Not much to talk about

1st – 31st January 2018

I’m really sorry everyone, but it’s been one of those months when I’ve hardly taken any photos as all. Life also followed it’s usual, predictable pattern during the month so there ha been nothing really to post about. As we start February, though, I’ve edited the few photos I did take and can share them with you now.

So 2018 dawned cold, wet and miserable here. Just to prove it, here are the Exmoor ponies on Upton Heath on 2nd January.

Exmoor Ponies

I got very excited at the beginning of January as a pair of bullfinches decided that they would visit my feeders.

Bullfinch

On Sunday 7th January Teddy and I went to Canford Heath for our afternoon walk, and once again we were treated to some beautiful skies. This was the view over Poole.

Cloudbank over Poole

And a couple more of the skies over the heath that day.

Canford Heath skies

Canford Heath skies

As the weather improved a bit so the first crocuses came out. I took this photo on 19th January in Creekmoor.

Early crocuses

And here is a photo of Teddy from that same walk, as he surveys the old pits on Upton Heath.

Teddy surveys the old pits

On 30th January we had a beautiful sunny morning and for a change I took Teddy down to Lake Pier, which is in Poole Harbour. I used to go there a lot with Max who loved the sea, but Teddy is not so fussed and as it’s not a very long walk I’ve only taken him once. Here he is on the beach.

On the beach

We walked up onto Ham Common and met a beautiful boy: Wellington the English Mastiff.

Wellington

I’m told he’s what’s known as an apricot brindle.

After we walked around part of Ham Common we headed back to the beach and I threw stones into the water for Teddy. Here he is hunting for one of them.

Looking for his stone

And a lovely one of him reflected in the mill-pond like sea.

Two Teddies

I quite liked this silhouette of the pier.

Lake Pier

And I will leave you today with a clip of Teddy sniffing around in the sea.

 

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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!

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.

A bit of a dull week

Sunday 16th July to Saturday 22nd July

I’m mainly talking about the weather here. After very hot days on Monday and Tuesday we’ve had a lot of cloudy days and some rain, so I haven’t taken the camera on walks quite so much. And then there was the Saturday night incident last week, when Teddy got in the garage, knocked over his food bin, got the top off and gorged himself. Consequently he was feeling very sorry for himself on Sunday. Chris took him for a gentle walk in the morning, but come the afternoon all he wanted to do was sleep it off, so I didn’t take him out. It meant I could sit and watch the British Grand Prix though.

On Monday we went over to Upton Heath as usual. Teddy had fun zooming round the old pits (something he loves to do it the kids aren’t cycling there). At a break in his zoomies I took this photo.

Teddy

On Tuesday it was a bright sunny morning with a bit of breeze so I took Teddy out early to the River Stour at Eye Bridge. We did our walk before I bought him back to the big, shallow bay in the river where we play.

Teddy in the river

I had seen a few swans further along the river but they were heading away from us. So I was surprised when Teddy took off around the section of bank that juts out. I couldn’t really see what was going on but could just see his back end and the odd flash of white. He was a very good boy, though, and came back when I called him. A few moments later I could see what he’d gone to investigate.

That's rather a lot of swans

There were 9 of them! I’m guessing last year’s cygnets. No wonder Teddy thought better of it. After we’d played for a while we went back to Eye Bridge. Last week I couldn’t get him over the bridge. It is slatted and dogs aren’t too keen on it at first. This week I managed to get him onto the bridge with the aid of a lead and some treats. This was the view down to the weir.

A lovely morning at Eye Bridge

And here’s Teddy on the bridge.

Teddy ventures onto Eye Bridge

He was really pleased he went over the bridge though, as he met an 11 month old Labrador over there.  They had great fun chasing each other in and out of the water.

The only other photos I have are from Saturday, taken on my iPhone on Upton Heath. Here’s Teddy in the pond.

Teddy in the pond

And lastly a portrait of him.

Teddy

And in one final piece of news: we are a two-car family again. My Dad has had to give up driving so I’m buying his car. Freedom at last!

Boggy pools are the best

Sunday 9th July to Saturday 15th July 2017

Teddy and I have been out and about again this week, in between much snoozing on the sofa (that’s Teddy not me, I should point out).

On Sunday I took him back out to Wareham Forest. It was a bit of a mistake as it was far hotter than I thought. So I kept to the shade wherever possible.

A hot day in Wareham Forest

However, it’s impossible to keep in to the shade along the bottom path adjacent to the heath and Teddy had to find somewhere to cool down. Unfortunately a lot of the pools along here that Max loved so much are drying up to boggy puddles. That didn’t stop Teddy though. Here he tests the waters.

Teddy tests the water

And, yes, it was ok, so he could get in and lie down.

Yep - this muddy pool is suitable to cool down in

Which left him looking like this.

Now look at him!

Fortunately I was able to get him in the much cleaner gruffalo pool further on to rinse him off.

Time to wash off in the Gruffalo Pool

There are more photos from Sunday – taken after his morning walk with Chris when he was cleaner and drier. Here he is on the sofa…

On the sofa

… chewing my fingers …

Chewing my fingers

… and generally relaxing.

Settled down

And one last one from Sunday, of his nose.

Teddy nose

Monday saw him snoozing on the sofa again.

Sleepy dog

On Wednesday I had the afternoon walk as I had been to my Dad’s in the morning. I decided to take Teddy over Canford Heath.

Wallking on Canford Heath

As you can see, it was another warm day.

Wallking on Canford Heath

Which meant that Teddy had to find somewhere to cool off again.

Time to cool down

This time he came out quite clean though.

Teddy

This is the time of year when we get a lot of Stonechats on the heaths, and on Wednesday I managed to get a photo of one.

Stonechat

We headed back to the car along one of the wide sandy tracks that Teddy loves to race around on so much. Today he found a small hole in the sand that another dog had started to dig, and so he had to enlarge it. He got very excited in the process, as you can see.

What a happy dog he is!

And so onto Thursday, and I decided to take Teddy out to Morden Bog and then walk on around a different part of Wareham Forest. Although it was overcast it was still quite warm.

Walking in Wareham Forest

However, Teddy kept wanting to run off over the wide open spaces, and I was a bit worried about the cows and deer that were around, so he spent some of his time on the lead.

Part way round though we bumped into someone I know with her two dogs, Tink and Twink, along with a friend of hers and her Labrador Ty. So I let Teddy off the lead and we walked on with them. Teddy had a great time playing with Twink and Ty (Tink is a little bit more reticent). So they ran around and got hot and then had to find the boggiest pool to cool off in.

We found friends to play with

Yes, that’s my dog at the back. Look at the state of him!

Someone needs a wash

Fortunately we were heading for Henry’s Pond where we were able to wash the dogs off. They had a great time chasing each other round and round, in an out of the water. And as we headed back to the car we passed the large rabbit warrens on the heath where Tink and Twink like to explore. Today Teddy took great delight in joining them.

It had been a good walk: we had been out for about 2 hours 15 minutes and were both worn out at the end of it.

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.

Jez organises her own hydro-fit

Thursday 15th September 2016

This morning I took the dogs for a walk along the River Stour at Cowgrove as I’d had to take Jez to the vet in Wimborne earlier for a cartrophen injection. We’d gone to Wimborne for it as Jez didn’t have a hydro-therapy session this week (they take place in the vets’ Bournemouth branch).

It was a very nice morning, as you can see.

A nice morning on the River Stour

And once Jez got in the river she set about wading around in quite deep water to make up for the lack of her organised session in the water walker.

Jez organises her own hydro-fit session

Max, meanwhile, just wanted to play cone.

Max in the river

As you may have guessed from that last photo I was out in the middle of the river with them. We had been playing there for some time when I turned round and realised that there was a Little Egret perched in a tree close by, watching us.

Little Egret perched in the tree watching us

After spending quite a while in the river we started to walk back to the car. In one of the fields along the way were some Red Devon cattle with their calves.

Red Devon and calves

And that was about it for our walk this morning. Jez still doesn’t feel up to tackling Eye Bridge, so we went straight back to the car.

A year ago today

We had a visitor in our garden: this lovely Common Darter.

Common Darter