolate ganache and decorated. I was very pleased with the result, although I dread to think how many calories Chris and I consumed eating it over the following few days.

Tunis Cake

Anyway, we had a very nice dinner and I took Dad home again in the late afternoon. And so onto Christmas day. We think it was most probably Teddy’s first proper Christmas as we suspect that he was a travellers dog (not house trained, frightened of people (especially men), frightened of big sticks and people shouting, but very dog friendly). I had explained about Santa Paws before the big day (I know, I know!) and he seemed to enjoy himself.

Here he is with Chris.

Teddy and Chris

Kissy, kissy time…

Kissy kissy time

Wearing Max’s old reindeer antlers

Teddy

And with me.

Teddy is enjoying his first proper Christmas

I Hope you all had a nice time over the festive period.

A grey, miserable week

Sunday 17th to Saturday 23rd December 2017

On Sunday Chris caught the coach to London to visit his family. Normally we would have both gone and taken the car, but Teddy whines most of the time in the car so would never manage the journey to London. He’s not keen on people either, so wouldn’t have coped with lots of people gathered for a pre-Christmas get together. That meant I walked Teddy twice, but it was gloomy and I didn’t take the camera.

Monday was sunny, though, and I took these photos on Upton Heath.

Teddy in the sunshine

Teddy in the sunshine

En route home I took this photo of the cormorant on Creekmoor Ponds.

Cormorant

And after that the weather was so miserable I took no photos at all!

It Turns cold

Sunday 10th to Saturday 16th December 2017

On Sunday Teddy and I walked on Canford Heath. It was dull and miserable, so I didn’t take the camera. I did take this photo of Teddy resting after his walk when we got home though.

Teddy resting after his walk

He’s a funny dog. Amongst other things he has a strange idea about what makes a good pillow.

Well that's a strange pillow

Tuesday was cold and icy, and I took the better camera when we walked on Canford Heath. As we walked past the scuzzy pond near the Gravel Hill entrance I was taken by the sunlight on the trees and ice.

Sunlight and ice

Here’s Teddy backlit by the sun.

Teddy in the sunshine

And a colour photo of the trees that I shared last week in black and white.

Alongside the pit lane

And a different black and white one of them.

Trees in black and white

Out on the heath the puddles were frozen solid in pretty patterns.

Ice 1

Ice 2

We walked across the heath in front of the old pit, and then into the woods on the other side, where I loved the effect of the sunlight through the trees.

Winter sunlight through the trees

In the trees there was a huge birch bracket fungus. Although I took a photo of it last week, this one is better.

Birch bracket fungus

We turned back across the heath where I took this photo of Teddy by one of the frozen puddles.

Teddy on a cold heath

He was having a lot of trouble with that ice. He’s race off and then hit a frozen puddle and legs would go in all directions. And either playing on the ice or playing with dogs earlier he managed to cut his back leg. It has taken ages to heal as he kept opening it up, but is just about better now.

On Saturday we went over to Upton Heath as normal. It was still very cold but the skies were good again.

Sundown over Upton Heath

And so we head towards the Winter Solstice and Christmas.

Playing with black and white

Sunday 3rd December to Saturday 9th September 2017

Before you get too worried if you’re not a fan of black and white, there are colour photos in here too, but this week I have been watching a course on black and white photography on Lynda.com so have been practicing.

The first photo is in colour, though, and is of a piece of bark which caught my eye when Teddy and I walked on Canford Heath on Sunday afternoon.

Coloured bark

Up on South Walk Teddy was posing for me.

Teddy posing

He even sat down – something that’s very rare.

Teddy sitting down (a rare occurence - he doesn't sit)

As usual, though, it was only as a prelude to lying down, as you can see (he didn’t even want to play with the little cockerpoo).

Teddy goes to lie down but the Cockerpoo wants to play

A few minutes later we met our friend John and his dog Eddie, and while we talked I took photos of the view.

Dramatic skies over Poole

When I turned around, though, this was the sight that greeted me.

Rainbow

Later as we walked across the heath the sun was setting behind the trees.

The sun sets behind the trees

And so onto some black and white photos (I’ve not shared all of them – there are a few more on Flickr). These trees are along the path as we head towards the old pit.

Tangled trees

And here’s Teddy on the heath.

Teddy on the heath

On Friday we were on Upton Heath, and I was taken by the long shadows from the trees and old concrete structure along what was once the railway line.

Long shadows along the old railway line

And now it’s back to colour for the silver birch grove on a cold morning.

The silver birch grove in winter

Autumn colours were in evidence along the Roman Road, though.

Leaf fall along the Roman Road

And one last photo – another rainbow. This time taken as we headed for the heath.

Under the rainbow

Not a bad start to December.

Sunshine after the rain

Sunday 26th November to Saturday 2nd December

Monday was wet and cold, so I put Teddy’s new coat on him for our morning walk on Upton Heath. I think he looks a very smart boy.

Teddy looks smart in his new coat

Tuesday morning the weather was very different and I took this photo of Teddy in the sunshine on Canford Heath.

Teddy in the Autumn sunshine

Wednesday afternoon we were back on Canford Heath again, in yet more sunshine! This photo is taken near the Pilsdon Drive entrance to the heath.

Canford Heath in the sunshine

The sun was low behind the clouds when we got up onto South Walk though.

The sun behind the clouds

It re-appeared as we crossed the heath though.

Teddy walks across a sunlit heath

And the colour of the clouds and the sky meant I got a nice photo of one of my favourite trees.

Trees on the heath

On Thursday we were back walking the eastern side of the heath. As you can see, it was nice and sunny again, but it was quite cold.

Teddy on a cold, sunny morning

And so onto Friday, and this time we were on Upton Heath in more sunshine. And we met our friend Zeus.

Zeus and Teddy

He’s such a lovely boy.

Zeus

After he and Teddy had a play we walked onto the pond and then round into the old pits. This photo shows that they can look nice in the sunshine, although most of the time they just look drab and mucky, especially given the amount of litter the local boys leave behind when they play on their bikes there. It’s such a shame.

Even the old pits can look nice in the sun

And that’s all for this week.

Two walks in the sunshine on Upton Heath

Sunday 19th to Saturday 25th November 2017

Oh dear! I’m so sorry. I’m over a month behind. I’m afraid that inspiration to take photos and motivation to write this blog seems to be somewhat lacking at the moment. I will do my best to play catch up, however.

So back to the end of November. On Wednesday 22nd November I took Teddy over to Upton Heath. We did our ‘Saturday walk’ as we hadn’t done it on Sunday (I can’t quite recall why, but it had been Chris’ birthday), and we walked up the Roman Road. By the old railway bridge we came across an abandoned car.

Abandoned car along the Roman Road

There was some low sunshine, and I took this shot of Teddy at Pinesprings.

Pinesprings in Autumn

Once out on the heath the sky was beautiful.

Fabulous skies over Upton Heath

But by the time we had walked down the hill the sun was starting to go down.

The sun sets over Upton Heath

The next time I took the camera out was on Saturday and we did the same walk all over again. The sun looked lovely on the trees up at the Beacon Road entrance to the heath.

Upton Heath in the Autumn

I’m hoping you can see what I mean in this next photo, but coming down the heath I was surprised by vertical lines in the clouds.

Vertical lines in the clouds

I also took a photo of Teddy in the afternoon sunshine.

Teddy

Once we got to the silver birch grove on the lower heath Teddy made a new friend: Arthur, a Wire-haired German Pointer. They had great fun playing. Here Teddy had Arthur on the ground.

Bundle!

And I love this action shot of them playing.

Teddy and Arthur had a great time playing

And that’s all for that particular week.