With friends on Upton Heath

Monday 22nd August 2016

It being Monday morning we went to Upton Heath for our walk this morning. We had only just crossed the road before Jez had to have a rest.

Jez has an intersting way of sitting

Poor little soul can’t sit normally any more, so this is how she now sits.

We eventually walked on towards the ponds and when we got to Keith’s bench (so called as our friend Janet dedicated it to her late husband Keith) we found our friends Sue and Peter (another photographer) with their two Border Collies, Ginny and Connor. While we sat chatting I took the opportunity to take a few photos of Connor.


After we’d spent a while with them we walked on to the pond where we met Zeus, the very large, bouncy dog who was adopted from Battersea Dogs Home last November.

Zeus by the pond

He came bounding over to us, causing Jez to cower out of the way. And it wasn’t long before he stole Max’s cones.

Zeus has stolen Max's cone

Poor Max, he just wanted to play, but every time I threw him a cone Zeus got there first. By the time I took this photo I think Max was getting desperate.

Max waits for me to throw his cone

Eventually Zeus and his owner left so Max had a bit of time to play by himself before we walked on. Today, instead of re-tracing our steps we walked around the rest of the lower heath.

Jez on the lower heath

I think Jez must be starting to feel a bit better, even though she still wobbles a lot when she walks, as she is choosing to walk further again.

A year ago today

Max had split one of his claws badly, so I had to soak it each night.

Max has to soak his poorly paw in salt water after a walk


Meeting friends at Upton Country Park

Thursday 18th February 2016

Although I don’t have Pilates this week Max and I still went to Upton Country Park for our walk this morning. We were just a tiny bit later than usual.

First of all we walked through Llewelyn Wood.

Max in Llewelyn Wood

Then we went onto the stream as normal, where I threw Max’s cone 2 or 3 times before we moved onto the Woodland Walk. Here we met our friend Brian, with both his dog Barney…

Our friend Barney, the Working Cocker

… and his friends’ dog Barney.

Our friend Barney, the Border Collie

We stayed and chatted for a while and then moved onto the lake, where ,a few sticks were thrown. This was Max on a pile of wood chippings near the lake.

Max posing

As we walked along the side of the lake I took the opportunity of the sunshine to take a photo of a female mallard.


And much to my delight we came across a Nuthatch a little bit further on.


We continued on roundm with Max playing in the stream, but there are no more photos for today. The tide was out and the view across Upton Lake was pretty dull.

A year ago today

We went for a walk on Canford Heath where there was quite a bit of cutting back going on.

More cutting back on Canford Heath

A walk on Canford Heath

Tuesday 12th January 2016

Max and I went out to Canford Heath for our walk this morning. I looked out the window, knowing it would be quite cold, but saw sun and no wind, so having been wrapped up and quite warm yesterday I decided to forgo my hat today. That was a mistake. As soon as we got onto the heath it clouded over, and up on the top of the heath itself there was a bitterly cold wind, so I ended up with frozen ears!

Anyway, here’s Max being very serious in a big puddle on top of the heath.

Max is very serious about standing in a puddle

And this was the skyline after we dropped down the hill.

Canford Heath skyline

As we turned and headed back towards the car we were caught up by our friend John with his new(ish) dog Eddie (some of you may remember that his previous dog, and a big favourite of mine, Lucky, died last year). Eddie is such a different dog to Lucky. Lucky ws constantly looking at me hopefully for treats, but Eddie only cares about his stick / ball / any flying insect he can find. So here is Eddie – mid-run.

Eddie running with his stick

I rather like that photo.


A year ago today

We went to Upton Heath for our walk. On the way home I took this photo of a cormorant on Creekmoor Ponds.


Not quite our usual Saturday walk

Saturday 16th May 2015

It was a nice, sunny afternoon, albeit a little breezy and we set off for Upton Heath as usual. My intention had been to walk up the Roman Road as usual, but Jez decided against that, and what Jez says, goes. So we crossed the Roman Road and walked up through the pine trees, where I took this photo of Max.


We went to the pond and then I eventually managed to persuade Jez that we could head for the big hill and the viewpoint. However, instead of walking up the hill we followed the path we had taken (in the opposite direction) last week and skirted between the bog and the hill).


I had the EOS 6D with me, so was finally able to get a decent photo of a Heath Milkwort.

Heath Milkwort

I have never seen so many of them on the heaths as there are this year.

So we continued on this path and instead of turning along the path to the Roman Road which we had taken last week, we continued straight on.

This is a slightly different view looking towards the viewpoint.

A new view of the viewpoint

I had seen people take this path through the winter, so assumed that it was fairly dry all the way, but I was wrong. At one point it dips and you have to cross a small boggy area. Fortunately someone had laid a couple of planks there, which I made use of. Jez, who is normally quite intelligent, thought she knew better and so decided to cross the boggy bit.

Jez has to go the hard way

Eventually we made it back onto our normal path and headed for Pinesprings. There we met a border collie and her owner that we meet occasionally. Her name is Megan and she has had a bit of a poorly tummy recently. She is a lovely looking dog, though.


Lets hope she gets better soon.

A year ago today

I had taken the car in for repair, so en route to pick it up Jez and Max cooled down in Hatch Pond.

Jez and Max cool down

A massage then off to the River Stour

Thursday 15th May 2014

The massage was for Jez, you understand. She had an appointment with her physiotherapist, Rachael, in the morning. I’m pleased to say that Rachael was very pleased with Jezebel’s progress, and unless she has any setbacks, her next appointment is in a month’s time.

In the afternoon, as it was a lovely warm, sunny day, Jez, Max and I went for a walk along the River Stour at Cowgrove, where Jez took the opportunity to stand on her favourite tree trunk while Max had a swim.

Jez stands on her favourite tree trunk

It was a bit of a day for nature again today. First there was the oak tree in the middle of the field that I like.

Oak Tree

Then there was the little rabbit nibbling on the grass in the same field (fortunately the dogs couldn’t get at it).


And then there was this beautiful Cuckoo Flower growing near the farm.

Cuckoo Flower

Back at the river the dogs enjoyed the cooling water. First Jez waded out…

Jez wades out

… then she waded back.

Jez wades back

While Max enjoyed playing with his cone.

Max with his cones

And while Max played, Jez waited on the bank. This one is called ‘Where’s Jez?’

Where's Jez?

Ah, there she is: hiding in the grass.

There she is!

While Max was playing in the river two dogs we sometimes meet came along. One of them, Jodie, so wanted to play, but as I couldn’t see her owner I didn’t like to throw a cone for her. Here she is standing in the river looking imploringly at me.


Isn’t she pretty? We eventually caught up with her owner and walked back to the car with them.

A year ago today

We went to Upton Country Park for our walk.

Jez and Max at Upton Country Park

We make a new friend and do some filming

Wednesday 26th March 2014

This morning saw Max and I going for our walk over Upton Heath. Max is less worried than Jez about keep going back to the same place. She gets bored; he doesn’t care so long as there’s water.

Max by the boardwalk on Upton Heath

As we were walking round I noticed that they are using the same old trailer to burn off the branches of cut down trees as they were using last year on Canford Heath. The blue paint gives it away.

Trailer on Upton Heath

While walking around we met quite a few friends, so I spent quite a while updating everyone on Jez’s condition. We also met a new little friend, Buddy. In fact, we met Buddy twice, so the second time around I managed to get some photos. Buddy is a 4 month old Border Collie puppy. He was so soft and fluffy, and very well behaved. He didn’t even upset Max. Here he is chewing a stick along the Roman Road.

Buddy chewing his stick

And posing nicely for me.

Meet Buddy

Once I got home Chris had some filming he wanted me to do (his company, Short Cuts TV Ltd, makes DVDs on social science subjects). He had to do a couple of pieces to camera, so we set up in the spare bedroom where we have a nice clean, uncluttered wall.

All set up for filming

And here’s one of Chris looking all serious – taken as I was sorting out the focus and light for filming.


Then we were interrupted by the vet who phoned to say he had spoken to the neurologist. Apparently Jez’s gait in the video I took of her on Sunday is unusual, and she suggested all sorts of causes ranging from low calcium, through Tetanus, to Strychnine poisoning. So I had to quickly take her to the vets to get some blood tests done and to get some antibiotics for her, just in case. In the end the blood tests were perfectly normal, which was good news. The vet she saw, like her normal vet Duncan, thought the problem is that something in her neck, possibly a ruptured disc, is pressing on a nerve. So we’re continuing to rest her.

A year ago today

Jez seems to have spent a lot of time lying down. Here she is lying on her bed in the living room.

Meeting friends on Canford Heath

Tuesday 2nd July 2013

This morning Jez, Max and I went for a Tuesday walk over Canford Heath. I call it our Tuesday walk as through the winter I used to take the path across to Steeple Close and then turn back onto the heath every Tuesday. This morning when we got to the crossroads at the top of the red brick path we met two friends of ours, Barney the Working Cocker and Barney the Border Collie, with their owners.

Meet Barney and Barney

As you can see, big Barney has been in the wars and has grazed his front legs, which is why they are bandaged. Little Barney is looking very smart after a trim.

We stood chatting for a while then headed off the the right in the direction of Pilsdon Drive. Along the way we found the cattle.

We met the cows today

They were just inside the fenced area and we were still outside at that point. So Jez thought she might be brave enough to approach the one feeding by the fence. She still wasn’t quite sure though – after all those are very big horns.

Jez isn't too sure

We are still not throwing cones for poor Max as his leg isn’t 100%, but he continues to stand in every little pool of water hopefully.

Poor Max can't understand why I won't throw something for him

On the subject of Max, in the afternoon I gave him a trim and took his coat down nice and short. I’ll see if I can get a photo of him tomorrow. He’s looking very smart.