Max and I go to Upton Heath

Monday 23rd May 2016

After a dismal week-end when I didn’t take any photos, Max and I walked over to Upton Heath this morning. For a change we headed up the Roman Road, only to be met by a fallen tree.

Tree Down

Fortunately we were able to duck underneath it, and we continued on up until we turned out onto the heath.

Upton Heath panorama

We walked up to the viewpoint and then across the top of the hill and around the back of it where Max headed for the small, boggy pool he likes. Here he is standing in the gorse waiting for me.

Max in the gorse

Fortunately he didn’t get too dirty today. We continued on down the hill and towards the bottom we me Dawn with Henry and Addy. I haven’t seen her for ages and so we spent ages chatting. As we talked I could hear a Stonechat making a lot of noise close by, and after we left her I managed to spot it and get a photo.

Stonechat

After that we walked onto the pond where I threw cones for Max, and then headed home. By the time we got back we’d been out about 2 hours!

A year ago today

We walked around Creekmoor ponds and I took this photo of Jez.

Portrait of Jez

Tree Down

Wednesday 30th March 2015

I took Max out to Kingston Lacy again today, looking for signs of spring and to see if there were any trees down after Storm Katie (the National Trust close the Woodland Walk and gardens in high winds).

Do you remember the ‘Whomping Willow’ photo from last week? I can’t remember if I said, but it is actually a Horse Chestnut, and this week the buds were starting to burst.

Horse Chestnut bud bursting

I’m sorry that’s not a great photo, but I only had the Powershot with me today, and it’s often difficult to get it to focus where you want close up. In the woods one or two bluebells were starting to show, and the primroses were out.

Primroses in the Woodland Walk

Then, towards the end of the Woodland Walk we came across this.

Fallen beech tree in the Woodland Walk

That is a huge beech tree right alongside the path, so¬†you can see why they close the grounds when it’s windy. But the remarkable thing about the tree, which I’ve noticed on fallen beeches before, is how shallow the root system is. As you can most probably see, the roots came clean out of the ground, and this is the side on shot, showing that the roots were a little over 2 feet deep

. Big tree. shallow root system

Something else you may have noticed from the photos is that it was a pretty grey day. And it got greyer.

Kingston Lacy house and Philae Obelisk

I didn’t think we were going to get round in the dry, but we did. It started to spit with rain as we were leaving, and then by the time we got to Corfe Mullen (about 5 minutes in the car) we were hit by a huge hail storm. I obviously timed my walk right this morning.

A year ago today

I had to take the car to the garage, so wandered round to Hatch Pond with the camera where I took this photo of a swan.

Cob

A sunny walk on the heath

Saturday 7th September 2015

An alternative title for this post might have been ‘In which Jez gets herself stuck’, but more of that later.

We actually had some sunshine for our walk on Upton Heath today, which was nice. Jez chose to head for the pond first, rather than walking up the Roman Road as we often do on a Saturday. En route to the pond I was struck by the reflections of the trees in the pool of water that forms to one side of the old railway line after a lot of rain.

Reflections

We went on to the pond and then headed up the hill towards the viewpoint. While Jez went to investigate the cows Max decided to play in one of the water-filled gullies, and while he was there I spotted this lovely Orange Peel Fungus at the side of the track.

Orange Peel Fungus

After the rain there was lots of water around on the heath today, so Max managed to find new pools to stand in.

Max has found a new little pool

Walking up the hill the scudding clouds and the sunshine made for some nice photos, like this one.

In the afternoon sunlight

And this one as we headed towards the viewpoint.

Heading up the hill

This was the view from higher up, looking back the way we had come.

The heath in the late afternoon

From the viewpoint we headed round towards the Roman Road and on our way I took this photo, again looking back across the heath.

Upton Heath

But as we approached the gate onto the Roman Road we realised we had a bit of a problem.

Tree Down

Yes, there was a big tree down, and it was right across our path.

Obstacle in our path

Max and I negotiated our way around the top of it, but Jez thought she’d take a short cut and make her way through the branches. Which is how she got stuck – in the branches of the tree. I was trying to work out how to get to her when she eventually managed to free herself. Hopefully she’s learnt her lesson.

We walked back down the Roman Road and the car. The sun was starting to go down by this time, which meant that when we got to where the path onto the heath from Beechbank Avenue crosses the Roman Road the view was rather nice.

The Roman Road at sundown

What a nice walk after all this miserable weather.

A year ago today

Max and I were at Upton Country Park where I took this view across Upton Lake.

View over Upton Lake

Onto Wareham Forest

Friday 29th May 2015

I say ‘Onto Wareham Forest’ as Max and I started out at the vet in Wareham this morning. He was back seeing the dermatologist. She was very pleased with his progress, but nevertheless we were in there for a long time. It wasn’t a particularly nice morning: extremely windy and with heavy rain forecast. As we were at Wareham I took Max to the forest, but this time to Lawsons Clump, where I haven’t been for ages. This was the path up the hill from the car park.

The path winds up the hill

Part way up the hill and there has been more clearance work done. This view looks through towards the road, but you can see the path we have just walked along on the left.

Another example of scorched earth conservation

It was really blowing by this time and the trees were bending and making lots of ominous sounds. I wasn’t sure that the forest was a good place to be on such a day.

We followed the path I used to take on around, and at one point I noticed this.

Making a path through the trees

It looks as though they are clearing a way through before taking out the trees on either side.

We cut up the next path, which I thought was the one I normally took, and came to a spot where there are quite a few rhododendrons.

Rhododendrons

Then just after this I managed to lose my way. So Max and I walked around in a big circle, which was not what I had planned as he had started limping last night and I didn’t want the walk to be too long. So this time I walked on further before turning off. I still wasn’t quite on the right path, but at least I knew where I was. As we headed back in the direction of the carpark we passed these trees, brought down by previous high winds.

Falling trees

By this time it had been spitting with rain for about 10 minutes. As we reached the most exposed top part of the hill above the car park it started to rain heavily. This was the view looking out across Wareham Forest.

Rain clouds over Wareham Forest

But almost as soon as the rain started it stopped again. By the time we got to the bottom of the hill and back to the car it wasn’t raining at all.

A year ago today

Jez and I went for a walk along Highclifff Beach from Steamer Point and then walked back to Dad’s via Highcliff Castle.

Highcliffe Castle

Blue skies over Canford Heath

Tuesday 12th May 2015

Max and I went to Canford Heath this morning and the sun was shining. We arrived, though, to find a fallen tree almost blocking the path onto the heath.

A fallen tree is almost blocking the entrance to the heath

Fortunately you can step around it. A second tree is also leaning precariously though.

We walked across to Steeple Close and then up the steep hill to South Walk. En route I saw this crow sitting on an old tree stump. I thought it looked rather good framed against the clear blue sky.

Crow

I also like this shot of Max at the top of the hill.

Max

As for the heath itself, well that was looking rather splendid.

Canford Heath panorama

Finally, you can tell we are getting well into spring as the rhododendrons are starting to come into flower.

Rhododendron

That said, there are not that many of them left. They have all been cut back or pulled up as part of the ongoing conservation work.

In the afternoon I walked up to Broadstone for an optician appointment. I am trying a different optician: a lot more expensive but giving a much thorough eye test. What with the eye test and contact lens appointment I was in there 2 hours! I am now trying out some new multi-focal contact lenses which are far better than the ones I had been wearing (which explains why I wear my glasses most of the time). I’m hoping they will work out ok.

A year ago today

Max, Jez and I went to Upton Heath where we met Dolly: a young, Dachshund / Jack Russell / Chihuahua cross.

Dolly, a new friend

A sunny morning walk at Upton Country Park

Tuesday 10th March 2015

Sorry there was no post for yesterday – it was another grey day with not much worth photographing on our walk on Upton Heath. This morning was nice and sunny, so I picked up the best camera and took Max to Upton Country Park.

Since the new area has opened we have been starting our walk in the gardens (with Max on the lead) and then walking ‘clockwise’ around the shoreline and back towards the Woodland Walk and the new area, where I wash Max off in the stream. So starting in the gardens, the daffodils are coming into bloom.

Daffodil

And I also found this little clump of primroses (which I was able to photograph once Max got his big nose out of the way).

Primrose

When we got to the shoreline the tide was out and there were no birds close to the shore, so we walked on. I took this photo of Max near the big fallen beech tree. This is the section of the trunk they have cut out and moved to one side, and with Max infront of it you can see just how big it is.

Max by the fallen beeech tree

We continued on round and Max had a play in the stream.

Max in the stream

Then from there it was on round to the lake. While I was throwing Max’s cone I realised the reflections of the bulrushes and sky in the muddy water looked rather pretty this morning, so took a photo.

Bullrush reflections

Today we walked from the lake through the Woodland Walk. This photo shows Max with the trees al bare, just waiting to throw on their mantle of spring green.

When he got there the Woodland Walk was bare

After that it was onto the new area. We walked around it and came back to the stream where Max had a play (and a bit of a clean-off). Here he is standing at the side of the stream.

Max by the stream

So we had a really lovely walk this morning. It really felt like Spring was on the way.

A year ago today

We went to Upton Heath where, in the sunshine, we found this Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly.

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Oops! Missed one

Thursday 26th February 2015

No, you’re not losing it. I’ve just travelled back in time one day as I realised I missed a post.

So, Thursday was wet and miserable. As a result it was only Max and I who went to Upton Country Park. This shot, called ‘Rainy Outlook’ gives a pretty good idea of what it was like.

A rainy outlook

But, the rain didn’t stop the tree surgeons from tackling the large fallen beech tree.

Tree surgery in the rain

They haven’t removed the tree. It’s still there, but the branches have been removed and a section of the trunk cut out and rolled to one side. Let’s hope they didn’t roll it on anyone’s foot!

A year ago today

It was a much sunnier day for us to go to Upton Country Park, where I took this photo of a crocus.

Crocus