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.

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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.

At last, a bit more sunshine

Sunday 13th August to Saturday 19th August 2017

Normally I take Teddy over Upton Heath on a Saturday, but as we went to the Dorset Dogs Festival instead I took him over on Sunday afternoon this week. We were greeted on our arrival by this beautiful Red Admiral on the path.

Red Admiral

We turned left into Longmeadow Lane woods where the beech trees were looking lovely in the sunlight.

Beech Trees

Then we made our way up the Roman Road before turning onto the heath and heading towards the viewpoint. En route I spotted this pretty little Grisette. I rather liked the setting with the moss surrounding it.

Grisette

We walked down the hill and eventually came to the pond where Teddy set about eating the soil – something he seems to like to do quite a bit here. Jez used to lick the soil here too, so I’m guessing it’s full of minerals. Perhaps I should try it!

Teddy likes to eat the soil by the pond

From there we walked around the lower heath where I spotted another Grisette.

Grisette

Finally we walked back along the Roman Road before heading home. Monday morning, of course, we were back there again. And once again Teddy was sticking his muzzle in the soil, as you can see.

Teddy's been digging with his nose again

Tuesday was a lovely sunny morning so we headed out to Morden Bog, which is looking beautiful where the heather is in full bloom.

Heather in full bloom at Morden Bog Looking back up the hill

In this photo you can see Decoy Pond.

Decoy Pond behind the heather

And here’s a photo of Teddy in the heather.

Teddy in the heather

We walked on and as we headed towards Henry’s Pond we met our friends Tink and Twig. We walked on round with them. At one point they disappeared into some shrub. I heard a rustle, and then a young roe deer popped out onto the path between me and Teddy. I don’t know which one of us was more surprised. It ran off into the trees on the opposite side of the path and after thinking about it for a moment Teddy thought he’d follow. But he was a good boy and came back when I called, after which Tink and Twig re-appeared and took off after the deer in totally the wrong direction, so Teddy had to follow them. The next time we saw Teddy he was a really long way away, still chasing the non-existent deer. So we walked in his general direction with me calling him, and after a short time he came running back to me. I was so proud of him!

After all that running, though, the dogs were hot and had to cool down in a bit puddle.

Teddy, Tink and Twig cool down in a muddy puddle

And finally for Tuesday, one last view of Decoy Pond and the heather taken from the top of the hill as we headed back to the car.

Looking across to Decoy Pond

On Wednesday morning I went to see my Dad, and in the afternoon I took Teddy over to Canford Heath.

Teddy admires the view

Unfortunately I struggle to find good photos on Canford Heath these days, but I quite liked this one of the trees along the path that runs next to the Crematorium.

Trees and clouds

And here’s a slightly different view, taken as we walked up the hill from Steeple Close.

Trees, clouds and heather

And so onto Friday and another walk on Upton Heath.  Along the old railway line the honeysuckle is now in bloom.

Wild Honeysuckle

But there are no other photos from Friday. We did meet Charlie, the dog walker, though, with 6 dogs so Teddy had a good play.

And, of course, Saturday afternoon it was back to Upton Heath. As usual on a Saturday we walked up the Roman Road, across to the viewpoint, and then down the hill. Today, as we passed to two pine trees on the hill, the sky behind them was fabulous.

Cloudscape

We continued on to the pond where Teddy spotted a pigeon on the far bank.

Teddy has spotted a pigeon

And then I threw him a stick and he started to play.

I don’t know what he thought he was doing. Although he picked that stone up at the end he immediately dropped it and then went back to digging in the deeper water. He was doing this for nearly 15 minutes while I sat watching him and laughing.

And then we walked on around the lower heath, along the Roman Road and came back to the car. And although he spotted the ponies along the way and showed an interest he came away when I called him. I’m sure it won’t always be like that though!

Two Dog Shows in a Week

Sunday 6th August to Saturday 12th August 2017

Sunday was the day of the Margaret Green Animal Rescue Companion Dog Show at their lovely centre at Church Knowle in the Purbeck Hills. I wanted to go as Margaret Green was the rescue we got Teddy from. It was a sunny, although breezy day. and after we sitting in a traffic jam to get to Wareham for 25 minutes (yes it’s the time of year when I curse holidaymakers) we finally arrived at Church Knowle just before noon. Being in the Purbeck Hills the setting is stunning.

Looking across the showground Show Ring #1Margaret Green Animal Rescue The wind was a bit chilly at first – as you can see, Chris felt the need to put his hood up.

Chris and Teddy

Teddy, who can be nervous of people, particularly if they are carrying big wooden walking sticks, seemed quite happy to meet and greet.

Saying Hello to Teddy

He missed out on the treats that were being handed out though.

Anyone for a treat?

I entered him in one of the classes, Margaret Green Rescue best male, but he only came 6th out of not very many.

Me and Teddy in the show ring Me and Teddy in the show ringMe and Teddy It was nice to see a staffy win it, though.

The winner of the Best Margaret Green Rescue (Male)

And while I was in the ring Chris busied himself taking photos of a couple of other dogs, like this French Bulldog…

French Bulldog

…and this lovely little staffy girl that I wanted to take home with me.

I loved this little staffy girl

After that we bought some lunch and sat an ate it in amongst the crowds.

Lunchtime

We even had our photo taken by a photographer from the local paper. It’s a lovely photo but although I’ve tried to buy it the link doesn’t work, which is a shame.

And to finish for Sunday a couple of photos of Teddy taken by Chris. First snoozing…

Snoozing

… and then looking slightly more alert.

Teddy

I didn’t take any more photos until Thursday as the weather wasn’t good. But on Thursday the sun was back and I took Teddy over to the far side of Canford Heath. This was the view looking back over Poole as we climbed the hill.

Looking across Canford Heath to Poole

Here’s Teddy on the path across the heath.

Teddy looks across the heather

And looking cute and teddy bear-like.

Teddy

In the afternoon to go out to RSPB Arne and have a wander over Combe Heath; something that is possible now we have a second car again. I was ever hopeful of spotting an Osprey, but sadly it was not to be. Mind you, it might help if I had some decent binoculars. Ah well. It was really hot and I had problems stopping my neck from catching the sun. This was the view from the top of the heath.

Panorama over Combe Heath

The heath is currently grazed by English longhorn cattle.

English Longhorns

And for one little chap it was still lunchtime.

Lunchtime for this little one

Further round the path a group of artists were making the most of the stunning views.

Painting the landscape

But they were the only really half-decent photos from my trip. There is no doubt about it – I seem to have lost my photography motivation. I just can’t seem to get inspired to take that many photos, which suggests I’m no longer seeing the possibilities.

This conclusion was reinforced on Saturday when I walked Teddy over to our second dog show of the week: the Dorset Dogs Festival at Upton Country Park. It was almost as though I had to force myself to take photos of some of the dogs. There were a few cute ones though. Like this friendly chap.

Friendly dog

And this lovely wire-haired Vizsla pup.

Wire-haired Vizsla pup

Who, after playing with Teddy, needed a scratch.

Time for a scratach

At the other end of the age scale was this 15 year old, frost faced staffy.

Frosty chops staffy (15 years)

Towards the end of our time there we bumped into a friend of Teddy’s, Tanner, whom he sometimes meets when Chris takes him for an evening run at the Country Park. Tanner is also a Saluki cross, but he and Teddy look quite different.

Teddy and his friend, Tanner

Tanner was there with his friend Moose.

Tanner and Moose

And here is Teddy and Moose.

Teddy and Moose

All 3 dogs got on really well together and after chatting for a while we took them over to the enclosed training area so they could have a good run. After which they were all worn out. And so was I as by then we had been out 3 hours, so I phoned Chris to come and pick up up.

I’ll leave you with one last photo for today: of Teddy at the Dorset Dogs Festival.

Teddy

Where’s the summer gone?

Sunday 30th August to Saturday 5th August 2017

Where indeed! Once again the weather has not been great this week.

Sunday wasn’t too bad, although as you can see from this shot over Upton Heath, there was an awful lot of cloud around.

Upton Heath in July

But it didn’t stop Teddy from posing for me at the top of the hill.

Teddy on top of the hill

We were back over the heath again on Monday morning, when there was more cloud, although today it was lighter and interspersed with sunshine. Teddy was posing again: this time in the old pits.

Teddy poses in the old pits

Tuesday we went to Badbury Rings and got rained on from time to time. It was another grey day with flat light, so I didn’t get any photos. I did call in at the vet surgery and weigh Teddy on the way home and was pleased to see that he hasn’t put on any weight in the past month. It must be all the exercise!

Wednesday was wet – very wet at times. I went to my Dad’s in the morning and then took Teddy to Broadstone Rec in the afternoon. Here he is next to the war memorial.

At the war memorial

The first part of our walk was mainly under the trees which were dropping large blobs of water on us. Teddy soon turned into a spotty dog.

Rain from the trees on Teddy's coat

Once we got to the playing fields and Teddy had enjoyed himself chasing the seagulls it started to rain a lot harder. It wasn’t helped by the fact that the wind was driving the rain across the football pitches. Teddy didn’t care – he was too busy playing. And I wasn’t too bothered as I had gone out in full waterproofs. But Teddy was in a pretty sorry state by the end of our walk.

Wet dog at the end of his walk

Thursday we went over to Canford Heath where Teddy met lots of dogs to play with. I was too busy chatting to take photos though.

And so onto Friday when the sun came back out for a while and we walked over Upton Heath.

Looking across the lower heath

And then there was Saturday. It was quite a nice morning and early afternoon. I left home about 3pm and drove Teddy to Upton Heath in full sun. I could see lots of black clouds around though. I parked the car and as we got out I thought, “What’s that noise?”. It was incessant thunder! So having walked a few yards to the entrance to Upton Heath we turned round and got back in the car and came home again. And it was a good job we did, since as soon as we got home a massive thunderstorm hit. Within 15 minutes everywhere was flooded. Then it stopped as quickly as it had started so Teddy and I ventured out again.

Back to Upton Heath, and we walked up the Roman Road and then out onto the heath. As you can see, there was still rain around.

The view over Upton Heath

We only had a few more spits and spots though. Here’s Teddy having a bit of a look around as we came down the hill.

Teddy likes to explore

And here is a view coming down the hill.

As we head down the hill

At the pond Teddy had to stop and have a drink.

Time for a drink

And then we walked around the lower heath. But you can tell how much rain we’ve had over the past few days: the Roman Road is flooded again.

The Roman Road is flooded again

Let’s hope the rest of August improves.