Our Saturday walk on Upton Heath

Saturday 6th September 2014

Yes it’s Saturday, which for me means cleaning in the morning and then taking the dogs over Upton Heath in the afternoon. I wasn’t sure whether Jez would come. She is getting towards the end of her month off her arthritis medication (she has 5 months on and one month off) and is getting pretty stiff. Walks at the moment involve lots of lying down. But she came with us and, after we had turned off the Roman Road towards Pinesprings, led us along up a little grassy dead end as she was following another dog. It did mean that I spotted my first Fly Agaric of the year though. This one is just poking up through the grass.

My first Fly Agaric this year

Once she’d finished nosing around up there, and had had a rest, we retraced our footsteps and walked through Pinesprings nature reserve before heading onto Upton Heath.

View over Upton Heath

Jez was starting to look fairly tired by this time, and she was panting and dribbling a lot. Unfortunately we had to walk quite a way, to the far side of the hill, before she could get to any water. And we had a slight distraction on route: Max suddenly headed into the bracken to the right of the path sniffing around frantically. Soon a pheasant took to the air, with Max in hot pursuit. It landed a little way off, giving Max hope, so he continued chasing it. This happened two or three times, and Max was a dot in the distance before he gave up. Meawhile Jez and I headed onto the little pool of water, where she was pleased of a chance to cool her aching joints.

Jez lies down in the water better to cool down

Max joined us again too, and was looking very pleased with himself.

Max is a happy dog after chasing a pheasant

After that we headed back down the hill to Max’s favourite pond and then home. When we got home I decided that it was time Max had another bath. He has been a bit red and scratchy the past couple of days, so I washed him in his Neem oil shampoo in case it was caused by harvest mites. You have to leave it on for 10 minutes, so we spend the time playing in the garden. Here he is waiting to be rinsed off.

It's bath time for Max

He hasn’t scratched so much since his bath, so the Neem oil must be working.

A year ago today

Max and I went to Canford Heath, where he helped himself to a few blackberries.

Max picks his own blackberries

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