I thought we were going to Upton Heath

Saturday 2nd July 2016

Once again there are a lack of photos this week, due to a combination of a lack of dog walking on my part and poor weather. So here we are in July and I’m still waiting for summer to arrive.

After heavy rain on Saturday morning (while my washing was on the line) and just before we went for our walk in the afternoon the sun actually made an appearance for our walk, although the wind still had quite a chill to it. I thought we were going for a walk on Upton Heath, and, in fact, I did park at Beechbank Avenue and we did walk onto the heath. But then Jez turned up the Roman Road and headed for Pinesprings.

Once at Pinesprings Jez settled down in the shade of a tree so I sat at the little picnic table there and threw Max’s ball for him. He had been in the stream coming up the Roman Road, and as you can see, was going to need a bath when he got home.

Mucky boy needs a bath

Jez didn’t seem interested in continuing on through Pinesprings and wanted to turn onto the housing estate, so as I thought it would make a more even surgace for her to walk on I put the dogs on the lead and we walked through the housing estate to Pinesprings Drive. Here Jez had to have two more rests. She seemed oblivious to all the traffic and at one point insisted on hanging over the curb.

Jez needs a rest

Most drivers seemed to find it quite funny that she was lying flat out on the grass verge while I was standing there like a lemon!

We continued on down the hill and then I picked up the Castleman Trailway.

Heading home along the Castleman Trailway

You can just about make Max out in the distance in that photo. We continued along the Trailway but didn’t get as far as the heath before Jez turned off again and we walked back through the housing estate to the car.

A year ago today

Well, actually a year ago yesterday, as I don’t have any photos from the 2nd July last year. So a year ago yesterday I took Dad out to Sculpture by the Lakes, near Dorchester in Dorset.

"The Chase"

Monday’s walk to Upton Heath

Monday 18th April 2016

As usual on a Monday morning Max and I walked over to Upton Heath. We were fortunate to have sunshine today, so I took the better camera with me.

First thing I spotted as I walked along the footpath next to our house: Max’s nemesis (or at least one element of it). The oaks are in flower.

Oak flowers

Oaks are one of the trees Max is allergic to, so this won’t be a good time for his. It most probably also explains why I’ve had to put him back on his steroids recently. He doesn’t care, though. All he cares about is water and his cone.

Max

And one last photo from today: Max peers though the fence alongside one of the boardwalks on the heath, waiting for me to throw his cone (you can see it at the very bottom of the photo).

Max waits hopefully by the boardwalk

That’s really a large puddle there though, so not surprisingly I had to wash him off in Creekmoor Ponds on the way home.

A year ago today

My friend Irene was staying with us while she recuperated from a hip replacement, so we went for a day out to West Bay, further west along the Dorset coast.

East Beach and the cliffs

When Max met Max

Monday 9th November 2015

Monday morning saw Max and I walking over to Upton Heath as usual. This morning Jez decided to stay in bed rather than join us. You may recall the reflected trees photo from Saturday. Well this is the pond that they were reflected in.

There's a new pond on the heath

That line of trees to the right in the photo is where the old railway line was.

When we got to the pond today it was already occupied – by Max.

Max

That’s Max the Golden Retriever. My Max soon joined him. Here are the two Max’s.

Max and Max in the pond

After playing for a while, and chatting with Max’s owner, we left the pond and walked through the old pits, where I was surprised to see this Fly Agaric.

There are still Fly Agaric about

I thought it was getting a little late for them. It must be the mild weather.

Further on round on the lower heath you could tell we had had a lot of rain as one of Max’s favourite puddles had re-appeared.

Big puddle time

After that, of course, he had to play in the pool beside the boardwalk.

Max by the boardwalk

Along the Roman Road, in Longmeadow Lane woods, most of the leaves are now off the trees.

Longmeadow Lane Woods

And I’ll leave you today with a shot across Creekmoor Ponds, taken as we walked home.

Creekmoor Ponds

Those trees still seem to have most of their leaves on them.

A year ago today

We had a Sunday afternoon walk on Canford Heath.

Canford Heath at sunset

Our Monday morning walk on Upton Heath

Monday 28th September 2015

It’s Monday morning so that must mean that Max and I head over to Upton Heath before I go to Wimborne to do my grocery shopping. We walk over, and as I passed a sycamore tree en route I noticed this brightly coloured leaf in the grass glistening in the sun.

Sycamore leaf

Once we got into the pine trees on the heath I found this lovely little Grisette.

Grisette

We continued on to the pond…

Max in the pond

… where we met Dawn with Henry and Ariadne.

Henry and Ariadne

And while they raced around…

Making a run for it

… Dawn and I chatted and Max just stood waiting patiently for me to throw his cone.

Max

We walked on round the heath together and then Max and left them to come on home, via Creekmoor Ponds as usual.

Creekmoor Ponds

It had been a nice walk on a lovely sunny day. Unfortunately, in the afternoon it was back to working on the Monster Hedge.

A year ago today

I took Max and Jez to Canford Heath. Here’s Jez on the Redbrick Path, looking up again.

Jez on the Redbrick Path

How much wetter can it get?

Monday 24th August 2015

So we were back to torrential rain again this morning. Of course that didn’t stop Max and I heading over to Upton Heath for our walk. This was the view along Beechbank Avenue in Creekmoor as we approached the entrance to the heath.

A very wet morning

By the way, all of the photos today were taken on my iPhone as I didn’t take a camera with me.

Surpringly, we did meet other people out on the heath. Unsurprisingly they were all walking their dogs.

The only people on Upton Heath were dog walkers

I may have been wet and soggy, but Max was in his element: there were lots of puddles.

Puddle time!

And there was water in the little pool by the boardwalk again.

There's water by the boardwalk again

I may have been well wrapped up, but I was pleased to get home. When I did it was to find that Jez had made herself nice and comfy on the sofa in the sitting room.

Jez has made herself comfy

She didn’t seem to care that she was the wrong way up, although I did go back later to find she’d righted herself.

Right way up

Bless!

A year ago today

We went to visit my Dad, and Jez made herself comfy once again.

Dad's nicely made bed obviously wasn't comfortable enough for Jez

A hot afternoon

Saturday 8th August 2015

It was pretty hot this afternoon and I struggled to think of somewhere to take the dogs where Jez would not get too hot and immediately lie down in the shade and refuse to move. In the end I decided to walk them round Creekmoor Ponds, where there is lots of shade and lots of cooling water.

We started at the corner of the small lake next to our house. Here’s Max, hoping I’ll throw something.

Max in Creekmoor Ponds

And here’s Jez.

Jez cools down in Creekmoor Ponds

We walked on round to the larger pond, to the little ‘beach’ where they normally play. Again, here’s Max, waiting for me to throw something.

Max

And Jez, cooling down again.

Time for another cool down

From there I tried to continue on round the ponds but Jez headed off for the local pet shop where she likes to watch the rabbits. It’s a bit of a struggle controlling the dogs in there as they are both really excited and pull me in all directions. After the pet shop we were all hot and tired and so headed straight back to the ‘beach’ where the dogs, at least, could cool down.

Eventually we continued on round the ponds. I had my 70-300mm lens on the camera, hoping for butterflies. We didn’t see any but I rather like this photo of a duck.

Duck paddling by

And finally, my favourite photo of the day – Jez back in the water again, watching the ducks.

Jez watches the ducks

Notice the tip of her tail just peaking out of the water.

It was a good choice of walk on a hot day.

A year ago today

We were down by the River Stour at Cowgrove, where I took this very pastoral scene.

Pastoral Scene

Poor Henry!

Friday 12th June 2015

My new Friday morning routine is to go and do my grocery shopping at Waitrose in Wimborne before it gets too crowded and then to come home and take Max for his walk. This tends to mean that we walk over to Upton Heath, and today was no exception.

As we walked along the footpath that runs behind our house I had a nice surprise when I saw this hoverfly on a beautiful white rose.

Bee on a white rose

I initially thought it was a bee, but looking at the head and eyes as I post this I realise it isn’t. So I think it’s a big hoverfly.

Anyway, Max and I walked onto the heath and as we got to the pond we met Dawn and Ariadne, the English Pointer puppy. But no Henry (Dawn’s other English Pointer). The reason is that Henry was bitten by another dog on the heath yesterday. Poor boy is very poorly and had to have an operation to repair the damage (the dog basically bit through his skin and took a lump of muscle out of his side). Dawn has spoken to the local dog warden who says she can’t really do much about it, other than advise the other owner, but that the dog is likely to attack other dogs again, if it has not already done so. So this dog doesn’t even need to be muzzled! I’ll have to keep a watchful eye out to make sure that Jez and Max don’t get close should we meet it.

And to cap it all Max decided that he had to tell Ariadne off in no uncertain terms for coming too close to him. He may look all sweetness and light…

Max looks happy

… but where he wasn’t socialised as a young pup (before we had him) he doesn’t always tolerate young or bouncy dogs. Here poor little Ariadne had only wandered up to say hello, but Max was having none of it.

Max! We do not tell Ariadne off for wanting to be friends

Trying to train him to be calm around bouncy dogs is an ongoing process, but given the trauma Dawn had yesterday with Henry I didn’t exactly appreciate Max’s timing!

A year ago today

Jez and I went for a walk at Chewton Common in Highcliffe.

Jez strolls along the path at Chewton Common