Time to see the vet

Monday 21st November 2016

No, that’s not Jez or Max but the cows on Upton Heath. Jez, Max and I went for our walk over there this morning and were passed by a Land Rover full of people, which it turned out were going to round up the cows to take them for their vet check. A short time later we saw them coming back down the hill with the cows in hot pursuit. I moved the dogs off the path and took this rather murky shot as they passed us, trotting after the Land Rover.

The cows were following the land rover - heading for a vet check

Little did they know!

Otherwise, as you can see, it was rather murky and I only had my phone with me. We walked to the pond, although Max had a puddle stop on the way…

Puddle time

.. and from there walked on up the hill towards the Viewpoint and Beacon Road. En route I took this photo of Max in one of his little watery pools.

Max finds more water

Normally I’d call Chris to pick us up at Beacon Road, but today the kitchen fitters moved in and are stripping out our old kitchen. I have Jez on her anti-anxiety meds, but as she was coping well with the walk we all walked back down the Roman Road to Beechbank Avenue where we’d started out. So a nice long walk to wear the dogs out.

Over the week-end I took some photos of the old kitchen before it was removed, and I’ll take photos of progress on the new kitchen as it goes in. But I’ll include them all as a single post once the work is complete (well, excluding the flooring as I can’t get that done until the New Year).

A year ago today

I messed up again on the last post and the photo of Juno, the whippet, I posted, was from a year ago today. So here’s her stop-brother, a beautiful Saluki, from the same walk.

Backlit Saluki

Upton Heath for the 3rd day running

Monday 31st October 2016

Yes, our usual Monday morning walk meant that we were back on Upton Heath. This time we walked to the pond and then met Dawn with Henry and Addy and walked up the hill to the viewpoint. So although we have been here 3 days running each walk has been different.

At first it was quite dull and a little misty.

A misty start

But the sun soon broke through. By the time we were approaching the pond this little Russula, nestled in a tussock of grass, was in bright sunshine.

Russula in a tussock of grass

At the pond Jez decided to wade in while Max waited to play.

Jez and Max at the pond

Here I’ve got his attention by holding his cone in the hand I’m using to press the shutter.

Max in the pond

We left the pond and started to walk up the hill, where I was took this photo of Max sitting in the sun.


As I said, we met Dawn with Henry and Addy. We also came across the cows. Jez had to investigate, but is a lot more wary of them now she is older.

Jez says 'Hello'

Henry had to investigate too.

Henry and a cow

And after that we continued on up to the Viewpoint and I phoned Chris to come and pick us up at Beacon Road.

A year ago today

Another walk on Upton Heath. Here’s Jez in the afternoon sun, covered in mud.

Jez with mud splashes up her neck

Jez organises her own hydro-fit

Thursday 15th September 2016

This morning I took the dogs for a walk along the River Stour at Cowgrove as I’d had to take Jez to the vet in Wimborne earlier for a cartrophen injection. We’d gone to Wimborne for it as Jez didn’t have a hydro-therapy session this week (they take place in the vets’ Bournemouth branch).

It was a very nice morning, as you can see.

A nice morning on the River Stour

And once Jez got in the river she set about wading around in quite deep water to make up for the lack of her organised session in the water walker.

Jez organises her own hydro-fit session

Max, meanwhile, just wanted to play cone.

Max in the river

As you may have guessed from that last photo I was out in the middle of the river with them. We had been playing there for some time when I turned round and realised that there was a Little Egret perched in a tree close by, watching us.

Little Egret perched in the tree watching us

After spending quite a while in the river we started to walk back to the car. In one of the fields along the way were some Red Devon cattle with their calves.

Red Devon and calves

And that was about it for our walk this morning. Jez still doesn’t feel up to tackling Eye Bridge, so we went straight back to the car.

A year ago today

We had a visitor in our garden: this lovely Common Darter.

Common Darter

A morning walk by the river

Thursday 18th August 2016

This morning I took Jez and Max back to the River Stour at Eye Bridge for our morning walk. It was a lovely sunny morning when we set out and the river was still and peaceful.

Still Reflections

Jez was very reluctant to walk to the bay where we play, however. I’m not sure if she was a bit stiff and sore or whether there is some other reason for her reluctance. Eventually I managed to persuade her to walk with Max and I though.

En route to the playing place we came across the cows. There were a couple of young calves with them today, including this one enjoying a late breakfast.

Breakfast on tap

Quite a few of the cows were at the fence and were eager to say hello, like this one.

In your face

Jez kept her distance today though, so there was no recurrence of her falling over and injuring herself. At the playing place I joined the dogs in the river.

In mid-stream

Here’s Jez wading through the shallow water.

Jez wades through the water

Whilst Max makes a bit more of a splash.

Max makes a splash

We met some friends there too. We know the man with the two dogs in the water (we meet on Canford Heath and Upton Heath), and we also know the lady on the left on the seat.

We met some friends of ours

Although Jez didn’t go to greet them today she did keep an eye on them.


Max just wanted to chase cones though.

The river is very clear until Max stirs up the silt

We spent quite a while in the water before heading back to the car. I nipped up onto Eye Bridge to take a final photo. As you can see, by this time it was starting to cloud over a bit.

View from Eye Bridge And so back to the car. We hadn’t walked very far but we’d been almost an hour.

A year ago today

It turns out we were at Eye Bridge, which means I got my ‘Year Ago’ yesterday wrong. So here’s a different photo from that day: of Jez standing on the weir.

On the edge

A walk around Badbury Rings

Tuesday 26th July 2016

Linda went home on Sunday, and although I took the dogs out Sunday afternoon and Monday morning I didn’t take any photos. Today, though, I took the Powershot with me when I took the dogs out to Badbury Rings. I should have checked it over first, though. I had last used it when we were down the beach and didn’t realise Max had splashed seawater all over the lens. The first few photos from today therefore have a bit of a blurry patch on them. Luckily, this isn’t over the main subject of the photo.

So today, as on our last visit, we walked through the centre of the old hill fort and then walked around the top of one of the embankments to the south. Today we chose the central embankment.

Although the day was overcast it was warm and there were lots of wild flowers out, like this selfheal.


Walking along I came across several of the beautiful, delicate little harebells.

Delicate Harebell

And I think this is a new one for me: a Pyramidal Orchid. They are only supposed to bloom until June, but I guess the cold damp weather we had in May and June has delayed them this year.

Late flowering Pyramidal Orchid

I was also pleased to see a 5 spot Burnett moth.

5 spot burnett moth on ragwort

It flew along with us for a while so I was able to get another photo of it.

5 spot burnett moth

There are so few insects around this year though. I have hardly seen any butterflies and a local photographer recently said on Twitter that he’s stopped taking his camera with him due to the lack on insects that are around.

Of course, I took some photos of the dogs. Here’s Jez.


And here’s Max.


I also took this profile close-up of Max.

Best not ask what Max has been eating!

Not nice – best not ask what he’s been snacking on. This might give you a clue though.

Here come the cows

Dogs! You’d think he was never fed

A year ago today

We’d obviously had a lot of rain. Here’s Max in a puddle on Canford Heath.

Puddle + cone = Play time

More inquisitive cows

Thursday 7th July 2016

Today I chose to take the dogs to the River Stour at Eye Bridge as my pilates class was cancelled. It was a bit of an overcast day, but not particularly cold.

Across the Stour

We walked along to the big bay where the dogs play and they both went in the river. Here is Jez by the reed beds.

Jez in the river

I expected Jez to be happy to walk on round again, but after yesterday’s longer walk she simply wanted to return to the car, so distance-wise, it was a bit of a short walk for us.

The weather this spring and summer has meant that the foliage has grown like mad, and the grass and wildflowers are high. I thought this hogweed flower was pretty as it is young and still has some pink in it.

Hogweed flower

I have noticed a distinct lack of insects though and have hardly seen any butterflies at all this year. I suspect the damp conditions and the winds are to blame. I was pleased to find this bee on what I think is a sowthistle.

Bee on a sowthistle

When we walked along to the bay the cows had been in the middle of their field. By the time we walked back several of them were over by the fence. They are mainly Red Devons on this farm.

Red Devon

I walked up to the fence and this one came to see me.

Nosy #1

He was very nosy, and, as you can see, his nose was a bit bloodied.

A bloodied nose

And I love this close up of his eye.

Eye sees you

But there were other cows in the field today too. Being black and white I would guess they are Holstein Friesians, but their markings are unusual. Anyway, this one was also very nosy.

Nosy #2

And I loved it’s white eyelashes.

White eyelashes!

We eventually got back to the bridge and I nipped up there to get a photo across the weir. Max thought we were going over to the other bank and dashed off in front of me.

Max crosses Eye Bridge

Unfortunately Jez doesn’t feel she can cope with the bridge at the moment, so I contented myself with a photo down stream and then rejoined her.

View across the weir

It took me a while to get Max back though.

Both dogs had another dip in the river at the ford and then we went into the field adjacent to where I had parked. They had cut the long grass and whilst it’s not good for Max’s allergies it did allow me to get some photos of the dogs. So, to finish, here’s Jez…


… and here’s Max.


Oh, and that short walk took us a couple of hours!

A year ago today

I came home from Upton Country Park to find a buzzard perched in the oak tree in our drive.


Another inquisitive cow

Saturday 25th June 2016

Jez went out with Chris this morning so I thought it best to let her rest in the afternoon which meant that I only had Max with me when I went over to Upton Heath. It was also very overcast and I thought it might rain, which is not good if you have Jez in tow.

We started off by walking to the pond.

Pond time

We walked around the back of the pond as I wanted to try and get a photo of the Bog Asphodel which are now in bloom across the boggy areas of the heath.

The Bog Asphodel are out

After that we headed up the hill. My logic was that if it did rain we could walk back under cover of the trees along the Roman Road. En route we met the cows. Most just got on munching the grass. This one was happy to just stare at us from a distance.

Are you looking at me?

But there was one that was very inquisitive and had to come over to meet us. It made for a good photo though.

Mr Inquisitive

And Max was very good: he didn’t bark once.

We walked on up the hill and the sun came out and I had to take my coat off. So much for thinking it was going to rain!

There are no photos from a year ago today