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.

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Getting out and about

Sunday 2nd July to Saturday 8th July 2017

When Jez and Max were younger and able to walk longer distances we used to take them for nice long walks. Over time our walks have got shorter, and in the past year even the shortest of walks were getting too long. With Teddy, therefore, we are starting to get out on some of the slightly longer walks that we haven’t done in a while.

Our fist ‘new’ walk this week was out at Badbury Rings, the Iron Age hillfort just outside Wimborne. It was a warm, muggy day with a lot of cloud cover. This first photo is looking out across the Point to Point course.

View across the Point to Point course

Looking across the wheat field.

Wheat fields

After Saturday’s off-lead walk we are starting to let Teddy off lead a lot more. Here he is heading up the path to the north of Badbury Rings.

Teddy is allowed off-lead sometimes now

We walked around the outside of the old oak wood (there’s no access to the public) and then he had to go back on the lead to come along the track through King Down farm. As we walked by, though, a young buzzard flew out of the barn.

Young buzzard

We continued our walk back towards Badbury Rings and then turned through High Wood, before heading back to the Rings. This is a good place for butterflies, and today there were a lot of Marbled Whites out.

Marbled White Butterfly

After that we walked around the outer embankment back to the car. I tried to take some photos of the wild orchids, but I think my Powershot is playing up and none of the photos were any good.

Back at home Teddy settled on the sofa in my sitting room where he tried out his Trump comb-over.

Teddy tries out the Trump comb-over look

On Thursday it was another new walk for Teddy: to the River Stour at Cowgrove. It’s not very long but it was a hot morning and there’s lots of water there – obviously!

Teddy was off the lead all the time. We did our usual loop, walking and playing with the other dogs there, and then I bought him back to the shallow bay in the river and waded out into the river with him. Unfortunately Teddy decided to wander down the river to investigate a swan.

Teddy investigates the swan

Fortunately the swan eventually flew off. When Teddy came back to me I threw one of Max’s old conesfor him that I found in my bag.

Teddy retrieves a cone

Here he is kneeling down to try and chew it in the water.

Time to chew the cone

When he tried to grab it, he pushed it under with his nose though.

Nose in the water

And eventually it was time for a drink.

Time for a drink

And then time to investigate something he’d spotted under the water.

Now what's he seen in the water?

Finally, from the river, here’s a short clip of video I took of him.

On Friday we went to Upton Country Park first thing, and once again Teddy was off the lead. He found lots of dogs to play with, and had a really good game of chase with a young spaniel at the stream. I didn’t get any photos though.

So onto Saturday afternoon and we went over Upton Heath as usual. En route we met a few cows in the Pinesprings sanctuary. Teddy had to say hello.

Teddy meets and greets the cows

We walked up the Roman Road and then turned onto the heath, which is looking very green.

The heath is still very green

We had had some cloud cover earlier, but we came down the hill in full sun and Teddy got hot. So he decided he had to lie down in the muddy gully to cool off.

Teddy had to cool down in the muddy gully

Just look at the state of him when he came out.

Wet muddy dog

Further on down the hill he disgraced himself my running off and scavenging something (I don’t know what). So I put him on the lead, which was a good job as a few yards further on we came across a young adder in the middle of the path. I just managed to grab a quick shot of it as it slithered off into the undergrowth.

An adder slithers off

I took Teddy onto the pond where I threw kibble into the water to get him in deep enough to wash the mud off.

Washing the mud off Teddy

And one last photo of him – making ripples in the pond.

Ripples in the pond

I hope you are enjoying the new adventures of Teddy.

A walk around Badbury Rings

Tuesday 26th July 2016

Linda went home on Sunday, and although I took the dogs out Sunday afternoon and Monday morning I didn’t take any photos. Today, though, I took the Powershot with me when I took the dogs out to Badbury Rings. I should have checked it over first, though. I had last used it when we were down the beach and didn’t realise Max had splashed seawater all over the lens. The first few photos from today therefore have a bit of a blurry patch on them. Luckily, this isn’t over the main subject of the photo.

So today, as on our last visit, we walked through the centre of the old hill fort and then walked around the top of one of the embankments to the south. Today we chose the central embankment.

Although the day was overcast it was warm and there were lots of wild flowers out, like this selfheal.

Selfheal

Walking along I came across several of the beautiful, delicate little harebells.

Delicate Harebell

And I think this is a new one for me: a Pyramidal Orchid. They are only supposed to bloom until June, but I guess the cold damp weather we had in May and June has delayed them this year.

Late flowering Pyramidal Orchid

I was also pleased to see a 5 spot Burnett moth.

5 spot burnett moth on ragwort

It flew along with us for a while so I was able to get another photo of it.

5 spot burnett moth

There are so few insects around this year though. I have hardly seen any butterflies and a local photographer recently said on Twitter that he’s stopped taking his camera with him due to the lack on insects that are around.

Of course, I took some photos of the dogs. Here’s Jez.

Jez

And here’s Max.

Max

I also took this profile close-up of Max.

Best not ask what Max has been eating!

Not nice – best not ask what he’s been snacking on. This might give you a clue though.

Here come the cows

Dogs! You’d think he was never fed

A year ago today

We’d obviously had a lot of rain. Here’s Max in a puddle on Canford Heath.

Puddle + cone = Play time

We go to Badbury Rings

Thursday 2nd June 2016

Today for a change we went to Badbury Rings for our walk. Jez had decided to join Max and I, and she hasn’t been there for around a year (last time I took her there she refused to walk anywhere). Of course, I should have realised that it would be cold and blowing a gale up there. Consequently I kept our walk to the top of the hill, which is covered in trees, and to the south side, which was in the lee of the hill.

Here are Jez and Max emerging from the trees at the east end of the hill: Jez with her tongue out.

Jez (with her tongue out) and Max

As usual, Max just wanted me to throw something for him: in this case a stick.

Go on then. Throw my stick

Before we could continue our walk around the south Rings Jez had to have a rest.

Jez

That photo makes her paws look huge! And as we walked it was nice to spot all of the wild flowers growing around the Rings, like this common spotted orchid.

Common Spotted Orchid

And this heath milkwort.

Heath Milkwort

I must go back with the better camera sometime soon.

A year ago today

There are no photos from a year ago today I’m afraid. Two years ago today, however, Jez and I were staying with my Dad while he recovered from his hip operation. On this particular day we went down to Mudeford Quay where one of the local fishermen was selling some fish to a passer-by.

Buying supper off the boat

Spring flowers at Badbury Rings

Thursday 7th April 2016

Max and I went to Badbury Rings, the Iron Age fort near Wimborne, for our walk today. I made the mistake of not taking a hat scarf and gloves, and found myself in a freezing gale for a lot of the walk. I should have known better: it always blows well at Badbury Rings.

Anyway, the story of today’s walk is the spring flowers and blossom that we saw along the way.

First of all there was the Blackthorn Blossom which was to be found in a lot of the hedgerows.

Blackthorn Blossom

Did I mention that I’ve found out how to tell the difference between Blackthorn and Hawthorn at this time of year? Apparently Blackthorn gets its flowers before it gets it leaves, and Hawthorn gets its leaves before it gets its flowers.

We took out usual route, North out of the rings and then round through King Down farm and back to High Wood, to the east of the Rings. I had wanted to go to High Wood to see if the bluebells were out. First, though, I came across quite a lot of Wood Anemones: such a pretty little flower.

Wood Anemone

And then we came to the bluebells.

Bluebells

That was obviously taken in the big clearing. Here they are in the woods.

Bluebells in High Wood

And here’s a nice little scene comprising primroses and bluebells growing at the foot of a tree.

A woodland in spring

And, finally, here’s the obligatory photo of Max amongst the bluebells.

Max in the bluebells

They are still quite young, and haven’t yet developed that sickly-sweet perfume yet. I will have to go back both to these woods, and to Pamphill, to take more photos of them in the next few weeks.

A year ago today

We went to Upton Heath where we met our friend Janet with her old dog, Oakley, and her new dog, Jake.

Janet on her birthday

I finally get the car back

Tuesday 19th January 2016

After 5 weeks we finally got the car back from the garage today. The Engine Control Unit had packed up again and needed a new processor. Thankfully the garage was able to loan us an Astra Estate, so we were able to get the dogs around without any trouble.

And this morning was a glorious sunny morning, albeit a bit frosty, with beautiful blue skies. So after picking the car up from the garage in Wimborne Max and I headed out to Badbury Rings.

Badbury Rings

The frost had made lines in the track leading to the gate out of the back of the Rings.

Frosty Ridges

And there was frost on the gate, itself…

Frosty Gate

… and on a fence post further up the track.

Frosty Fencepost

As we had slightly less time than normal I cut across the south of The Oaks, rather than taking the bridle path around the back.

Alongside The Oaks

At the far end, the permanent puddle at the bottom of the hill was frozen solid.

Frozen puddle

Walking up the hill the frost made the nettles look very pretty.

Frosty Nettle

Here’s Max at the top of the hill.

Between High Wood and the Rings

I avoided the woods today as they had been so wet and boggy on our last visit and instead we turned right back into the Rings.

Badbury Rings

Today we walked around the north side, back through the centre (which was very wet) and then we walked around the south side.

Walking round the Rings

Without the leaves to distract me I was struck by this magnificent oak.

Magnificent Oak

And one last photo, from the south west corner, just before we headed back to the car.

A corner of the Rings

And as for the car, well a brake was sticking badly and making a most horrible noise, and when I started it again the engine warning light came on, so back to the garage we went. Fortunately they were able to sort it out for me within about 15 minutes, and we finally returned home.

A year ago today

We met our friend Henry on Upton Heath.

Henry

Mixed weather at Badbury Rings

Tuesday 5th January 2016

As there was some promise of sunshine this morning I took Max out to Badbury Rings for our walk. The weather wasn’t bad when we got there and we soon made the acquaintance of Golden Retriever, Monty.

We met Monty

As usual we headed up the hill to the north of the rings that leads to the old oak wood.

Blue skies and a muddy path

As you can see we had blue skies. There was some cloud around though, as this shot, looking west towards Hemsworth, shows.

Looking towards Hemsworth

We continued on up the muddy track where we met a walker coming the other way.

We met a walker

After that we skirted round the side of the old oak wood. You can’t walk through it as the trees that fall are left to rot, although I noticed today that the National Trust are clearing it out a bit. Anyway, the path round the wood was somewhat wet and muddy, to say the least.

It was impossible to avoid the mud

We walked on round and then turned south towards the Rings again, walking through King Down Farm and on up the hill. At the top of the hill we turned east into High Wood, which was also very wet in places. I also don’t understand why the National Trust have cleared all of the bracken and brambles in the centre of the wood, as in the summer it is usually home to loads of butterflies. Anyway, as we walked round I took this photo of fungi growing on an old tree stump.

Fungi

And here’s another one, a bit further on, of fungi and moss.

Fungi and moss

At about this time we had a very short shower of rain, which enabled me to take this photo of raindrops on a honeysuckle shoot.

Raindrops on a honeysuckle shoot

We came out of the woods after struggling through the mud, and then turned back towards Badbury Rings. Along the edge of the woods there were lots of hazel catkins.

Hazel Catkins

When we got back to the Rings I was wondering which route to take, and then realised that the skies were black to the south but the sun was starting to shine through, so that decided me. It enabled me to take a whole series of photos of the sun breaking through the clouds. When you see a scene like this you can understand how ancient peoples thought that there god(s) were talking to them from on high.

Circle of light

And here is a panorama of the same scene.

Hole in the sky

How lucky was I?

As we came home via Wimborne I stopped off by the River Stour, which is currently in flood.

The Stour is in flood

And finally for today, in the early afternoon the postman knocked on our door to say a blackbird had flown into our front window and had knocked itself out. It quickly recovered but refused to move.

A blackbird recovers from an encounter with a window

I popped a washing basket over it to protect it from the neighbours’ cats, and then left it to recover. After about half an hour I removed the basket but kept an eye on it, and I’m pleased to say it eventually flew away.

A year ago today

Max and I met the Exmoor ponies on Upton Heath.

Nosy!