Sunshine means playtime

Friday 17th November 2017

Friday morning meant Teddy and I walked over to Upton Heath, and this morning it was lovely and sunny. And it looked very autumnal in the silver birch grove.

Autumn in the Silver Birch grove Silver Birch trees

Just after I’d taken that first photo we met our friend Tig, the staffie, with his Mum, Amanda. Here’s Tig posing for me.

Tig

And Tig, after a treat, in his ‘bear’ pose.

'Give me a treat' - Tig does his bear pose

He and Teddy had a great time playing.

Teddy and Tig at play

We walked on and then met Ollie, who is around a year old. Again, he and Teddy had a great time playing, despite the size difference. They were particularly interested in an old stick.

Teddy and Ollie were having such a good time with that stick

First one would get it and run off with it and the other would chase, and then the other one would get it and run off. Here they are playing tug with it.

Teddy and Ollie play tug

And lastly for today, a wonder autumnal scene along the Roman Road.

Autumn on the Roman Road

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Not much sun this week

Monday 13th to Thursday 16th November 2017

It’s been another dull week, and although I have taken the camera out with me, there are not a lot of photos from the beginning of the week. And my week was a bit turned around as I had to go to my Dad on Thursday rather than Wednesday this week.

Anyway, on Monday morning we walked over to Upton Heath as normal. And there we met Larner, a beautiful Rottie girl who I was told was around 14 weeks old.

Meet Larner (about 14 weeks)

Isn’t she gorgeous? Here she is again – just look at that expression.

What a cutie pie!

There are no photos from Tuesday, but on Wednesday morning Teddy and I did our normal Thursday morning walk on Canford Heath. As you can see, we had had a lot of rain, not that that bothers Teddy.

Teddy on South Walk

And then, as I said, I went to Dad’s Thursday morning, which meant that I took Teddy to Canford Heath again (parking in Steeple Close) in the afternoon. Although we left fairly early the sun was pretty low in the sky.

The sun is low in the sky this afternoon

This is a panorama of the view over Poole (you may need to click on the image to hop over to Flickr to see it properly).

Panorama over Poole

And, as I was up on South Walk with the sun behind the clouds I couldn’t resist one of my fall-back shots.

It's that tree again!

This is a lichen covered tree set against a slightly lighter sky and with the sun on it.

Another tree, in the sunlight

And lastly for today, the sun had almost gone by the time we had finished our walk.

The sun has almost gone

A touch of frost

Monday 6th November 2017

Monday was a cold morning and we found a frosty entrance to Upton Heath.

A frosty entrance to Upton Heath

Someone had obviously lost a dog’s name tag, and it had been placed on the bench where it was duly frosted.

Lost nametag

Even the nettles looked nice in the frost and sunshine.

Frsot on the nettles

But apart from that bit of frost it was warm and sunny on our walk. Warm enough for Teddy to go in the pond.

Teddy in the pond

And here he is in the grass close by the pond.

Teddy in the autumn grasses

He did have a more contemplative moment, though.

Teddy looking serious

That was taken moments before our friend, Zeus, arrived, after which all hell broke loose as they raced around playing.

Teddy and Zeus playing

And I’m really pleased of this shot of the two of them.

Teddy and Zeus had a great game

It sometimes looks scary when they play, but I love to see dogs playing. And I love that Teddy enjoys playing with other dogs so much.

End of Days

Sunday 15th to Saturday 21st October 2017

On Sunday afternoon Teddy and I went for our walk on Canford Heath for a change. At one time I always took Jez and Max to Canford Heath on a Sunday afternoon, but I had got out of the habit. It was a bit of an overcast day, though. This was the view across the west of the heath from what I call the ‘escarpment’ (basically a very steep hill that you can just about walk up, although Teddy and I took the easy route).

View from the 'escarpment'

We didn’t really meet any dogs for Teddy to play with on our walk, but he was happy running around. Here he is as we head back to the car.

On our way back to the car

And a short distance further on, here is a very happy Teddy on the sandy area.

Teddy loves the sandy areas

We’d obviously managed to wear him out today, as when we went to bed he was soon asleep.

Shhhh! Teddy's asleep

Now you may be wondering about my blog title. That is there to wind my husband Chris up. On Monday the remains of Hurricane Imogen passed over Ireland and bought a huge depression over the UK. The result was some very strange skies over southern England. This photo was taken on Upton Heath early in the morning. Although the sky simply looks overcast you may notice that there is quite a yellow cast to the photo.

Teddy and friends Zeus and Jasper

The photo is of Teddy with his friends Zeus and Jasper whom we met on our walk. After we left the pond, and Zeus, we walked on round the lower heath with Jasper and his Mum, Judy. From time to time Jasper and Teddy would run and play, which was nice. After my walk I went grocery shopping and as I did it was getting darker and darker, and the sky was getting more and more yellow. By late morning every car had its headlights on and it was like being in a sort of ochre twilight. By lunchtime, the sun was trying to break through the clouds, but it was a reddish-orange colour. This photo was taken outside my front door.

The sun at lunchtime

Apparently in London it was even redder. Lots of people were laughing and talking about ‘the end of days’ which for some reason annoyed Chris no end. So I spent the next 48 hours repeating it. And the cause? Well the depression had sucked in dust from the Sahara Dessert and smoke from the wild fires in Portugal, which combined had the effect of changing the colour of the sun and sky and making it quite dark.

The next day there was still a slightly pink tinge to the sun but the colour of the sky was back to normal, although there were some very interesting cloud formations over Canford Heath that I photographed as we walked. I will just post 3 of them here, but there are another 7 over on the Flickr stream.

Strange skies over Canford Heath (1) Strange skies over Canford Heath (5)

Strange skies over Canford Heath (7)

By Friday things were back to normal and we had sunshine for our walk to Upton Heath. Here is Teddy in the pond.

A lovely sunny morning

Later on in the walk Teddy made a new friend. I’m always a bit wary of letting him play with small dogs in case he thinks they are some sort of prey, but this one was up for a good game.

Teddy made a new friend today

They had a good time playing, as you can see.

Little and large at play

And all credit to the owners for letting him play with such a big dog.

By Saturday the wind had picked up Storm Brian approached the UK. We went for our normal afternoon walk on Upton Heath, avoiding the silver birch tree that had blown down at the entrance to the heath. As we walked up the Roman Road we met up with our friends Frazzle and Roxy.

We met Frazzle and Roxy today

That is Frazzle on the left and Roxy at the front on the right. And here is another photo of Frazzle.

Frazzle

As I said, it was a tad windy, as you can see from this photo of a windswept Teddy as we walked down the hill across the heath.

Teddy was bit windswept

As we approached the pond we met another friend, Wendy, with her dog, Titch, and her daughter’s dog. So we all walked on round with them. This photo was taken as we got back to the pine trees.

Walking with friends on Upton Heath

And that’s pretty much it for this week.

Repairs on Upton Heath

Sunday 8th October to Saturday 14th October 2017

Sunday was a bit of an overcast day and Teddy and I went up to the top of Upton Heath at Corfe Mullen for our walk. I only have one photo, a Fly agaric, which I took because it was National Fungi Day.

Fly agaric on National Fungi day

It rained first thing Monday morning, but had stopped by the time Teddy and I went for our walk on Upton Heath. It did mean that all of the spiders’ webs were covered in tiny droplets of water though.

Raindrops on a web

Last Friday we had bumped into some workmen from Scottish and Southern Energy, and they were explaining that they would be replacing an rotted, wooden electricity pole out in the bog and would be putting in a temporary roadway to reach it. Today when we they had put out some signs, which Teddy had to inspect.

Teddy inspects the signs

Where they are going to put the road out onto the bog there is a big hole which dogs have been enlarging, and on Friday the men had told me they were about to fill it in. All they have done is put up another sign though.

3 days after they said they were going to fill the hole in and they've just stuck a sign up!

We didn’t meet any dogs for Teddy to play with today, but we did bump into this pretty little spaniel.

Pretty little Cocker Spaniel

So Teddy had to make his own entertainment by running around and seeing if he could find anything of interest. Here he is in the little silver birch grove. Notice that the trees are rapidly losing their leaves now.

Teddy in the silver birch grove

Jumping forward to Thursday it was a lovely sunny morning and Teddy and I went for a walk over the far side of Canford Heath. This was the view after we had climbed the hill, looking out across Poole.

View over Poole

And here is Teddy on one of the paths across the heath.

Crossing Canford Heath

Along that path I found some really pretty little white and yellow flowers. I haven’t worked out what they are yet though.

Pretty white fowers

Getting all arty now, and I liked this dead tree which was seemingly pointing the way across the heath.

Pointing the way

And so onto Friday 13th October, unlucky for some but not for us. As usual on a Friday I did my grocery shopping before taking Teddy over to Upton Heath. On our arrival we found the workmen were still there, so Teddy had to go and investigate.

Teddy has to see what's going on

They told me they had finished the work and were waiting for the crew to come and take up the temporary road. Talking of which, here is Teddy testing it out.

Teddy on the temporary road

And here it is heading out across the bog.

Road into the bog

On the lower heath I was a bit surprised to find a very large gas pipeline marker had appeared since Monday.

Well that wasn't there on Monday

Close by was this pretty little bracket fungus.

Bracket fungus On

Saturday afternoon Teddy and I were back on Upton Heath. We had walked down the big hill with a Springer Spaniel and a Labrador, neither of which wanted to play with Teddy. When we got to the bottom of the hill and turned off to the pond Teddy, in his frustration, decided to dive head first into a boggy pool.

Teddy dived into a boggy pool

Fortunately the next stop was the pond where I was able to wash him off. Nearby the men were finishing taking up the temporary road.

Taking up the last of the temporary road

We walked out onto the lower heath and then Teddy took off. When I finally caught up with him he was playing with a 17 month old blue staffy called Alfie. They were having a great time, so we let them carry on for around 20 minutes before we walked on, although the dogs still continued playing. Sadly I don’t have any photos (they were moving too fast) but I think I can safely say they are now firm friends. Oh, and having been wet and then romped around in grey sandy soil Teddy was black again and had to have a shower when he got home, which he did not appreciate!

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.

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.