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

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.

A cold end to the year

Sunday 25th December – Saturday 31st December 2016

Christmas Day was a wet, miserable day, so Chris and I didn’t do our ‘traditional family’ walk with the dogs until Boxing Day (the 26th) when we took the dogs out to Kingston Lacy after lunch. It was pretty cold, so I made sure Jez had her nice warm jumper on. Here’s Chris with the dogs

A Boxing Day Walk

The sun going down behind the trees.

A chilly afternoon

And, yes, it’s treat time again.

Time for a treat

The next morning was cold and frosty, and while Jez stayed snuggled in bed, Max and I went over Upton Heath.

Entrance to a frozen heath

We almost met the cows, but they passed us by.

A procession of cows

I like this photo of one of the Exmoor Ponies with the mist lying low across the heath.

Exmoor Pony

The grass around the boardwalk was frosted…

Frozen Grass

… and the water icy (not that that bothered Max).

Max in the icy water

So a pleasant but cold walk.

The next day was cold and frosty again and this time Max and I went to Upton Country Park.

I liked these leaves, covered in frost but with the sun just touching them.

Frosted leaves in the sun

The picnic tables were pretty frosty too.

Frosty picnic tables

The sun was low along the stream.

By the stream

But Holes Bay was looking lovely in the sun.

View across Upton Lake to Poole

And so on to Friday 30th December, and Max and I went over to Canford Heath where the sun was low through the trees.

Light and shade on Canford Heath

It was quite misty too.

A foggy morning

Which made for a few nice shots.

Max waits for me Overlooking Canford Heath estate

But by the time we got up onto the main heath the sun was out, although the wind was bitter.

Me and Max in the sunshine Heading towards the stream

There was lots of ice on the water though.

The ice doesn't bother Max

And finally to the last day of the walk and and a chilly, grey walk on Upton Heath with both Jez and Max.

A grey end to the year

So here’s Max signing out with his last game of cone in 2016.

Last game of cone in 2016

And Jez waiting patiently for 2017 to arrive.

Jez waits

Happy New Year to you all.

A year ago

Max and I saw 2015 out down on the beach at Lake Pier, Hamworthy.

Max

A different day, a different heath

Tuesday 8th November 2016

As Jez is still doing her ‘lying in the sun in the morning’ routine I took the opportunity to take Max over to Canford Heath today. I try and avoid taking Jez as she likes to lie at the crossroads in the middle of the heath and wait to see who comes along. Consequently with her in tow our walks there can last a couple of hours.

So, this was Canford Heath this morning.

An Autumn morning on Canford Heath

I finally found a nice fly agaric fungus this morning, which cheered me up. I’ve only seen one or two slug-eaten ones so far this year.

Fly AGaric

Here’s Max on the path in front of one of my favourite trees on the heath (I like the shape of it).

Max on the path

And here he is heading towards the stream.

Heading to the stream

I let him have a short play in the stream…

Max in the water-filled gully

… and then we cut across to Longfleet Drive and walked down towards Hotchkiss Cross.

Longfleet Drive

At one point I’d got a little bit tired of walking on Canford Heath, but it was nice to go back there for a change.

A year ago today

We went to lunch with my Dad and then went for a very cold, blustery walk along the beach at Barton-on-sea. I think you can tell how happy Chris was to be there!

A cold, blustery walk at Barton on Sea

Back to Canford Heath

Tuesday 4th October 2016

It has been a long time since I’ve taken the dogs to Canford Heath, the reason being that Jez was taking 2 hours to walk not very far. But today she declined to join us on our walk so I took the opportunity to take Max there. It was a bit cloudy but not too cold.

View across Canford Heath

There was good visibility giving a good view across Poole towards the Purbeck Hills.

View over Poole

I took us for a reasonably long walk, made longer by the fact that we met our friend John and his dog. As we hadn’t seen them for ages we stopped chatting for quite a while.

Eventually I circled around to the stream and then started to walk down Longfleet Drive towards Hotchkiss Cross and Steeple Close where I had parked. Along Longfleet Max got a little confused. He stood in an empty gully waiting for me to throw his cone for him. I had to explain the water had all gone.

Max, there's no water in the gully

It was looking nice and autumnal as we approached Hotchkiss Cross.

Autumn along Longfleet Drive

And, of course, there were lots of Sweet Chestnuts for Max to seek out.

Here he is with his prize.

Max with his sweet chestnut

After that we walked back to the car and came on home.

A year ago today

Max, Jez and I went for a walk on Upton Heath. Here’s Jez.

Jez watches someone approach

Two days, two dogs, two heaths

Monday 27th June & Tuesday 28th June 2016

On Monday Jez, Max and I went to Upton Heath, where we basically walked to the pond and back, so I only have a couple of photos.

I like this one of Max in the pond with the water sparkling beside him.

Max and sparkles in the pond

And here’s Jez posing by the side of the pond.

Jez

It wasn’t a long walk (although at Jez’s pace it took over an hour) but at least we had sunshine.

On Tuesday we went to Canford Heath. Jez led the way, but when she got to the pine trees and stopped I thought we might not get very far.

Here she is having a rest.

Jez resting

And here’s Max waiting for me to throw his ball.

Max

We eventually moved on and headed across the hill towards Steeple Close. This was the view over Poole and the Purbeck Hills.

Looking towards Poole and the Purbeck Hills

We walked past Steeple Close and headed round to the pond there. While Max stood at the edge waiting for me to throw his cone Jez waded in.

Jez in the pond

She stayed in for quite a while wading around in the deep water.

Jez in contemplative mood

When she eventually came out I got this photo of her reflected in the water with the blue of the sky.

Jez reflected

Then it all slowed down. We got to the crossraods at the top of the Redbrick Path and Jez decided she wanted to stay there and wait to see what dogs came along. There was no moving her. We must have been there for at least 20 minutes before I managed to get her up the hill, where she stopped again at the next big crossing. I took this photo of the beautiful clouds looking down the hill while I waited for her.

Pretty clouds

She eventually condescended to continue on up the hill, where both dogs when in another pond, and finally I managed to lead her on up the hill and then back round to the car. She’s not supposed to have long walks. Today we were out for 2 hours 15 minutes!

A year ago today

Chris and Max in the garden.

Chris and Max relax in the garden