And a cold start to 2017

Sunday 1st January – Saturday 7th January 2017

The cold spell has been continuing into the new year, although we had some rather welcome sunshine on Monday 2nd January. To celebrate Max and I went for a walk on Upton Heath as usual on a Monday.

New Year - Same old pond

Near the pond we met the 3 Weimeraners, including Hazel who had one of her usual ‘small’ sticks. Here she is having a good old chew at it.

Hazel's found herself a stick

We walked on round the lower heath and when we got to the Roman Road Max got in the stream as usual. The light on his was lovely.

Max in the stream

And lastly for today, here is a shot of the Roman Road where the stream crosses it.

The Roman Road in winter

On Tuesday it was a cold and frosty start, so I chose to take Max out to Kingston Lacy. When we got there Max was a bit worried by the warning sign at the entrance.

The sign has got Max a bit worried

But he needn’t have worried as the paths weren’t slippery at all. The grounds were looking lovely in the frost and sunlight though.

A clear, frost morning

This photo was taken along the Cedar Avenue.

Sun throught the cedars

As was this one of a frosted bench.

Frosted seat

These frosty leaves also caught my eye.

Frosty leaves

It was only towards the end of our walk that we began to see many other people. This couple passed us as we walked through the gardens, though.

Waling through the gardens

We walked on round to the Japanese garden, which looked nice in the frost and sun.

The Japanese Garden

And I rather liked the light and shade around this little ornament.

Stone ornament

After that we continued on through the woodland walk and finally back to the car.

Wednesday I went to see my Dad as usual and on Thursday we once again had a heavy frost so I decided to take Max down to Lychett Bay. The tide was out and the shoreline was rather icy.

An icy Lychett Bay at low tide

Max was not happy as he couldn’t get anywhere near the water.

Max is not happy that the tide is out

We walked on round to the small beach at Turlin Moor, where the boats looked lovely in the still water.

Reflections on a cold morning

Round here the seaweed on the beach was frozen.

Frozen seaweed

As was the fishing gear left in the boats.

Fishing nets and float Frosted float

There was also frost over this discarded bag left on the beach.

Discarded

Max finally managed to get down to the water round here, but he also got very muddy paws in the process.

Mr Muddy Paws!

After that we headed back to the car but before we left we went to see the new viewing platform that has been built overlooking the bay.

The new viewing platform

And this is the view it gives.

Lychett Bay from the viewing platform

And one last photo from our walk: a frozen seed head.

Frosty seedhead

You may be wondering where Jez was while Max and I were doing all this walking. Well, she was busy snoozing in the sun at home.

Jez snoozing in the sun

And who can blame her?

A year ago

From the same week a year ago I’ve chosen this photo, taken out at Badbury Rings, which is also part of the National Trust Kinston Lacy estate.

Circle of light

On the beach at Highcliffe

Wednesday 2nd November 2016

This morning I went to Highcliffe, as usual on a Wednesday morning, to visit my Dad. It was bright and sunny so Jez decided to stay at home on the bed in the sun. Once I’d done all of the bits and pieces Dad had lined up for me I suggested we go for a walk down the beach. Although there was a cold wind it was from the north so I figured that the beach should be fairly sheltered. I was right.

Here’s Dad heading towards the section of beach where we play with the dogs.

Dad heads to the beach

And Max, waiting expectantly at the water’s edge.

Max waits to play

We weren’t the only ones who had had the idea of taking the dog to the beach. As you can see, there were quite a few people and dogs down there.

It was quite busy down on the beach

After I’d played with Max for a short time (not too long as it makes his hips too bad) we walked along the promenade in the opposite direction for a while. Dad had a seat in the sun while I wandered on with Max. However, Max managed to get himself on a section of beach between two groynes and struggled to get out again over the rocks, so after that I joined Dad on the seat.

And then we headed back to the car which was parked on the clifftop in the wind.

Heading back to the carpark

It had been a good choice of venue for a walk, although Max struggled to get up the stairs when we went to bed.

And one last mention for today: it would have been my Mum’s birthday, so Happy Birthday Mum.

A year ago today

Max and I went for a walk on Upton Heath. Here he is by the stream where it crosses the Roman Road.

Along the Roman Road

Fun on the beach

Wednesday 12th October 2016

Wednesday is my morning to go and visit my Dad, and today was no exception. It was a beautiful sunny day though, so I suggested to Dad that instead of our normal walk around Nea Meadows we go down to Highcliffe beach and then wander up Chewton Bunny. And in case you are wondering a ‘bunny’ is a small, steep valley made by a stream. In Bournemouth they are called Chines. As with many such valleys along the coast here that lead to the sea in past times it was used by smugglers.

Anyway, back to the beach. I parked in the clifftop carpark in Highcliffe and was delighted to see that at this time of year it is free. We then made our way to the beach.

Walking down to the beach at Highcliffe

This was the view looking west towards Sandbanks (which is the peninsula you can see).

Looking across to Sandbanks, Poole

With the tide going out there was a lovely section of sandy beach close to the bunny.

A nice day for a walk on the beach

Jez was delighted to be down there, although Max was only interested in his cone.

Jez is a very happy dog. Meanwhile Max is focused on his cone

While I played with Max Dad perched himself on the cliff.

Dad has a rest

And lastly, one finally shot of my very happy little staffy.

Jezebel

I’m afraid there aren’t any photos of the bunny. We walked up it a way and I washed the salt off Max in the stream. But it is tree lines and it was very dark in there so any photos wouldn’t really have come out.

A year ago today

We went for a walk on Upton Heath and met our friend Jasper the lurcher.

The look of love

Max and I go to Lake Pier

Friday 30th September 2016

It was a sunny but blustery morning, and Jez didn’t want to come for a walk having found herself a patch of sun to lie in, so I took Max down to Lake Pier at Hamworthy.

The beach

You might just be able to spot him there waiting on the shoreline.

As I said, it was blustery and a windsurfer was taking full advantage of the wind.

Windsurfer

There were also quite a few people fishing from the pier.

On the pier

Max and I walked along the beach as I threw his cone in the water for him, and then we turned up the steps and walked around the cliff path. We came back to the beach and finally I took him up to the lake on Ham Common so that I could wash the salt off him. Here he is at the water’s edge.

Waiting

He was eager for a swim.

Swimming back to me

Bringing his cone back to me.

Rising out of the lake

And finally, not a great photo of Max, but I love the water arc produced by the swish of his tail.

With a swish of the tail Now you can see why I stand well back when he comes to the water’s edge. If I don’t I can get drenched.

A year ago today

We were out and about on Upton Heath.

Looking down across the heath

How quickly the weather can change

Tuesday 13th September 2016

It was a lovely sunny morning and, as the tides were good, I thought I’d take Jez and Max down to Lake Pier at Hamworthy for their walk. When we got down there there was no wind, the sea was like a mill pond and there were just a few fluffy white clouds in the sky. As usual I tried to walk along the main beach to the steps, the plan being to do the circular walk taking in the lake. But Jez didn’t want to do that and immediately headed for the small section of beach between the pier and the marine base. Here she enjoyed herself wading around in the water.

Jez by Lake Pier

We walked along the beach slowly and I spent time throwing Max’s cone for him. When we got to the big rowing boats that are always moored there there was a seagull perched on one of them.

Seagull

We pottered about on the beach and then started to walk slowly back to the pier. By this time there was more cloud around.

Boat

And by the time we got to the pier it was distinctly cloudy and the wind was getting up.

Pier

Which might not sound odd, but I am only talking about walking along a couple of hundred yards of beach, if that.

At the pier I got chatting to a photographer and while we talked we spotted a girl in a dry suit wading out into the sea, which looked a bit odd.

Wading out

It turned out she was collecting water samples. The photographer apparently takes portraits of people and as well as taking a photo of the girl he took one of me, laden down as I was with shoulder bag, leads, camera, shirt tied round my waste and ball thrower! As I hung around there the wind started to really get up and whip across the harbour. And this big cloud was coming our way.

A storm cloud moves in

Of course, Max still wanted to play.

Max

But I headed back to the car and spots of rain started to fall as we got there. We got home just in time. 5 minutes after we got in we found ourselves in the middle of a huge thunderstorm and torrential rain.

A year ago today

I had Dad and Pat for lunch. Here’s Pat with Max.

Pat and Max

Max is in trouble again

Wednesday 31st August 2016

Today, being Wednesday, I went to visit my Dad in the morning. After I had finished all the bits and pieces he had for me to sort out we took the dogs down to Mudeford Quay as I wanted to do some filming for Chris’ company. We parked, and before I got the tripod out of the car (it weighs a ton!) I walked the dogs over to the water’s edge so that they could get in the sea. As you can see, the weather was very different to yesterday as it was overcast and there was quite a cold wind blowing.

Mudeford Harbour

My thought was that if they went in the water first they would calm down and then I could get the tripod and we could walk around the quay. So here is Max in the water. As usual he is waiting for me to throw something for him.

Waiting for his cone

After the dogs had had a paddle I went and got the tripod and we headed for the quay. That’s Dad in the photo below walking towards the quay.

Mudeford Harbour

I put the dogs on the lead and as I had a heavy tripod with camera attached in my left hand I gave Jez to Dad and I kept hold of Max. And what a good job I did. Jez wandered around like a good little dog. Max was a total nightmare. He pulled and pulled on the lead the whole time and it took all my strength just to hold onto him. It was not a pleasant experience. I did manage to get some film but was so busy struggling to control Max that I got the exposure wrong. At least some of it was usable though.

Eventually I gave¬†up and ¬†headed back to the car via the sea again. Here’s Jez having a paddle.

Jez has a paddle

And one last photo of Max.

Max on the little beach

I won’t be doing that again in a hurry.

A year ago today

Max and I had a bit of a wet walk on Upton Heath. Here is a Grisette that I spotted on our walk.

Grisette

Oh what a beautiful morning

Tuesday 30th August 2016

It was a lovely morning this morning, and as the tides were about right I took the dogs down to Lychett Bay for their walk. I wondered whether to park in the car park by the rugby ground for a change, but decided against it, which, as it turned out, was a good thing. So we parked near the viewpoint as usual and cut across the edge of the rugby pitches to Turlin Moor Rec. This was taken just as we were leaving the rugby pitch…

Heading through to Lychett Bay

…and this was taken just after we’d walked through the gap in the trees.

Turlin Moor Rec

Lychett Bay, itself, looked pretty stunning.

Lychett Bay on a still morning

We walked along by the reed beds to the little culvert where Max likes to get in the water (the banks are too steep for Jez now), but just before he headed in there I took this photo of him to show how bad his back legs are at times now.

Poor Max - his back legs aren't good at all

Poor Jez was getting a bit hot by this stage and we had to walk all the way down to the bird hide before we could get to the little beach where she can get into the water.

At the water's edge

Here’s Jez making ripples in the still waters in the Bay.

Jez makes ripples

And here she is heading back to me.

Jez heads to shore

Of course, Max just wanted me to throw a cone for him.

Max waits to play

And just to make you envious, here is my view from the little patch of sand I’ve called a beach (it’s only about 3 foot wide!).

Panorama across Lychett Bay

After that we walked on around Turlin Moor Rec and then went back to the rugby patches, where Max had a good roll.

Time for a roll

And then the dogs disgraced themselves. I was walking back to where we had parked by Jez must have heard noises and headed for the car park by the rugby club (where I’d thought about parking). Max, of course, followed. I soon found out why – there was a travellers’ temporary camp there, as usual strewn with rubbish and who knows what. Do you think I could get the dogs back. Eventually I got Jez on the lead, but Max was a nightmare. Once I’d got them back they got a good talking to and I kept them on the lead most of the way back to the car.

A year ago today

I messed up again with my last post and posted a photo from a year ago today up at the top of Upton Heath. Anyway, here’s Max in the same pond on the same day.

Max wants to play cone in a new pond