And a cold start to 2017

Sunday 1st January – Saturday 7th January 2017

The cold spell has been continuing into the new year, although we had some rather welcome sunshine on Monday 2nd January. To celebrate Max and I went for a walk on Upton Heath as usual on a Monday.

New Year - Same old pond

Near the pond we met the 3 Weimeraners, including Hazel who had one of her usual ‘small’ sticks. Here she is having a good old chew at it.

Hazel's found herself a stick

We walked on round the lower heath and when we got to the Roman Road Max got in the stream as usual. The light on his was lovely.

Max in the stream

And lastly for today, here is a shot of the Roman Road where the stream crosses it.

The Roman Road in winter

On Tuesday it was a cold and frosty start, so I chose to take Max out to Kingston Lacy. When we got there Max was a bit worried by the warning sign at the entrance.

The sign has got Max a bit worried

But he needn’t have worried as the paths weren’t slippery at all. The grounds were looking lovely in the frost and sunlight though.

A clear, frost morning

This photo was taken along the Cedar Avenue.

Sun throught the cedars

As was this one of a frosted bench.

Frosted seat

These frosty leaves also caught my eye.

Frosty leaves

It was only towards the end of our walk that we began to see many other people. This couple passed us as we walked through the gardens, though.

Waling through the gardens

We walked on round to the Japanese garden, which looked nice in the frost and sun.

The Japanese Garden

And I rather liked the light and shade around this little ornament.

Stone ornament

After that we continued on through the woodland walk and finally back to the car.

Wednesday I went to see my Dad as usual and on Thursday we once again had a heavy frost so I decided to take Max down to Lychett Bay. The tide was out and the shoreline was rather icy.

An icy Lychett Bay at low tide

Max was not happy as he couldn’t get anywhere near the water.

Max is not happy that the tide is out

We walked on round to the small beach at Turlin Moor, where the boats looked lovely in the still water.

Reflections on a cold morning

Round here the seaweed on the beach was frozen.

Frozen seaweed

As was the fishing gear left in the boats.

Fishing nets and float Frosted float

There was also frost over this discarded bag left on the beach.

Discarded

Max finally managed to get down to the water round here, but he also got very muddy paws in the process.

Mr Muddy Paws!

After that we headed back to the car but before we left we went to see the new viewing platform that has been built overlooking the bay.

The new viewing platform

And this is the view it gives.

Lychett Bay from the viewing platform

And one last photo from our walk: a frozen seed head.

Frosty seedhead

You may be wondering where Jez was while Max and I were doing all this walking. Well, she was busy snoozing in the sun at home.

Jez snoozing in the sun

And who can blame her?

A year ago

From the same week a year ago I’ve chosen this photo, taken out at Badbury Rings, which is also part of the National Trust Kinston Lacy estate.

Circle of light

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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

A cold start to December

Thursday 1st December 2016

Frosts have been thin on the ground here so far this winter, but this morning we woke to freezing fog. To celebrate I took my best camera with me when I took Max for a walk at Upton Country Park (no way was Jez moving from her warm, snugly bed).

Entering the park from Poole Road on a frost morning

In the car park I was surprised to see that there were still one or two cornflowers in bloom. This one was looking lovely with the frost on it.

Frosted cornflower

In places it was quite frosty in the park too, as Max demonstrates in this photo.

We had had a bit of a frost overnight

But a lot of the time it was all about mood.

Walking towards the picnic area

This was taken in the Woodland Walk.

Sunlight through the trees (1)

And I like this one in black and white.

Sunlight through the trees (3)

This was the little boardwalk over the lake. I’ve softened the clarity and rather like the effect.

Boardwalk across the lake

The lake, itself, was a bit icy this morning.

Frozen lake

But that did not deter Max.

Max in the icy lake

As you can see the sun had, by now, broken through the fog, which made for a very nice photo along the path to Hamworthy.

Path to Hamworthy

And here’s Max further along the same path.

Path to Hamworthy

The view along the shoreline was fairly evocative too.

Procession of Geese on Upton Lake

Around here a haw frost had frosted the reeds.

Frosted reeds

And the wooden side rails.

Frsoted fence

Although the sun was starting to thaw it.

Frosted reed

By the time we walked back through the gardens, though, the sun had disappeared again.

Walled garden

The start of our drive home was in fog, but as we got to Creekmoor (only a couple of minutes away) we drove back into bright sunshine. And that pretty much set the pattern for the rest of the day, with the fog coming and going.

A year ago today

Max and I were out and about on Canford Heath.

Trees in black and white

A chilly walk at Kingston Lacy

Tuesday 29th November 2016

It was another sunny, but chilly, morning this morning. Jez decided to stay on the bed in the sun, so I took Max to Kingston Lacy for his walk, along with my best camera.

Kingston Lacy house

With only Max with me I decided to walk all the way around the back of the house and through the Woodland Walk, only today we walked anti-clockwise. This was the view across from the front of the house.

In the grounds

As you can see there was still frost on the ground. This sycamore leaf was still quite frosty where the sun had not reached it.

Frosty leaf

As was this pretty little leaf on the path in the gardens.

Leaf

The low sunshine made this little corner of the gardens look very picturesque.

A gate in the sunshine

Although some trees still have some of their leaves the limes in the Lime Avenue have lost all of theirs.

The lime avenue

Round in the Woodland Walk I loved this back-lit leaf.

Backlit leaf in the Woodland Walk

And here’s Max who managed to get tangled up in his long lead, as you can see.

Max has got tangled in his lead

And lastly for today, here’s me and Max in the Woodland Walk.

Max and I in the Woodland Walk

It had been really cold, but a very pleasant walk in the sunshine.

A year ago today

We stopped off at the little Christmas market at Upton Country Park.

Christmas chalets

Another walk at Kingston Lacy

Tuesday 16th February 2016

It was a frosty, sunny morning again today and for some reason I felt like taking Max back to Kingston Lacy for a walk. It is half term here, so the place was really busy today.

Kingston Lacy House

Today, though, I rang the changes by putting my 100mm Macro lens on the EOS 6D. I’m pleased I did. As I said, it was frosty first thing and the frost was still on the rhododendrons which were in the shade.

Frosted Rhododendron

Elsewhere there are still quite a lot of camellia buds…

Camelia Bud

.. and I was surprised to find a bud opening on a magnolia.

Magnolia Bud

In this same part of the gardens some of the blossom is coming out.

Blossom

And then, of course, there were the snowdrops, seen here as a clump…

Snowdrops

… and here in isolation.

Snowdrops

Further on round the walk where the snowdrops were on the higher banks I was able to take them against the blue of the sky.

Snowdrops against a blue sky

This one still had dew on it.

Dew-drenched

And here is one of my favourite photos, of a single snowdrop covered in dew against a blue sky.

Dew drenched against a blue sky

I think, though, that the snowdrops are starting to go over, so I’m unlikely to get such nice photos if I go back next week (not sure about that yet).

A year ago today

Max and I walked along the River Allen in Wimborne, where I took this photo of a swan drinking.

Drinking

Oh what a beautiful morning

Thursday 11th February 2016

We had a sunny, but frost, start this morning. The frost was still hanging around when Max and I got to Upton Country Park.

A frosty start at Upton Country Park

Here’s another photo is the ‘Where’s Max?’ series. Can you spot him?

Where's Max?

He’s just to the right of centre, under that bent tree.

In the Woodland Walk watery sunlight was filtering through the bare trunks of the trees. I thought this shot worked best in black and white.

Weak sunlight through the trees in the Woodland Walk

We walked on round to the stream which gave promise of things to come. It was very deep.

Stream's high - it must be high tide

Yes, that meant it was a very high tide, much to Max’s delight as he got to go in the water along the shoreline today.

Normally you don’t really see anything apart from boggy mud and reeds from the bird hide, but today there was a much nicer view.

Upton Lake

And that view included quite a few wigeon.

Widgeon

By now it was starting to cloud over, but that made for a really beautiful outlook in really amazing light across Upton Lake towards Poole.

A calm, still morning

And finally, here’s a panorama of the same scene, with Pergins Island in the centre.

Panorama of Upton Lake with Pergins Island

What a pity I only had my small Powershot and not the EOS 6D. Never mind – I got some lovely photos all the same.

A year ago today

Jez, Max and I were out walking on Canford Heath.

The path to the stream

I finally get the car back

Tuesday 19th January 2016

After 5 weeks we finally got the car back from the garage today. The Engine Control Unit had packed up again and needed a new processor. Thankfully the garage was able to loan us an Astra Estate, so we were able to get the dogs around without any trouble.

And this morning was a glorious sunny morning, albeit a bit frosty, with beautiful blue skies. So after picking the car up from the garage in Wimborne Max and I headed out to Badbury Rings.

Badbury Rings

The frost had made lines in the track leading to the gate out of the back of the Rings.

Frosty Ridges

And there was frost on the gate, itself…

Frosty Gate

… and on a fence post further up the track.

Frosty Fencepost

As we had slightly less time than normal I cut across the south of The Oaks, rather than taking the bridle path around the back.

Alongside The Oaks

At the far end, the permanent puddle at the bottom of the hill was frozen solid.

Frozen puddle

Walking up the hill the frost made the nettles look very pretty.

Frosty Nettle

Here’s Max at the top of the hill.

Between High Wood and the Rings

I avoided the woods today as they had been so wet and boggy on our last visit and instead we turned right back into the Rings.

Badbury Rings

Today we walked around the north side, back through the centre (which was very wet) and then we walked around the south side.

Walking round the Rings

Without the leaves to distract me I was struck by this magnificent oak.

Magnificent Oak

And one last photo, from the south west corner, just before we headed back to the car.

A corner of the Rings

And as for the car, well a brake was sticking badly and making a most horrible noise, and when I started it again the engine warning light came on, so back to the garage we went. Fortunately they were able to sort it out for me within about 15 minutes, and we finally returned home.

A year ago today

We met our friend Henry on Upton Heath.

Henry