A new experience for Max

Sunday 11th – Saturday 17th December 2016

But first we were back at Corfe Mullen and Upton Heath on Sunday 11th. First we visited the scuzzy pond.

Max in the scuzzy pond

Here’s Jez backlit by the sun.

Jez, backlit by the afternoon sun

Then we went out on the heath.

Max waits for me and Jez

Where the dogs were contemplating heading in different directions.

They say opposites attract

Moving on to Friday 16th December, and I took Max for his first ever session in the water walker in an attempt to strengthen the muscles supporting his poorly hips.

Max gets to try out the water walker,  but I don't think he's too sure about it

As you can see, he wasn’t entirely sure about the experience.

And finally, on Saturday 17th, which was dull and damp, we went over to Upton Heath. I didn’t take the camera but then spotted this fungi. At first I thought it was a Hare’s Foot Inkcap, but it was way too big and it’s the wrong time of year. I think it’s a Snowy Inkcap – a first for me.

I think this is a Snowy Inkcap - it was way too big for a Hare's Foot Inkcap

Isn’t it pretty?

A year ago this week

We went to see Corfe Castle lit up in the run-up to Christmas.

Shadows from the past

Our week-end walks on Upton Heath

Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th November 2016

Saturday afternoon Chris drove me and the dogs over to Upton Heath for our walk as usual. It was a bit of a grey day so I didn’t take the camera and only had my phone with me. We walked to the pond and then headed up the hill towards the viewpoint. En route I was really pleased to find some really nice orange peel fungus.

Orange Peel Fungus

We walked on up the hill where I liked the light in the sky behind the power lines.

Power lines on Upton Heath

We continued on up towards the viewpoint and just before we reached it I took this photo looking back across the heath.

Looking back across the heath

After that we continued on to Beacon Road and I phoned Chris to come and pick us up.

On Sunday I took Jez and Max up to Corfe Mullen and we walked across the top of the heath. The sun was out today and the views were stunning.

Looking across Poole Harbour to Arne

Here’s Max on the heath.

Max on the heath

And here are Max and Jez.

Max and Jez in the late afternoon sunshine

We were out quite a while and the sun was starting to go down as we got back to the reservoir.

The sun starts to set

We walked back to the car and Max and Jez lay down on the grass while I pumped up my front tire which had a slow puncture (now mended). When he got up Max could hardly walk. I’m guessing it’s another arthritis flare up in his elbow, so it looks as though we’ll have to rest him for a while.

A year ago today

On 13th last year we were up the top of Upton Heath (what a coincidence) where I took this photo looking out across Poole Harbour.

Shafts of sunlight over Poole Harbour

The Woodland Walk at Kingston Lacy

Friday 11 November 2016

It was a sunny morning and so I decided to take the dogs out to Kingston Lacy today.

Kingston Lacy house at Autumn

It’s been a few weeks since we were in the Woodland Walk so I thought I’d see what it looked like in the autumn sunshine today. This is a slightly different view of the house, which I took just as we entered the Woodland Walk.

A slightly different view of Kingston Lacy

This is the lovely, carved arch that marks the start of the play area.

Entrance to the Woodland Walk

In the woods the sunlight was coming through the trees.

Sunlight through the trees

And I found some very pretty little fungi.

Fungi

We walked on along the path.

Autumn in the Woodland Walk

And occasionally met other visitors.

Wallking through the Woodland Walk in Autumn

When we got to a nice area of fallen leaves in the sun I took a photo of Max.

Max

And tried to take one of Max and Jez together, but Jez wasn’t interested.

Jez doesn't want her photo taken

We continued on and I checked out the Acer Glade, but virtually all of the trees have lost their leaves now. So we back-tracked a short distance and then took the path back up to the house. It had been a lovely morning’s walk.

A year ago today

Max had a vet appointment in Wareham and afterwards I took him to Studland Beach for his walk.

Knoll Beach

A different day, a different heath

Tuesday 8th November 2016

As Jez is still doing her ‘lying in the sun in the morning’ routine I took the opportunity to take Max over to Canford Heath today. I try and avoid taking Jez as she likes to lie at the crossroads in the middle of the heath and wait to see who comes along. Consequently with her in tow our walks there can last a couple of hours.

So, this was Canford Heath this morning.

An Autumn morning on Canford Heath

I finally found a nice fly agaric fungus this morning, which cheered me up. I’ve only seen one or two slug-eaten ones so far this year.

Fly AGaric

Here’s Max on the path in front of one of my favourite trees on the heath (I like the shape of it).

Max on the path

And here he is heading towards the stream.

Heading to the stream

I let him have a short play in the stream…

Max in the water-filled gully

… and then we cut across to Longfleet Drive and walked down towards Hotchkiss Cross.

Longfleet Drive

At one point I’d got a little bit tired of walking on Canford Heath, but it was nice to go back there for a change.

A year ago today

We went to lunch with my Dad and then went for a very cold, blustery walk along the beach at Barton-on-sea. I think you can tell how happy Chris was to be there!

A cold, blustery walk at Barton on Sea

At the Country Park again

Thursday 3rd November 2016

Max and I went back to Upton Country Park for our walk this morning while Jez lay in bed. Today I decided to walk the opposite way around, which meant that we got an early reminder that Christmas will soon be upon us.

Christmas is coming

But although the staff think that Christmas is almost here, the gardens know that we’re actually in the middle of Autumn, as can be seen from this cluster of fungi at the base of a tree.

Fungi

We walked on down to the shoreline and looked across Upton Lake towards Poole.

The view across Upton Lake

And then we made our way to the boardwalk.

On the boardwalk

They are changing this part of the park and putting in new paths through the fields. Apparently they are planning to close part of the shoreline path which will be a shame as it’s a nice path to walk. All of this suggests to me that the re-design was done by someone who doesn’t use the park on a regular basis.

We walked onto the stream…

Autumn leaves surround the stream

… where Max waited to play.

By the stream

And, of course, he had to get in the water.

In the stream

We carried on round and took the path through Grove Wood.

The path to Hamworthy

And then cut through to the Woodland Walk where I got another nice photo of the Dark Age Dwelling.

In the Woodland Walk

And from there we headed back to the car and home.

A year ago today

It was a bit of an overcast day when we went to Broadstone Rec. As you can see, the leaves were coming off the trees earlier last year than this.

When she got there the tree was bare

It’s November!

Tuesday 1st November 2016

Well at least I’m writing in the same month now – I must be starting to catch up. Mind you, I’m likely to get further behind shortly as it has been agreed that the new kitchen will start to be installed (well, the old one ripped out first of course) in 3 weeks time. So I have a lot of work to do in the meantime, like cleaning out the garage to take the new kitchen for a few days when it’s delivered, and clearing out the kitchen.

But back to our walks. It was a lovely sunny morning so Jez, Max and I went to Upton Country Park. This was the view along the path to Hamworthy as we approached the Woodland Walk.

The path to Hamworthy

In the Woodland Walk the Dark Age Dwelling, which is a piece of experimental archaeology, is progressing well and looked lovely in the autumn leaves.

Dark age dwelling

Dark age dwelling

Jez led us around the newest section of the park where I found these fungi.

Cluster of fungi

And then we walked on to the stream.

Max in the stream

We took a circular route back to the Woodland Walk where we met an aquaintance, Steve from the Dorset Wildlife Trust, with his puppy, Molly. We chatted as we walked through the Woodland Walk while the dogs explored. Back at the Dark Age Dwelling the workmen had appeared.

Working on the Dark Age Dwelling

You may notice that the timber the guy on the right is inspecting is badly burned. This came from the old, copy ¬†of a Roman house that had been built nearer Upton House and was burned down by arsonists last year. Talking to them, they explained that they are trying to reclaim the timber to use as much as possible. Meanwhile Jez was pleased to find a gap in the fencing so that she could go in and explore. I’d managed to get her out again by the time I took that photo.

We walked on and were almost back at the main path when I saw a really big clump of Mycenae fungi.

Clustered Mycenae

I always think they look so pretty. By this time it had clouded over, so we had clearly had the best of the day for our walk.

A year ago today

Jez, Max and I went for a walk at the top end of Upton Heath.

View over Upton Heath and Poole (plus Max)

Upton Heath for the 3rd day running

Monday 31st October 2016

Yes, our usual Monday morning walk meant that we were back on Upton Heath. This time we walked to the pond and then met Dawn with Henry and Addy and walked up the hill to the viewpoint. So although we have been here 3 days running each walk has been different.

At first it was quite dull and a little misty.

A misty start

But the sun soon broke through. By the time we were approaching the pond this little Russula, nestled in a tussock of grass, was in bright sunshine.

Russula in a tussock of grass

At the pond Jez decided to wade in while Max waited to play.

Jez and Max at the pond

Here I’ve got his attention by holding his cone in the hand I’m using to press the shutter.

Max in the pond

We left the pond and started to walk up the hill, where I was took this photo of Max sitting in the sun.

Max

As I said, we met Dawn with Henry and Addy. We also came across the cows. Jez had to investigate, but is a lot more wary of them now she is older.

Jez says 'Hello'

Henry had to investigate too.

Henry and a cow

And after that we continued on up to the Viewpoint and I phoned Chris to come and pick us up at Beacon Road.

A year ago today

Another walk on Upton Heath. Here’s Jez in the afternoon sun, covered in mud.

Jez with mud splashes up her neck