Of Dogs and Fungi

Sunday 1st October to Saturday 7th October 2017-10-15

Having said this post is from the 1st October I don’t actually have any photos from that day, so the first photos are from Monday 2nd when we went over to Upton Heath for our walk as usual. I took the EOS 6D with the 100mm Macro lens attached, and I’m glad I did as I got some really nice photos. Unfortunately, if you suffer from arachnophobia the first one isn’t quite so nice as its an Orb Spider.

Orb spider

That photos was taken along the old railway line. We walked onto the pond and Teddy was really pleased to find some doggie friends there. It all started with a meet and greet.

Meet and greet at the pond

We met Max, the Golden Retriever.

Max the Golden Retriever

And Buzz, the Viszla who was staying with Max temporarily.

Buzz the Vizsla

Teddy and Buzz had a good time playing.

Teddy and Buzz

And then there was Tig, one of our staffy friends.

Tig

After a good game we went our separate ways and I walked Teddy round through the old pits.

Teddy in the old pits

On the lower heath the Fly Agaric are still in evidence.

Flly agaric

Although these had been kicked over.

Broken

As usual Teddy went into the little pool by the small boardwalk for a drink.

Teddy by the boardwalk

And then posed for me.

Teddy

After that we made our way home.

On Tuesday we started the day, as every day, with breakfast, and Teddy was a happy dog when he found out I’d finished the yogurt and he could have the pot. He soon got stuck in.

Nose in the trough

For our walk we went to Canford Heath and as it was a lovely sunny day I, once again, took the EOS 6D with the 100mm lens on it. Although it is a macro lens it is also excellent for portraits, which is why it’s great for taking photos of dogs, like this one of Teddy.

Teddy

Fungi are also in evidence on Canford Heath, like this one, although I’m not too sure what it is.

Fungi

As we walked through the woods I found this huge Cauliflower Fungus.

Cauliflower fungus

And these Razor Strop, or Birch Bracket Fungi.

Razor Strop Fungi

I also spotted this pretty little feather, suspended on some blades of grass.

Feather

There were more fungi when we left the woods. Firstly this Russula

Russula

And then this Panther Cap

Panther Cap

And lastly from Tuesday, a photo of Teddy surveying the heath as we walked back to the car.

Teddy surveys the heath

Jumping ahead to Friday we were again on Upton Heath. Firstly we went to the pond.

Teddy in the pond

And then, after Teddy had had a drink and a paddle, we headed towards the old pits. En route we met the cows.

We met the cows

You can see that at some point that one has had a nasty injury on its side.

On the lower heath we met several dogs. Firstly there was Oscar, a Border Terrier.

Oscar

And then we met a lady with 4 small dogs, including this 12 week old Chihuahua puppy.

12 week old Chihuahua pup

At this point I put Teddy on the lead. As the lady said, he might have thought it was was a rat! He was really good with it, though, and very gentle, so I don’t think I need have worried. And this, was the pup’s father.

The pup's dad

While we were talking our friend Janet came along with her lurcher, Jake.

Our friend Jake

After a long chat we walked on round and, as usual, Teddy went in the pond by the small boardwalk where he was once again searching for something under the water.

Teddy is searching under the water again

When we got to the Roman Road I was pleased to see that there was another small fungus growing on the tree stump by the stream.

Fungi

While we were there I took the opportunity to take a photo looking along the Roman Road while the leaves on the trees are still green. They won’t be there much longer.

The trees haven't turned along the Roman Road yet

The Virginia Creeper along the path in Creekmoor has turned though, and has produced beautiful Autumn colours.

Autumn Colours

I don’t have any photos from our walk on Saturday, but first thing in the morning the plumber arrived to fix our leaking stopcock. And do you remember that lovely new kitchen we had installed 10 months ago? Well, today part of it had to come apart again!

My new kitchen is in pieces! Bits of kitchen fill my small sitting room

I’m pleased to say that it’s all fixed and back together again.

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Rain then some sunshine

Sunday 10th September to Saturday 16th September 2017

Yes, we went over to Upton Heath for our walk on Sunday and we got wet again! Although it wasn’t as bad as yesterday my walking boots decided enough was enough and let water, so I came home with wet feet. Teddy wasn’t particularly happy about the state of affairs either.

Wet again! Teddy's not very happy

Monday was a good day – we didn’t get wet! And on Tuesday we actually had sunshine for our walk on Canford Heath. Here is Teddy, backlit by the sun.

Backlit on Canford Heath

And letting me know that all this photo-taking malarkey can get a bit boring.

Well this is boring!

When we do get sunshine a lot of Red Admiral butterflies are taking advantage, and we saw this lovely one as we headed down towards Knighton Heath.

Red Admiral Butterfly

I also spotted quite a large fungi and was trying to get a photo of it, but Teddy thought he’d take a leaf our of Max’s book and photobomb the shot.

Teddy takes a leaf out of Max's book and learns to photobomb

We continued on round and Teddy met a young Cocker Spaniel for the second time and they had a really good play. After which, of course, Teddy had to find the nearest puddle in which to cool down.

Teddy poses for Tongue out Tuesday

I particularly like this photo of him.

Time to cool down in a puddle

Needless to say he got out covered in mud!

Tuesday would have been Jezebel’s 10th birthday, so the day was tinged with sadness. But she loved cake, so in her honour I made a chocolate marble cake in the afternoon which Chris and I have been enjoying. This photo of Jez was taken on her birthday last year.

Jez on her 9th Birthday

On Wednesday I went to Dad’s in the morning as usual. I am pleased to say he has suffered no ill effects as a result of his fall last week, other than a very sore thumb where he cut it. In the afternoon I took Teddy over to Canford Heath, although I didn’t take any photos as once again it looked as though it could tip down with rain at any minute. After our walk we dropped round to Pat’s to take her her birthday presents: she will be 97 on Thursday.

On Thursday Teddy and I headed out to Badbury Rings for our walk. We didn’t get that far, though, as Teddy decided to whine and bark in the back of the car. Instead I called into Kingston Lacy which was closer.

Unfortunately the main part of the Woodland Walk is closed.

No Woodland Walk for us today

We did manage to do one small loop in the woods though, and then headed back past the house to the gardens. This view of the house was taken as we were walking back from the Woodland Walk.

Kingston Lacy House

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but in the woods in one part of the gardens they are using pigs to clear the undergrowth. They’ve always been too far away for me to get a photo before, but today they were by the fence. Here is the big one (I think it might be a Gloucester Old Spot, but I can’t actually see any spots so I might be wrong).

Clearing the undergrowth in the gardens the natural way

And here is one of the Kunekunes.

This Kunekune is hoping to be fed a few apples

He came over to the fence as there is a shoot there. You can buy apples and feed the pigs. Sadly I didn’t have 50p on me for the apples, so he had to go hungry.

Over in the Kitchen Garden the dahlias are looking lovely.

Dahlia

There was supposed to be an orchid flowering there somewhere but I couldn’t find it. I did find the little autumnal scene in one of the outhouses though.

Autumn's harvest in the Kitchen Garden

And one final shot of the house as we walked back to the car.

Kingston Lacy House

On Friday we walked over Upton Heath again and although I took the camera we spent time walking round with a dog walker so I didn’t take any photos. I did take the camera when we went on Saturday though, despite the forecast of rain. There was a very misty and moody view over Poole Harbour, looking towards Arne.

A misty view across the heath

And yes, we got wet, but not very. Just a couple of fairly light showers. So I’ll leave you with a panorma of the heath and hope that the forecast is right and we will not have a few days without rain.

Panorma across Upton Heath

In which I get very excited

Sunday 3rd September to Saturday 9th September 2017

But before I get to the reason for my excitement I will start with a walk on Canford Heath on Wednesday 6th September (note the gap in photos due to more poor weather – although sadly that doesn’t mean a gap in Teddy’s walks!). The weather was still threatening on Wednesday, but I took the camera and for a change decided to park in Asda and walk Teddy up the Redbrick Path. This was the first time Teddy had experienced the Redbrick Path (I haven’t been for a couple of years) and he loved it. He especially loved chasing the squirrels that he found there!

Once we turned onto the heath we met our Labradoodle friend Milo.

Our friend Milo

Isn’t he a cutie? I love his little white beard. I say he’s a Labradoodle, but I normally refer to him as a Labradoodleoodle, as one parent was a Labardoodle and the other a Poodle. Sadly he was on the lead at the end of his walk today, so he and Teddy didn’t get to play.

We walked on round the heath and I was really surprised to come across a caterpillar.

Late caterpillar

It must be very late for them, although I found another a couple of days later in the garden.

And finally for today, one of my favourite trees that I haven’t photographed in a while.

One of my favourite trees

I’m pleased to say we actually managed our walk without getting wet!

And so onto the reason I was so excited. On Thursday morning I had to go over to my Dad’s again as he had had a fall. Fortunately he wasn’t too badly hurt and after getting him checked over by my cousin’s husband, who is an A&E nurse, I was able to come home and take Teddy to Wareham Forest in the afternoon.

We had just met a lady and her dogs when I walked on a spotted a young Smooth Snake in the path.

Young Smooth Snake

It may not seem like much but it is the UK’s rarest snake and I was so excited to find it. I managed to keep Teddy out of the way while I took a couple of photos.

Young Smooth Snake

Young Smooth Snake

After which it slithered off into the undergrowth.

And so onto Saturday. Showers were forecast for our walk on Saturday afternoon. We went over to Upton Heath as usual and walked up the Roman Road. As we came down the hill there were a few spits and spots but nothing to worry about. When we got to the pits, though, the heavens opened. I headed for a tree in the old pits and tried to shelter there, but it was pretty hopeless.

This bit of video gives you a clue as to what it was like. Those ‘streams’ weren’t there a couple of minutes beforehand. Oh, and the shouting is the lads who were riding their bikes around the pits at the time the rain started – you can see one going to join his friends under another tree.

I’m getting tired of all this wet weather.

A walk on Canford Heath

Sunday 20th August 2017

I have lots of photos this week, so I thought I’d split them up into individual posts again.

On Sunday afternoon Teddy and I went for a walk over Canford Heath. It was a bit overcast but not particularly cold.

Looking down the hill

The heather is beautiful this year.

Heather and Gorse

We walked from Gravel Hill and cut across to the end of the Redbrick Path, and then headed up the hill to South Walk, where I took this photo of Teddy.

Teddy

Trees on the top of the heath.

Trees

And looking back along South Walk.

South Walk

This was the view looking out across Poole.

Overlooking Poole

We looped back around to the stream where I liked this log, used as a stepping stone, against the dark sky reflected in the water.

Log in the stream

And then we headed back to the car. I’d walked further than I’d intended, but it was a very pleasant walk.

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.