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.

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Pre-pilates at the Country Park

Thursday 19th May 2016

As usual on a Thursday Max and I walked at Upton Country Park this morning. This was the view over Upton Lake towards Poole as we walked around.

View over Upton Lake to Poole

Max likes the Country Park: he gets to play in the stream.

Waiting for his cone

Today we saw the buzzard – we haven’t seen him (or is it her) for ages.

Its been a while since we've seen the buzzard on his perch

The blossom was looking rather nice this morning.

Blossom

And here’s a shot of the blossom looking up through the branches of the trees.

Blossom covered branches

And lastly for today, we came across this lovely rhododendron as we walked through the gardens.

Rhododendron

A year ago today

I grabbed the camera when I saw this blackbird sunbathing in the garden.

Playing dead

Birds at Upton Country Park

Thursday 21st January 2016

Pilates day means Upton Country Park, so that’s where Max and I went this morning. I don’t have any photos from yesterday, by the way, as in the morning I took the dogs over to my Dad’s to sort out a few bits and pieces for him.

Although it is still fairly cold, the forecast is for it to start warming up, and this morning I discarded my hat gloves and scarf and walked around the Country Park with my coat open.

As we walked towards the stream I heard a bird singing loudly in the trees and looked up to see a thrush sitting in the topmost branches. As it was slightly obscured I didn’t get a photo of it though. We played in the stream, walked through the Woodland Walk and then went onto the lake, where I spotted a headless duck.

Headless duck

Thankfully she soon proved that she did indeed have a head and was just searching for food in the weeds.

Oh good - there she is!

Walking on round we spotted the buzzard again, this time keeping an eye on the proceedings around him.

The buzzard keeps watch

Max had another play in the steam and then we headed in the direction of the boardwalk. En route we had to walk past Max’s nemesis – Alder, which currently has lots of catkins.

Alder - Max's nemisis

Poor Max is badly allergic to alder, but there’s no avoiding it, or the silver birches and oaks that he’s also allergic to (although slightly less so).

This morning in the field with the cows there were lots of Little Egrets. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many there. I took this photo as we walked along the side of the field.

Little Egret

And this one as we got round into the old orchard.

Little Egret

I keep hoping I’ll see one of the avocets from Poole Harbour there (which has been known in the past), but to no avail.

A year ago today

I took the dogs to visit Dad. What a coincidence.

Jez, Max and I went to visit Dad

Still sunny

Thursday 14th January 2016

I had a busy day today. But, as usual, the first job was to take Max for a walk. We went to Upton Country Park and it was nice to see it looking less drab and grey.

Upton Lake

There were a lot more clouds about than yesterday, though.

Reflected sky at the Country Park

As we walked around the path at the back of the park (Hamworthy side) I was surprised to see the buzzard. We haven’t seen one there for ages. It was on the ground when I spotted it, but when I raised my camera it took off.

The buzzard takes flight

I know that’s not a great shot, but I only had a standard landscape lens on the camera. As we walked round it started to cloud over, and the wind started to pick up. You can see the extra clouds in this shot of the cows.

Cows

By the time I left the Woodland Walk and headed for the stream and then the car there was quite a cold wind. It didn’t stop me stopping off en route to take a few photos of Missy though.

Meet Missy (10 weeks)

Isn’t she cute? She was only 10 weeks old and I’m not entirely sure she should have been out meeting so many dogs. It was only her second walk, and she wasn’t entirely convinced that my camera was a good thing.

Missy wasn't too sure about my camera

I let her sniff the camera, so I hope she wasn’t too traumatised by it.

A year ago today

Max and I were out and about in the sunshine on Canford Heath.

Heading towards Knighton Heath (2)

More black and white, and a buzzard

Tuesday 7th July 2015

Max and I went to Upton Country Park this morning. Although we got round in the dry it had been raining, which gave me the opportunity to take this photo of a wet bench seat alongside the path.

Wet Seat

Sticking with reflections and the subject of power lines from yesterday, here are some reflected power lines in the lake.

Reflected power lines

Back at home some tree surgeons had been taking the dead wood out of our neighbours’ trees. As I walked up the drive they pointed out a buzzard to me, sitting in the large oak tree in the drive. Apparently it had been hanging around all morning.

Buzzard

I have seen it since then, so am hoping that I can get a better photo of it one day.

A year ago today

Dad and I went to the farm shop at Bashley. I took this photo of the cottage opposite.

Cottage

Lambs, a puppy and buzzards at Upton Country Park

Wednesday 18th March 2015

There was a spring-like feel to the air today. Although we still have a bit of a chilly wind the sky was blue and the sun was shining, so I decided to take Max to Upton Country Park. I’m still waiting for the hawthorn blossom and thought it might have been out by now – which, with the exception of one small bush, it isn’t.

There was lots going on at the Park today and the car park was packed: so much so that I had a job to find somewhere to park. I’m guessing it was partly due to the publicity in the past few days as the new section of the Park was officially opened at the week-end. The paths weren’t too busy as we walked around though.

We stuck to our old route more today, but walked it clockwise (we normally used to walk anti-clockwise). So we started off by walking across the front lawn and then heading out towards the shoreline. And I was so pleased we did as in the corner field were two sheep with their lambs. And the sun was behind them, which meant we get to see those wonderful pink ears.

Pink ears

And here’s the little one having a quick mid-morning snack.

Time for a mid-morning snack

We walked on and I took this photo of Max by the duck pond.

Max

As you might be able to tell, I had my best camera with me today. And I had taken two lenses, which meant that when we saw the pair of buzzards flying around above us as we crossed the boardwalk I was able to swap to the zoom lens and get a few shots (well lots of shots actually, but I narrowed them down to the best few). So here is the buzzard in flight.

Buzzard

And here’s another one as it’s underwind is lit by the sun as it banks away.

Buzzard

As I mentioned earlier, the hawthorn isn’t in blossom yet, but I did find this pussy willow, oddly enough on a fallen tree.

Pussy Willow

That was taken in the new section of the park. I’ve just got a couple more shots to share with you today. I was busy taking more buzzard shots (one of the juneviles from last year) and still had the camera set to a really high shutter speed, when we met a lady walking her very wet, and very excited spaniel puppy by the stream.

Happy pup!

What a happy dog. I’ll leave you with one other shot of it: not quite so well in focus but my favourite for the expression, the flailing ears, and the position of those front paws.

Spring fever

Hopefully we’ll meet him (or her) again.

A year ago today

I found a raft spider in the stream when Max and I were out walking on Canford Heath.

Raft Spider

Are you sure that’s Max?

Wednesday 4th March 2015

Today Max had his appointment at the groomer, but before he went I took him out to Badbury Rings for a walk. It was a lovely sunny day with a bitterly cold wind, so Badbury Rings, being high and exposed, might not have been the best choice. But I had my reasons. You see, en route there are a couple of fields with young lambs in.

With Mum

They are just so cute.

Lazing in the sun

Even when they’re sticking their tongue out.

Bleh!

And, as is the trend this year, the very young ones have their little plastic raincoats on.

Showing of my plastic mac

Out at the Rings it was a day for the birds. We saw a Kestrel.

Kestrel

A Buzzard.

Buzzard

And, joy to my ears, the skylarks are up in the sky singing their hearts out. This one had landed (sorry it’s not a very good shot).

Skylark

As for Max, well, this was what he looked like when we went for our walk.

Shaggy boy

A bit of a shaggy dog story I think you’ll agree.

And this was our ‘new’ smart boy afterwards.

Max looking very smart

He smells wonderful, and his coat is lovely and soft – it feels like plush velvet.

A year ago today

Looks like it was Shrove Tuesday.

The pancake is in the pan!