I go back to Highcliffe

Thursday 3rd July 2014

How nice to wake up in my own bed! But it’s shortlived. After a morning spent cleaning the house for Chris I had to head back to Highcliffe to get Dad’s dinner. We didn’t get out in the afternoon, but after tea I suggested going down to Mudeford Quay. It was a lovely evening, as you can see from this photo, which shows Dad starting to stride out.

Dad wanders on Mudeford Quay

I think that photo shows how much he’s improved in the past couple of weeks.

On the Quay the lobster pots were looking nice in the evening sun.

Lobster Pots on Mudeford Quay

And people were heading back into the harbour after an early evening on the water. Here a jet ski…

Jet-ski coming up the Race at Mudeford

… and here a motor boat.

Heading into the Harbour

I don’t know if you can see the water in that shot. The tide is going out, so the Race is running full-tilt out of the harbour. It’s a really strong rip current that runs when the tide is turns. You can see it here in the contrast between the turbulant waters of the Race and the calm along by Hengistbury Head.

Hengistbury Head from Mudeford Quay

After we’d walked around the Quay we sat in the sun and had a drink at the pub there. Then, as the sun went down, Dad headed back to the car while I walked around the Quay one last time.

Mudeford Quay

And one last shot – taken by the sailing club.

The sun is setting

It was a very pleasant evening.

A year ago today

We went for a walk on Upton Heath, where I took this photo of a Bog Asphodel.

The bog asphodel is out on Upton Heath

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Jez hurts herself again

Friday 11th April 2014

Poor little Jez. She doesn’t have much luck. No sooner is she getting better than she aggravates her injury. It happened down at Whitecliffe Park in Poole. We had dropped Linda off in Bournemouth and said a quick Hello to her friend Gilly before leaving them to wander down to Bournemouth beach before heading back to Oxford. I didn’t take the dogs to the beach – it would have been too much for Jez. So instead I drove back to Poole and parked in Whitecliffe Park to do our normal Friday morning walk but the opposite way around (Whitecliffe to the Baiter and back). But having met Gilly and her granddaughter Jez was so excited she was dashing around and twisting about. Then she fell over and yelped, and when she stood up she was holding her front leg out straight. After a short massage, though, she put it back down so I thought I’d see how she’d get on.

Well the answer was that she didn’t seem too bad. First off she headed for the sea, I think to get cold water on whatever was hurting.

Jez

She wandered in the shallows and had a lie down in the water. As you can see, the tide was out quite a long way.

Max

We took it easy, at least when Jez wasn’t trying to play with the other dogs she met. In fact, we hung around by the steps for quite a long time while I threw cones for Max and Jez just paddled and explored. And had a good old shake.

Shake!

Here’s another photo of Max at the bottom of the steps.

Max

And here’s a photo of both dogs a little bit further on.

Jez and Max

I didn’t walk quite as far as normal, so we turned back short of the Baiter car park. Walking along near the railway line I was surprised to find what looked like a crab apple. I say surprised as I don’t recall seeing a crab apple there before, but can’t think what else it could be. The buds…

Crab Apple Buds

… and the flowers…

Crab Apple Blosson

were very pretty though.

As for Jez, well she seemed pretty stiff and sore when we got home, but that didn’t stop her wanting to go out with Chris and Max in the afternoon. They only went to Delph Woods, though, where she was able to have a gentle pootle about.

A year ago today

I was busy taking photos of flowers. Like this grape hyacinth.

Grape Hyacinth

A three walk day

Tuesday 4th April 2014

For Jezebel, that is, not for me. Chris took Max out in the morning while I did a bit of cleaning and waited for Jez’s physio appointment. Rachael was really surprised to see how much Jez had improved. On her part, Jez was really pleased to see Rachael.

It was lovely and sunny, so after Rachael and Chris and Max returned, I took Jez to Upton Country Park for a short walk. We’re suffering from high levels of pollution at the moment and you can see that by the haze as you look over Upton Lake towards Poole.

Polution haze over Poole

I was really pleased with how well Jez seemed after her physio session. We walked around the Woodland Walk to the lake and then back to the car, so not too far for her. But at least it was somewhere different to Creekmoor Ponds and she was happy about that.

Jez is feeling better after her physio

After lunch I took Max down to Lake Pier and Ham Common for his walk. He was a very happy boy at it involved lots of water. Here he is on the beach.

Back on the beach

And a bit further along at the bottom of Rockely steps.

Max at the bottom of Rockley steps, Hamworthy

There is still evidence around that the storms in the January and February have taken their toll. The cliff path is now closed, and at the bottom of Rockley steps a rowing boat has succumbed to the storms.

Sunk, but still a trace

As for Jez’s 3 walks: well Chris took her out again round Creekmoor Ponds in the afternoon, and then she went for an evening walk with him and Max. We’ll have to make sure she doesn’t overdo it.

A year ago today

I took some photos of Creekmoor Ponds early in the evening.

Early evening over Creekmoor Ponds

Foggy, damp and cold

Friday 14th March 2014

This morning didn’t have much to recommend it at all. It was pretty foggy and with no sun around to burn it off it hung about until after lunch. That meant we had a cold damp walk down The Baiter and Whitecliffe Park this morning. Jez decided that she would come to: it was a very last minute decision that took us all by surprise. And I managed to leave the SD card out of my camera, so all of today’s photos were taken with my iPhone.

First, the fog (taken at Whitecliffe Park).

A foggy morning at Whitecliffe Park, Poole

You may have noticed that you can’t see much of Poole Harbour!

Jez had to do her usual stint on top of one of the pillars along the sea wall. Something seems to have caught her attention though, the way her ears are pricked.

Something has caught Jez's attention

As for the sea wall, you may remember that I mentioned that a lot of the rock section of it had been damaged during the storms. Well the council are busy repairing it now.

The sea wall is being repaired after the storms

Along at the Baiter slipway the fog didn’t seem to be deterring two intrepid boaters.

The fog hasn't put off these two men in their dinghy

What made me laugh, though, was that Jez spotted them and had to go an investigate. The water was a bit deep for her, but she persevered and got a bit of a fuss made of her for her troubles. Here she’s just coming away from the boat.

Jez had to go and investigate

After that both dogs decided they were going to stay on the beach and head round to Poole Quay. I walked along the footpath above the beach keeping an eye on them, and eventually managed to get them back when we got to the first slip. As a result we were actually down there a lot longer than I’d intended and I had got pretty chilled. It took me most of the afternoon to warm up again.

On this day a year ago

We went for our walk over Upton Heath, where they had been clearning away a lot of the bracken and scrub near the little birch copse.

Scrub clearance on Upton Heath

I get the worst of the day again

Friday 7th March 2014

The forecast was for an overcast morning and bright sunshine in the afternoon. In the end we had an overcast morning and patchy sunshine in the afternoon, although it was considerably warmer then than I had it in the morning. Jez didn’t want to come for a walk, having had 3 walks yesterday, so Max and I went down the The Baiter and Whitecliffe Park along the edge of Poole Harbour. I have to say it wasn’t particularly warm, as there was a chill to the breeze, and most people were still well wrapped up. It was nice to see the blossom is coming out on the shrubs though.

Blossom

And by the little pond a willow is in bloom.

Pussy Willow

Still on the nature front, oystercatchers were poking about in the shallows at Whitecliffe Park.

Oystercatchers

Although it was quite hazy I was surprised that Corfe Castle showed up so well today, through the gap in the Purbeck Hills to the west of Poole Harbour.

Corfe Castle from the Baiter, Poole

The tide was just right today for Max to have a good play in the water. Here he is at the bottom of the steps.

Max

When we were down on the beach by the Baiter we watched as a ship headed into the port.

Coming into Port

I’m not sure whether it was the ship or Max in the water that put this flock of Brent Geese to flight.

Brent Geese take flight

All in all it was a good walk, and at the end of it I had one tired, wet dog.

Tired, wet dog at the end of his walk

From this day a year ago

It looks like it was a pretty wet day. I took Max to Delph Woods to try and avoid the worst of the rain.

Max in the pond at Delph Woods

Sunshine in Parkstone Bay

Friday 28th February 2014

I can’t believe its the end of February already. Once we get January and February out of the way I always feel that winter is pretty much behind us and spring and summer are on their way. And despite the forecast for rain later, today certainly started out with a springlike feel to it. Which meant Jez stayed on the bed snoozing while Max and I went to The Baiter and Whitecliff Park for our walk. Even the little scuzzy pond on the Baiter looked beautiful this morning.

Reflections in the Baiter Pond

And alongside the railway line the daffodils were out.

Daffodils by the railway line

Adn the blue skies framed the train nicely.

Train

I’m also pleased to say that all the litter that’s blown up against the fence was about to be picked up by a litter-picking team following along behind me.

In fact, there was an awful lot of debris over the path and some of the grass where the storms two weeks ago had whipped up the sea. In places chunks of the sea wall have moved, and in others the soil between the wall and the path have washed away. Today, though, Poole harbour was like a millpond, and Max (seen here at the bottom of the steps) was a happy boy, playing in the sea.

Waiting for your cone to be thrown is a serious business

By the time we had walked back to the Baiter end of the bay the storm clouds were starting to gather.

View of Poole Quay from the Baiter

That was the view from the Baiter towards Poole Quay.

The rain started as we drove home, and the temperature fell. Then it kept raining on and off all afternoon. But that was Chris’ problem, not mine.

It’s my birthday

Friday 7th February 2014

Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me!

I had a lovely day. I woke up in the morning to be greeted by a big pile of presents, which has obviously piqued Jez’s interest.

Pile of presents

As it was a lovely, sunny day, giving us at least some respite from the storms, I suggested we all went over to Studland Beach. Jez was happy…

Jez is happy to be on the beach

… and enjoyed ripping up all the chunks of whelk egg cases that she found.

Get rips up a cluster of whelk egg cases

Max spent ages chasing the ball.

Chase that ball Max!

Touchdown!

Touchdown!

Got it!

Got it!

In the nice sunshine the beach was crowded.

Studland Beach was very busy

Although I think a lot of people had taken the bus to the village of Studland and were walking back to the chain ferry to Poole, since a bit later on there were a lot less people around.

Chris, Jez and Max

The storms had washed up lots of kelp and clusters of shells. These look like a pair of hands clawing their way out of the sand.

Fingers

Here Chris and Max pose for me.

Posing for the Camera

Spot the ball.

Spot the ball

Please Sir, can I have some more.

Please Sir, can I have some more?

After our walk we went to the Bankes Arms in Studland for a spot of lunch. I had sausage and chips so that I could share it with the dogs (it was way too much for me).

Pub lunch

As I said, I had a lovely day. Well, apart from the trip to Tesco in the afternoon to get some groceries (I really do not like Tesco, but it wasn’t worth the trip to Waitrose). And then we had a Dominos pizza for dinner. Now I’ll have to exercise even more to work off all those calories!