A cold end to the year

Sunday 25th December – Saturday 31st December 2016

Christmas Day was a wet, miserable day, so Chris and I didn’t do our ‘traditional family’ walk with the dogs until Boxing Day (the 26th) when we took the dogs out to Kingston Lacy after lunch. It was pretty cold, so I made sure Jez had her nice warm jumper on. Here’s Chris with the dogs

A Boxing Day Walk

The sun going down behind the trees.

A chilly afternoon

And, yes, it’s treat time again.

Time for a treat

The next morning was cold and frosty, and while Jez stayed snuggled in bed, Max and I went over Upton Heath.

Entrance to a frozen heath

We almost met the cows, but they passed us by.

A procession of cows

I like this photo of one of the Exmoor Ponies with the mist lying low across the heath.

Exmoor Pony

The grass around the boardwalk was frosted…

Frozen Grass

… and the water icy (not that that bothered Max).

Max in the icy water

So a pleasant but cold walk.

The next day was cold and frosty again and this time Max and I went to Upton Country Park.

I liked these leaves, covered in frost but with the sun just touching them.

Frosted leaves in the sun

The picnic tables were pretty frosty too.

Frosty picnic tables

The sun was low along the stream.

By the stream

But Holes Bay was looking lovely in the sun.

View across Upton Lake to Poole

And so on to Friday 30th December, and Max and I went over to Canford Heath where the sun was low through the trees.

Light and shade on Canford Heath

It was quite misty too.

A foggy morning

Which made for a few nice shots.

Max waits for me Overlooking Canford Heath estate

But by the time we got up onto the main heath the sun was out, although the wind was bitter.

Me and Max in the sunshine Heading towards the stream

There was lots of ice on the water though.

The ice doesn't bother Max

And finally to the last day of the walk and and a chilly, grey walk on Upton Heath with both Jez and Max.

A grey end to the year

So here’s Max signing out with his last game of cone in 2016.

Last game of cone in 2016

And Jez waiting patiently for 2017 to arrive.

Jez waits

Happy New Year to you all.

A year ago

Max and I saw 2015 out down on the beach at Lake Pier, Hamworthy.

Max

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In the eye of the storm

Monday 8th February 2016

Storm Imogen hit overnight. We had winds gusting at around 50-60mps and heavy rain. I was expecting to get soaking wet when I took Max over to Upton Heath in the morning, but although the wind was still strong we managed to avoid the rain. It looked pretty stormy though.

A break in the clouds during Storm Imogen

The rain had meant that there were lots of puddles so Max was happy, although given his elbow problems last week I had to be careful not to throw anything to make him jump.

Max finds a nice big puddle

Walking round we met the Exmoor ponies, who were getting battered by the wind. This one was wandering over to see me.

Coming to see me

And lastly, here’s Max at one of our cone stops: the place I always used to refer to as Cones R Us. It gives me a chance to stock up.

Max at the cone stop

We walked on home via Creekmoor Ponds and got in just before the rain started again. We were lucky.

 

A year ago today

My cousin, Linda, and her daughter, Lucy were staying for my birthday week-end. I love this photo of them, taken at Sunday lunchtime.

Linda and Lucy

A bit of a cold walk on Upton Heath

Saturday 30th January 2016

Saturday is my cleaning day, and so I walk the dogs in the afternoon: and as is my custom I took them over to Upton Heath today.

Heath panorama

There may have been some blue sky around, but on the whole it was overcast and quite cold (although fortunately I was well wrapped up). I also took the Canon EOS 20D with me so that I could use the build in flash to continue my flash photography learning. It seems to have gone fairly well on the whole, without the use of flash being too obvious. Here’s Max in a puddle (with Jez wandering up the slope behind).

A favourite muddy puddle

And here he is again in the pond with his cone.

Posing in the pond

There are a couple more of him in the pond on my Flickr account. I also took this photo of Jez standing my the pond.

Jez stands proud

The photos of the Exmoor ponies didn’t work quite so well, but this one’s not too bad.

Portrait of an Exmoor Pony

And lastly from me for today here’s Jez having a little rest in the leaves along the Roman Road.

Jez has a rest among the leaves

I do have a couple of other photos to share with you today, though, and they were taken by Chris when he was out in Wareham Forest with Max in the morning. He’s commented before on the desolate landscape that’s been left where the Forestry Commission has been felling trees there, so wanted to take some photos. As you can see, it looks a bit like a war zone.

JCL_160130_298

And finally here’s a photo of Max he took.

JCL_160130_312

A walk is not a walk without at least one photo of Max!

A year ago today

I finally managed to get some photo of the Redwings at Upton Country Park.

Redwing

Bye, Bye Spaceboy

Monday 11th January 2016

People who know me will know that I have been a David Bowie fan for many, many years. So today, with the announcement of his death this morning, has been a difficult day for me. Although this blog isn’t the right place for me to comment on his passing and what it means to me, I couldn’t let the day pass with no mention of it at all. So I just want to say that wherever he is, I hope he is at peace. He has left a huge musical legacy, influenced many others, and changed a lot of lives. And I would like to thank him for that legacy.

Actually, after the news it was good to take Max over to Upton Heath. It was a bright sunny morning, although you wouldn’t know it from this photo of the oak trees reflected in the drive.

Reflected oaks in the drive

Although, as I have said, it was sunny, it was another cold morning, and a bank of fog hung above the hill line on the heath.

Fog on the hill line

As we were approaching the pond we met Dawn with Henry and Addy, the two English Pointers, and I stood talking to her for a long time as we hadn’t seen each other since before Christmas. Then I took Max onto the pond before continuing to walk around the lower heath. Just as we were approaching the Roman Road we came across the Exmoor ponies, one of whom thought he’d wander over to say hello.

An Exmoor Pony comes over to see me

After that we walked on home, via Creekmoor Ponds which looked rather nice in the winter sunshine.

Sun through the trees

I’m so lucky to be able to get out and walk in such lovely places.

A year ago today

Max, Jez and I went for a walk on Canford Heath, where there were some pretty large puddles.

Now that's what I call a puddle

A sunny morning on Upton Heath

Friday 19th June 2015

Being Friday morning I started the day by going to Waitrose in Wimborne to do my grocery shopping. That meant that my walk with Max was slightly later than usual. It is now becoming my habit to walk him over to Upton Heath after I’ve finished the shopping, and that’s where we went today.

It was a lovely sunny day, and when we got to the ponds there were loads of dragonflies dashing around. The difficulty with them is trying to guess where they will land and then hoping they stay there long enough for you to get a photo.

The first pond (where there are also normally lots of newts) is the domain of a couple of broad bodied chasers. The males are a beautiful shade of blue, but alas one would not land for me. I did get this photo of a female though.

Femal Broad Bodied Chaser

We walked on to the pond where Max plays, and again there were several broad bodied chasers flying around, but none of them would oblige me by slowing down long enough for me to get a photo. The small weed covered pond nearby was a dfferent matter though. This is the Emperor dragonflies’ haunt, and one of the females was kind enough to stop to lay her eggs.

Female Emperor Dragonfly ovipositing

After taking a few photos I returned my attention to Max, who was standing in his pond intent on his cone.

Max is intent on his cone

Eventually we left the ponds and continued on round. As we neared the Roman Road we came across the Exmoor Ponies sensibly keeping in the shade.

The ponies are keeping in the shade

And then it was back home via Creekmoor Ponds so that Max could have a swim.

Can't you read Max?

And one last photo, taken by the ponds – a lovely Speckled Wood Butterfly.

Speckled Wood butterfly

What a nice walk it had been.

A year ago today

Jez and I came home from Dad’s for a couple of hours and I took this photo of Max.

Max looks whistful